7 easy (and affordable) ways to make your shelves look like a Pinterest board

Want to transform your uninspiring shelves to ones that’ll earn you bragging rights? With just a few simple tweaks, you can take your shelfie-game to the next level, worthy of any Pinterest interior boards.

Whether you’re working with a big or smaller space, there are SO many great products on the high street to achieve ‘the look’ on a budget. Here’s how…

1. Symmetry

The human eye is designed to find symmetrical patterns (who knew), so it’s no wonder that repetition will help create balance overall. These could be vases, ceramics, ornaments; literally anything goes.

STYLING TIP: Choosing multiple objects in the same colour and size will instantly add visual interest and draw focus.

Photos courtesy of

2. Mix’n’match

But if you’re not one for repetition, then opt for different sizes and shapes, otherwise known as asymmetry. Pair together mismatched items in odd numbers (basically 1 or in groups of 3, 5, 7) but try to keep some coordinating elements for this to work i.e. objects similar texture or print.

STYLING TIP:Try staggering the placement of objects in front of each other to they’re not level to create depth, especially If you have a deep shelf.

Photo courtesy of H&M Home “Calming Space’

3. Texture

They say variety is the spice of life, which is ultimately true in this case because by pairing different textures together will not only create interest but add a electric touch to your shelves. I.e. Play with clear or coloured glass, or mix patterned ceramics with raw finishes – the possibilities are endless!

STYLING TIP: Have a loose theme in mind when doing this, if you’re into natural textures then try mixing wood with woven textures, smooth with coarse etc the more contrast the better!

A masterclass in organic textures from @zarahome

4. Add some greenery

Greenery is a clever way to inject some freshness into the room to either brighten up or break up the space. Go for artificial plants if you’re not blessed with green fingers.

STYLING TIP: Experiment with different types of plants leaves or even an overflowing, hanging plant to make it feel more relaxed.

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Photography courtesy of Ponce City Market

5. Decorative accessories

The right accessories can really make a strong impact and these come in the form of small stylish boxes, decorative candles, or rustic trays to organise your shelf – it’s not about being extremely tidy but more about giving everything a purpose and place.

STYLING TIP: These are great either standalone or placed on top of a stack of books/magazines to create more dimension.

The impossibly chic shelf styling by @ker_webb

6. If it’s not cute, hide it!

Beautiful shelves also need to be functional, so a smart way to declutter and store all your random bits that don’t work with the scheme is to keep it out of sight with baskets, which come in a plethora of shapes, sizes and textures, choose one that works with your look.

STYLING TIP: Woven baskets or Rattan boxes are stylish alternative to rigid unappealing boxes, and also hide a multitude of sins.

Photo courtesy of H&M Home

7. Negative space

The final step in the process is to stand back and edit; is it too busy? or too sparse perhaps? Learn to trust your inner “something feels off” instinct, and if that happens then either rethink the layout or take one thing out and allow it room to breathe. The art of negative space is to appreciate the empty area around the objects, and the best part is, it’s free.

STYLING TIP: Less is more if you have a narrow shelf and obviously opt for more narrow shaped objects too. Sometimes introducing artwork behind helps to create the illusion of space depth and space.

Photography: Sharyn Cairns, Project name: Toorak House 2, Designer: Studio Griffiths

Finally, just have fun and enjoy the process! This is the perfect opportunity to get creative and express your personality with pieces that speak to your style and aesthetic.

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But If you need some inspo as a kickstarter then look no further:


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