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How To: Transform Your Open Shelves

Transforming your open shelves to look amazing is easy and quick, not to mention it will drastically change the appearance of your space!

Open shelves can be both a blessing and a curse. Sure, they can show off some of your favourite pieces, and allow you to easily access these items. However, most people just shove everything they can onto their open shelves, making the space look cluttered, full and awkward.

You might be really proud that you have every Lonely Planet book and Time issue ever published, but displaying every one of these makes the whole room look cluttered and unorganised.

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The first step to transforming your open shelves is to remove every single item from the shelf. Doing this will allow you to see what is really on the shelf, give the items a clear and also allow you to clean the shelving itself.

Once this is done it is time for a clear out.

Is everything that was placed on the shelf meant to be there? If it was, put it in one pile, if not, put it in another pile. Now that you have your two piles it is time to start shuffling the items around the piles.

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If every shelf was full of books move most of those books to the other pile to be relocated somewhere else in your home. Leave a few of your favourite books to be put back on the shelf, depending on the amount of shelves you have, you will want three to four books on for every two shelves.

Next it is time for you to assess your nick-knacks and accessories.

How many of these do you have? How big are they? Do they look good on the shelves? Start playing around with the books and accessories on the shelving, see what looks good!

It is completely fine for a shelf to only have a few items on it, or to be completely empty! When it comes to styling shelving, the less items there, the better the shelves look. Try layering the books and accessories, leaving them by themselves and using different shapes and patterns together.

When you have finished this, it is time to consider if your shelving design works well with the rest of the room.

Assess what room you are in, what do you do in this room, are the items in the shelving there because they have something to do with the room, or because they look good (either answer to this one is fine!)?

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It is also important to assess if the items in the shelving have another home in your property. If the item is going to constantly be moved to another area in the space, try and find a permanent home for it closer to that space.

Once all of this is done it is time to relocate the items that didn’t make it into the final version of the shelving. This might mean placing the items in a box under your bed or it could mean finding another space for them to live where they won’t look cluttered!

The way shelving looks can dramatically transform a space. When shelving is over crowded and cluttered it makes the whole room look and feel small, but when shelving is spacious, open and clear it makes the space seem bigger.

Naomi

Written by

Naomi is the creative director of Silk and the founder and principle educator at the International Institute of Home Staging (IIHS). Combining her passions for interiors and real estate, Naomi thrives on styling great spaces for clients selling or staying in their property. Her stylish, unique and simple styling system led to her becoming an author of the book Ignite Your property Mojo and regular feature writer for realestate.com.au