Styling Shelves

Inspiration for true shelf-expression

Open shelves are an effortless way to make your kitchen feel exciting and colourful. When styled thoughtfully, shelves can become a focal point that not only looks beautiful but also serves a functional purpose.

Whether you're starting from scratch or giving your existing shelves a refresh, here’s how we style our shelves at Villa Bologna Pottery: 

how to style shelves

1. Find Your Central Focus

Begin by selecting a central piece that will anchor your shelf's design. This could be a large decorative plate, a vase with a bold design or a unique bowl. It can serve as the focal point around which you'll build your arrangement.

2. Create Symmetry

Achieve balance by placing items symmetrically around the central piece. Items on one side should mirror those on the other, creating a sense of order and visual harmony.

3. Mix Heights, Sizes and Shapes

Add visual interest by incorporating a variety of objects with different heights, sizes and shapes. This diversity will catch the eye and make the arrangement more dynamic. We do this by varying the shapes of plates, jugs and bowls on shelves.

how to style shelves

4. Blend Old and New

Embrace a blend of old and new items to create a timeless yet unique look. Vintage pieces, heirlooms, holiday gifts or car boot sale finds can all add character and interest to your shelves. You can also combine a range of textures and materials to create depth and intrigue. 

5. Create Background Layers

Use a backdrop to enhance your display. You can prop up ceramic plates on the wall behind your shelves to provide a visually appealing backdrop that complements your items.

6. Freshen Up with Flowers

Bring life to your kitchen shelves by adding plants or fresh flowers. A vase of colourful flowers or a potted herb can infuse a burst of natural beauty into your display.

7. Edit and Rotate

You can regularly rotate items on your shelves, updating them as each season comes to a close or simply whenever you want to refresh the look.

how to style shelves

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to styling shelves. The key is to let your personal style shine through and create a display that reflects your taste, memories and the colours you love. Be open to experimentation and have fun arranging and rearranging until you achieve the look that makes your shelves feel interesting, colourful and uniquely yours.