Shelfie Styling on Point

Built-Ins are my all-time favorite. They are a great way to display your collected treasures, while also adding a lot of character to a space. I love walking into a friend or client’s home and discovering their cherished memorabilia, it tells so much about the them and their interests.

Be it built-ins, a group of shelves on a wall or a bookcase, make it fun, your options are endless! 

The key points to getting your style game on is balance, a curated color palette and remembering that less is more -edit, edit, edit! There’s no exact science of how to get your “shelfie” style cohesive, it takes a lot of placing objects, standing back and starring, and rearranging until it feels just right. Below are seven helpful styling tips to get you started and excited!


1.    Blank Slate. Start by taking everything off your shelves. This will allow you to re-set your view and let the creative juices flow freely. Make sure you are not in a rush, take your time to enjoy the process!

2.    Gather Your Treasures. Gather the items that you want to display. The ones you took off plus anymore that you would like to incorporate. Books, pottery, bowls, vases, pictures, art pieces, candles, plants (real or faux depending on your green thumb!), wooden pieces, letters or monograms, small mirrors, etc. I like to collect more items than I think I’ll need so I have options to choose from. Tip:Group like items together, that will help you visualize and most likely you will notice you have a color palette already going on. Edit anything that doesn’t work within the color scheme.

3.    Color Scheme. Keeping the color balanced is essential to achieve cohesiveness. Two to three colors are a good rule of thumb. When placing your items take a moment to notice where you are putting them in relation to others. Are two same colored items next to each other? Move it to the opposite side to balance them out.

4.    Books.These will be the base of your masterpiece. Like all the violins in an orchestra, they help the leads shine. Group books in odd numbers, stack them and lean them. Stacking will be helpful to give height to smaller accessories. Alternate from left, middle and right sides of the shelves so the books fill in a good portion of blank spots.It will help move your eye around the space and make everything look pulled together. TIP: Don’t like the cover of your book? Think about repurposing them with designer fabric and have a set that are in the same color family. Don’t like the spine? Take the cover off or just turn it around so the spine faces the back.

5.    Variety. Having a healthy variety of accessories will keep your shelves looking interesting and add dimension to them. Mixing and matching is key to well layered “shelfies”! Take a chance at the quirky object! Sprinkle in some heirlooms if they fit the styleand don't be afraid to flip something on its side for a unique view.  Lean baskets or bowls with pretty insides against the back as well as your frames or small mirrors. Our eyes tend to like groupings in odd numbers, so working in three’s is a nice start. Tip: Unless it's in a group of like items, accessories that are smaller than your fist should not be displayed as they will feel lost in the space and look like clutter. 

6.    Greenery. Be it real, faux or some dry foliage, greenery is a must as it brings life and movement to your shelves! Don’t forget to remove your plants from the built-ins when watering them. Avoid getting water marks on your gorgeous shelves!

Take a step back as you move along and check to see if your shelves are feeling balanced. If you aren't sure, take some things off and look at it from another angle. Avoid overcrowding, having air between accessories is ok! Keep on adding and subtracting items until you love it! Remember a good “shelfie” takes time, it’s a labor of love! These tips are a get-you-started-guidelines, have fun -pour yourself a glass of wine and remember: it’s your home and display whatever your heart desires!  

I hope you found these tips encouraging.  Share your “shelfies” with us: @2112design and use: #shelfieswith2112DS

Five “Great Room” Tips to Make it Great!

Five “Great Room” Tips to Make it Great

Recently I have had several clients come asking me to help them transform their Great Rooms into a more personal and put together space. They all shared the common ground of how they were immediately drawn to purchase their homes based on the exhilarating feeling that these soaring ceiling and generous square footage spaces gave them. I agree that these open, airy cathedral -type awe inspiring-rooms can be the deal maker of a new home. Yet when having to inhabit and decorate them, we can end up having a space that feels impersonal. Great Rooms that are larger and more open than your typical living room can be daunting to design and decorate. Let me share five Great Room tips that will unleash their greatness.

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1.    Create A Focal Point. Consider having a floating furniture plan where it is positioned away from the walls and centered around a focal point. A fireplace is a natural focal point but in most living spaces the TV is the true center of attention, to keep them from competing, pair them up. Don’t have a fireplace? A beautiful view or a stunning piece of art can also serve as a room’s focal point.

2.    Furniture Layout. Great Rooms are living rooms meant to gather people. Since great rooms are more spacious, break the furniture layout and consider having two or more conversational group environments for a more comfortable and intimate feel. Remember that you can have accent chairs and ottomans that can be pulled into the different groups as needed.

3.    Lighting. As you enter a great room with high ceilings your eyes and your body feel immediately pulled upwards. As you sit in the living room you want to feel more intimate for a conversation to take place. A way to lower the scale and feel more grounded is to use an over-sized light fixture/chandelier to anchor the space and create a second visual ceiling. Add lighting layers so a relaxed comfortable mood is created. Table lamps that beam their light down onto the seating area will send the welcoming message to sit and enjoy.

4.    Area Rugs/Artwork. Have you ever heard how in a great room with high ceilings and grand space the noise seems to reverberate? That’s why mass in cathedral’s makes you feel elated. But when it’s your kids crying or the TV blasting, we need to get rugs pronto. Why? Because rugs absorb sound! Yes, you’ll need the big 8’ x 10’ or bigger rugs as they are in a Great Room. Remember that you can always group multiples of the same rug together for a custom look without the custom price. Same goes for your walls. Place artwork -go over-sized- as it will make your room feel more personal and additionally help mitigate sound.

5.    Molding/Decorative Trim. Great Rooms have walls for days. An excellent way to add visual interest and to lower the height and make the space more intimate is by adding decorative molding. And, did I mention it also adds architectural character?! Don’t by shy, explore the variety of profiles out there. It’s time to make a statement.

I hope all these pointers help all those Great Room lovers and owners that adore their space, but feel stuck on the next step to take in order for their rooms to feel Grand yet personal and inviting.