Thursday, July 23, 2020

Designing Shelves

Over the past couple years I’ve done some reading and researching on home design. Nothing too intense, but there are some great books (I talked about them HERE) and websites and blogs and all sorts of fun places to look for home inspiration. I stumbled upon shelf design, or what some people were calling vignettes. 

Today I’m going to quickly outline the 3 things to consider as you’re decorating spaces like shelves, cubes, mantles, etc. It is all about a matter of balance. These concepts are quite simple and intuitive: height, color/texture, and item “use.”
Let’s jump in!

1. Height/Size

I think this one you’ll find is pretty much a no brainer! You will always want to balance out the height and/or size of the decor pieces. Putting tall things opposite of one another on different shelves make things feel balanced- like a scale in some ways! The terrible drawing below is done by me. :) But I thought it would help illustrate the idea. I tried to draw the big and heavy things and tall things on varying spots on the shelves so it feels equal and balanced. (I had to come up with "decor" ideas on the fly!)
Now I wanted to show what it feels/looks like when this concept isn't utilized. This photo below feels completely unbalanced because all the tallest and heaviest items are all along the left side and the small things are all on the right. Doesn't it feel like the shelves are simply going to fall over?

2) Color

Again- another completely intuitive process, but it's a good one to really think about to keep balance and an all-around pleasing aesthetic. This time I have to use a photo instead of a drawing. 
The first thing to think about is the number of different colors used and keeping them in the same shades. 
I have a pastel theme on these shelves. (Notice how my bright raspberry colored mixer on the bottom doesn't fit at all? Such is life sometimes when your practical items get in the way. :D )
But I really only have a couple colors here. Pink, blue and mint. There is one small yellow measuring cup, but for the most part I have kept to those small number of colors. I balanced the blues and the pinks on opposing ends of the shelves. (Blue tea kettle across from blue cookie jar, pink measuring cup across from pink pitcher, etc)
And to reiterate from the first tip about size, I have balanced the cookie jar, tea pot, and pitcher apart from one another on each shelf as they are the biggest anchor pieces. 

3. Item Type/Use

This may be the least intuitive of the 3 design concepts I've covered. It may be the least important too, but I do think it does help with balance if you're unhappy with your set up. If it's a small number of similar items you will want to group them together. But if a large number of books are in one place, or all your plants (real or fake) it might be making it feel unbalanced. I like different items sprinkled throughout in big enough groupings that they still have some impact. I like to keep some coherency through out my spaces. I like to use trees, faux floral, wood and a lot of gold throughout! My biggest challenge in my cube organizer was to keep my photo frames spaced apart! It is definitely what I have the most. I also have some sections of books, greenery, and liquid vessels like pitchers and decanters. Only you know what you have, but try and keep it balanced into different sections!

I hope this was helpful to you while designing your own spaces! Thanks for reading.
xoxo, Love.Haight

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