Ultimate Guide to Shelf Decor Ideas for Simple Styling

For me, styling shelves is a little like making a recipe – you need specific ingredients for a good outcome. While I don’t always follow a recipe exactly (looking at you carrot cake), I know some ingredients are essential for a successful bake! I approach my shelves in the same way with a collection of key pieces I can use for any shelf space. Here, I’m sharing my very favorite shelf decor ideas to make styling super simple! 

bookshelf styling

Before jumping in with all the goodies, I think it might be helpful to consider our goal for shelf styling. It’s not just to pile a bunch of random pieces on a shelf. And it’s not about just making it look pretty either. Neither of those would be very inspiring. We’re looking to style with function and a soothing aesthetic in mind. 

kitchen shelf styling decor

In general, I like to keep decor items neutral (that’s probably pretty obvious by now). Not only do I find it calming, but it makes styling much easier. 

shelf decor ideas to easily mix and match

Be careful though, without a thoughtful mix, neutral shelves can feel pretty flat. How do we fix this?  Go for a mix of textures, materials, item types, and always include something natural!

If you’re looking for neutral home decor items, check out my 5 Home Decor Staples

Shelf Decor Ideas Guide

I’ve curated a list of some of my favorite shelf decor pieces that check off these boxes! 

shelf styling decor
  1. Black Pitchers – for height, vases, and contrast
  2. Wood Bowl – round shape adds a nice touch, plus warmth and texture
  3. Bird Art Print – handmade neutral art
  4. Candle in Ceramic Bowl – beautiful aroma plus warmth and contrasting shape
  5. Black Patina Planter – rustic style for texture, I love this shape!
  6. Dried Olive Branches – year round greenery & height
  7. Little Wood Vase – so many ways to use this one, adds warmth and round shape
  8. Pacific Natural Coffee Table Book – stack for added height, upright looks like artwork
  9. Light Wood Chains – for depth and texture
  10. Wood Organizer Box – for functionality & texture
  11. Wood Picture Frame – for layering
  12. Black Porcelain Vase – contrast and height
  13. White Cylinder Vase– texture and height
  14. Dried Floral Bouquet – long lasting greenery and texture
  15. Hyacinth Basket – woven texture and functionality

More Shelf Inspiration:

Or, if you’re looking to make open shelves, head over to my Open Shelving Tutorial with step by step details!