Believe it or not there's both a science and an art to curating the perfect shelf of lovely things. Large retailers have entire departments dedicated to visual merchandising (making products look appealing so we want to and can easily purchase them). Small retailers adjust, move, and tweak until things look perfect and like you didn't try to make things look that good at all. Kind of like the perfect no-makeup-makeup look. But for a store.
We are told regularly how beautiful our shop is, what a great space we are to be in, how homey the store feels. And much of the credit for all these lovely compliments has to go to the amazing artists we stock (and exposed brick doesn't hurt!) But there is something to say for retail styling techniques!
Homes and stores are going to be very different of course. You don't line your bathroom counter with 12 identical bottles of shampoo! But there are absolutely similarities and cross-overs. Below I've included a few retail styling techniques you can implement into your curated shelves at home for that "perfect without trying" look.
1. USE VIGNETTES Vignettes are "a small decorative display or picture, placed just so", they're a special space that tells a story. And a shelfie must! Fill up the bulk of your bookcase, but leave a few vacant spaces to feature collections or special items in little vignettes. This is an especially great tip for knick-knack lovers.
2. USE TRIANGLES styling products in a triangle shape is a very pleasing way for your eye to see things. Basically this means giving your display a high point. This is a rather abstract technique, as the triangles won't be obvious right away, but look and you shall find! Think about this technique when displaying books, ceramics, collections, etc.
in this shot from Johanna Bradford's home you can see she used the liquor bottles, clock, glassware and trinkets to create a triangle shaped space amongst their stacks of books. This vignette really makes an impact because it is almost the only vacant space on the shelf. There's also a mini vignette with the feather and leather sachet. They look like they've been brought back from a great adventure.
The triangles on these shelves may be harder to spot, but they're there! For instance, the ceramic mugs and bowls and glassware on the left of the bottom shelf form a great wide triangle. I can also spot about three or four others. It's like the where's Waldo of triangle styling!
3. REPETITION How pleasing is it to see a whole bunch of anything just lined up so pretty. Tea cups, mugs, books, planters, art or frames. Keeping collections together is more impactful that dispersing them around your house. Placing a few of things here and there throughout a shelf can look busy and tedious but together, bam! Impact.
The mugs in Landmark's kitchen are a prime example of repetition at work. It looks cute and it's convenient. The glass canisters are also a great, although less obvious, example of repetition.
Next week, there will be a few more tips for shelf styling! In the meantime, let us know what your favourite shelf styling tips are! I'm sure there are even some that contradict these ones, after all, there's a way to do anything well!
*image sources linked in photos