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7 Professional Tips for Staging Wall Units and Shelving Areas

Wall unit shelving often has to pull double duty. Open shelves function as storage, but since their contents are visible to all they’re also the place to add personality to your space. You can use books, decorative accessories and more to create stylish shelves with just a bit of effort.

well staged bookshelves

Here are some tips to help keep your wall unit shelves functional and fashionable:

Cohesive Colors

Choose decorative accessories that are similar in color, theme or tone. Think of the wall unit as an opportunity to reflect the room’s color scheme. Select a vase that matches your throw pillows or baskets that coordinate with window treatments.

After you’ve placed a basket, figurine or vase on a shelf, take a few steps back to see how it blends with other items on the unit. Then consider how it fits overall within the room.

Creative Book Stacking

If your wall unit is used primarily to house books, stack them both horizontally and vertically for visual interest. If you don’t have enough books to fill an entire shelf, place a pile of horizontally stacked books in the middle of a shelf, then display framed art on either side of it.

Re-think Bookends

Think creatively when it comes to bookends. Spray paint a brick metallic gold or use a sturdy piece of pottery such as a filled piggy bank.

Modern Appeal

Modern wall units tout sleek lines and chic accents. To decorate shelves on a modern wall unit, less is definitely more. Leave lots of open space and choose books and decorative items that are uniform in size and color. Select decorative accents that have bold straight lines and keep things monochromatic, with just a punch or two of color.

Hide the Clutter

Use decorative containers to store and conceal small items that might make your wall unit look cluttered. Choose neutral colored storage boxes or baskets to blend in with your wall unit or choose colors that match the overall color scheme of the room.

Layer it Up

If your wall unit has deep shelves, use it as an opportunity to play with layers. Place a large piece of art or a large decorative plate at the back of the shelf. Use a book or small plate stand to anchor it in place. Add smaller pieces of art in front of the larger item to enhance the shelf’s depth.

Photo Op

If you’re not a fan of decorative accessories and you don’t plan on storing books, consider using the wall unit as a photo gallery. Display framed photos of different sizes on every shelf.

Schedule a free design consultation with a designer.

Each of our custom closets is completely personalized and begins with a complimentary design appointment.

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What should I expect?

During the consultation, you and the designer will discuss goals, wish list, and project budget, with the aim of designing a closet organization system that will:

  • Turn your dream into reality
  • Organize you efficiently
  • Create space for everything
  • Maximize your space
  • Create optimum visibility
  • Display your personal items
  • Add value to your home
  • Harmonize with your décor