Well-decorated and organised shelves can boost the functionality and appeal of any space and convert an otherwise ordinary piece of furniture into a statement composition. Bookshelves, in particular, double as storage cum displays for your souvenirs, artefacts, curios and trinkets.
Statement shelves come in all types of shapes and sizes. They can sit snugly in a large cubby hole or be the show-stealer as a stand-alone unit. Be it the living room, study or even the library, here are some tips on how to decorate shelves with books, tchotchkes and more to transform them into functional, luxury furniture pieces:
1. Plan your display
Start the organising process by emptying your existing shelf and putting aside all the gewgaws that are not display-worthy. Next, assess the clear space and measure the shelf height and depth before deciding what should go on display and what shouldn’t as per the configuration.
Put together artwork, picture frames, vases, or accessories that create a cohesive scheme. For instance, you can set the mood with a colour scheme or display vintage-inspired elements from the bygone era. Alternatively, you can also opt for contrasts by infusing contemporary accents with vintage or juxtaposing two colourways. But do resist the urge to overdo things because sometimes it’s best to embrace the ‘less is more’ approach and showcase only the real treasures of your loot.
Tip: Don’t get rid of the existing treasure trove yet; you may repurpose these in other areas of the house
2. Play with the scale
Now that you’ve shortlisted the items you want on display, think about the arrangement. For a balanced symmetry, place the bigger items at the top or bottom of the shelves. Keep the vases, figurines and other similar smaller objects at eye level. You can bring in different scales on different shelves. For example, books can be aligned horizontally or vertically interspersed with antique creamware, silverware and marble objects.
Tip: Larger objects take up more volume and thus provide a clean-line look to keep the shelves from looking cluttered.
3. Have a backdrop
If your shelves are in an alcove or niche, then an assertive backdrop can elevate its look. By painting or adding wallpaper to the back of the shelf, one can add depth and dimension to the interiors – and give continuity to your design narrative.
Tip: Pick a shade darker than the shelf colour for a bolder impact.
4. Use them as partitions
Apart from storage, statement shelves such as our Strato Shelving Unit can be used as a partition to demarcate spaces in open-plan living. Exuberating lightness in design, the metallic sheen of the unit imbues glamour into the interiors while showcasing your collectables.
Once you are done organising, take a step back and reassess the overall balance of your statement shelf. If anything seems off, try reshuffling it – and your picture-perfect arrangement is good to go.