How to Style a Floating Shelf

We have been stuck inside this week as the “spring” weather here in Missouri has had its emotional breakdown.  Getting that cabin fever, I decided it was time for a little change. When it comes to decorating, I will be the first to admit that I am no expert.  But, I do love it!  I’m a firm believer that switching things up can add a little life back into a room, even if just to a small part of the room.  For something simple and quick, I usually start with a focal point.  We have this floating shelf in our living room that I decided that needed a little brighter update.  Maybe it will inadvertently bring on that spring weather.

SONY DSCWhat makes a shelf really cool is that it’s a collection of things.  In a way, it lets people see who you are: what interests you, what inspires you, what encourages you.  It’s really an act of sharing.  I’m inviting you in and in exchange you get to see a little glimpse of who I am.

SONY DSCHere are some guidelines I follow when collecting items for decorating a shelf.

Something inspiring:

The mountain range photo frame was given to me by my brother-in-law for Christmas. It says “An Epic Adventure” which tells so much about my hopes for how life can be, making the everyday our adventure. 

DSC02830.jpgSomething meaningful:

Actually, the shelf itself was a gift from my dad.  I go heavy on the meaningful guys.  (But, you don’t have to.) The older painting of trees behind it was a yard sale find with my grandma (who shares my love for collecting things), so it will always be special to me.  The photo in front is our family (taken by my sister in law). I love how,in this photo, we are all holding hands.  We look strong.

Something living:

I am quite “extra” when it comes to plants.  My friends sometimes call me a crazy plant lady but you just gotta own it.  I love the tropical leaves on this plant, defying the weather outside.  I also love the height that it brings to the collection. 

DSC02826.jpgSomething with texture: 

My sister gave me the pot for the plant. The pottery on this shelf blends in well with the colors and ads a fun texture with its cement material and its free form patterns.

Something Fun:

I am loving this llama trend right now.  I found a bright little pink and yellow llama table place card holder at Pier one and took her right home.  I removed the wire for the card and now she lives here on the shelf.  She makes me smile.

how to style floating shelfTips for Styling


I tend to like the more asymmetrical looks.  I stacked the 4 frames more toward the left side of the shelf.  You don’t have to play by the rules.  If you like the way something looks, then it’s right.  I kind of love doing weird things and this shows through the feather print in the back on it’s side. In this case I like the height that this print brings and how the horizontal gold line almost frames the corner of the items on the shelf like a display.  Its gold & white coloring also compliments the round plate on the other side, bringing the whole shelf together.

Compliment Colors

I usually try to stick within a color palette of maybe 2-3 colors that really go well together and blend well into your room.  I have hints of different shades of blues throughout my living room.  I tried to bring in a little of those to compliment the surroundings.  I also added in a pop of pink with the candle and the llama to tie in my favorite sofa pillow.  A little pop of color goes a long way. 


This is the part where I like to stand back and look at it.  Walk around the room.  Leave the room and come back.  Move, take away.  NOTHING is permanent.

In the end there are no right ways to spruce up a shelf.  This is your house.  You’re going to be the one who sees it on the regular; show off and let it be an expression of you.  

Invite others in, be you. 

Check out this styled look 

minimal boho shelf

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.