{shelf life}

notice the balance and interesting composition of this shelf unit, also the pop of color helps the shelves hang together , much like a tray on a coffee table would, by corralling the objects displayed.

as a shelter magazine stylist one of the first things you learn is how to style a shelf. just ask my assistants... shelves { & kitchen pantry shelves} are always the first thing I put a new assistant on as a lesson in balance and composition, it's thee best lesson for a new stylist!

{So for those 10 people that email me everyday and tell me that they want to assist me start on your own shelves and let me know how it goes...}

& for you readers out there here are some rules to enhance your "shelf life"

1. Edit your shelves, in other words if you don't love it, pitch it! 
2. Get rid of junk...what's junk??? well, anything that came from Disney circa 1987 is a good start. Anything with a logo {unless it's vintage} frames that have nick-nacks glued onto them. {* like glittery stars, and plastic cowboy boots} * note try to have matching or frames that are nondescript this will quickly streamline your shelf presentation.
3. Theme your shelves. color, shapes and items should flow, a theme helps this

This is a good start...so run to your shelves right now, edit!!! be brave and pitch away!

your memories are in your mind
and not on your shelves...

these are my own shelves in our beach place in italy, very edited and themed

you will notice that the shelves add a graphic element to the room
When we go into homes and edit the shelves to be photographed for magazines photoshoots, we are always surprised how much "stuff" homeowners hold on to. We always have a great time showing them how to restyle & edit their shelves. It's amazing how may things we end up pitching {with the homeowner's permission of course * although sometimes I'm not gonna lie I would love the just throw stuff out like crusty & decomposing wreaths eeewww}. Usually the homeowners we work with are pleased and thank us + they ask us to work on shelves we are not featuring. It ends up being a valuable lesson for them.

Take a look at these shelves, you will notice my picks are not super rigid, but all of the shelves are well edited. Your shelves should be personal , you are not shooting for perfection, just a simplified well selected presentation on your shelves. like I always tell my assistants 'perfect imperfection"

stacks of books fill this shelf in a graphic manner

adding shelves up high gives great architectural interest and extra storage

double sided shelf is a clever detail that could easily be put into the doorway of a room

simple styling is always visually pleasing

{all images via pinterest}