How To Style Your Shelves (video tutorial!)

Love what you see? Take a peek at the talent behind the story… Interior Design & Shelf Styling Tips: JDP Interiors · Photography: Jenni Kayne

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As many of us are still hunkering down at home during quarantine and a spring refresh is top of mind, we sort of have the perfect storm to tackle re-styling around the house. The obvious place to begin is our shelves! Truth be told, you can pull as many inspirational images from Pinterest or Instagram as you want—but when it comes to shelf-styling, it’s not a one-size-fits-all process. Thankfully, there are a few techniques you can put into place that will give you success with any breed of bookshelf.

We sat down with our friend, Joyce Downing Pickens of JDP Interiors to glean a few tips on how she styles the shelves in her cozy Laurel Canyon home. Beautifully layered and loaded with organic charm, they’re giving us all the shelf envy. Take a peek at the video tutorial and add her five quick tips below to your styling vault. P.S. If you need a little extra reading after, hop over to our interview with Joyce last year!

“When it comes to a well-designed bookshelf, form comes before function and you pretty much have to forgo any ideas of using them for storage because it just becomes cluttered, unsophisticated, and unstyled.”

– Joyce Downing Pickens

5 Quick Tips for Styling Your Shelves


Make sure to layer your shelves with objects of different heights. It’s important to fill up blank space, and placing taller objects next to shorter ones is an easy way to achieve this.


Incorporate greenery where you can. Not only can greenery help you fill up blank space, but it can also breathe new life into your home and make your shelves and home feel brighter and happier.


Don’t focus on making your shelves look perfect. Creating different vignettes and using varying items and layers will make your shelf design look more organic and relaxed, which is just what we need right now!


Think about texture. Make sure to decorate with varying materials to add more texture to your space. Incorporating wood is a great way to make your design feel more natural and fresh.


Consider color juxtaposition. If you’re styling white bookshelves, but love neutrals like I do, go for cream-colored objects instead of stark white. This will enhance the contrast and make each object really stand out.

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