How to Style Your Shelves in Four Easy Steps

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Our home has a lot of built-ins, so I get a lot of practice styling shelves. One of my favorite parts of January is starting with a clean slate after taking down all the holiday decor. We spent some time cleaning out and getting rid of a bunch of extra stuff this winter, so I decided it was time to re-style these shelves. I will show you some tips that you can use in your own home.

Step 1: Start with a clean slate. Take everything off and start fresh. I ended up using a lot of what was already here, but by starting fresh you will come up with new ideas. DSC_0674

Step 2: Add stacks of books. Most of our books are on another set of shelves, so I just grabbed some of the prettier vintage ones for these shelves. You can stack them on top of each other, side by side, or a combo of both. I like to do both, because it adds interest and the stacked side works as a book end for the side by side end. This way you need less book ends! I have also seen books styled backwards, if you want to limit the color palette and just see the pages side. You can also style them by the color of the spine. Just note that both of these options are not at all functional. If you actually use these books, then the better way is to group them by subject matter. I once styled my shelves by color and finding the book I was looking for was not easy.

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Step 3: Add your objects by adding similar ones at the same time. For instance I started by adding all of the wooden items. Think about balance, and move them around as you go.

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Next I added the objects that have strong lines, like the metal horse, deer and tree. Then I filled in more with the brass vases. While adding your items, think about balance. You want to balance out the colors and shapes. You could also experiment with grouping colors (all brass on one shelf, books on another, etc…).

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Keep adding items until it feels right. I kept the top shelf open, because nothing really fit well up there. Then I had an idea!

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Step 4: Plants! I moved some of my plants to fill in the top shelf. I also added one to another shelf to balance it. Plants make everything better, so don’t be afraid to put them everywhere, even your shelves!DSC_0697

Here are my shelves from another angle. Don’t forget you can stack objects too. I added a small brass vase on top of a wooden box, and objects on top of some stacked books. Think about height on each shelf and white space around objects you want to highlight. For instance, the metal horse I love and wanted it to be a focal point. So I kept the object around it at a distance so that you can really see the shape of the horse against the white background.  dsc08891.jpg

I hope this helped you have some confidence in styling your own shelves. Don’t forget that you can always change it up, move it around, have fun! After seeing these photos, I already see a few things I will move. Don’t be afraid of having to make everything perfect, just get started and enjoy the process. A few of these items on my shelves are actually available in my brand*eye home shop, so as they sell I get to continually restyle my shelves.

Some other options of things to add are photo frames, small paintings, fresh flowers in vases; the options are endless! What do you love to add to your shelves? And let me know if you use any of these tips.

 

Easy Pumpkin Fall Decor

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I am a big fan of decorating and crafting for fall. And I especially love crafting if it’s easy! Typically I decorate using a general fall vibe, instead of a Halloween specific vibe. This way all of my hard work will still be appreciated through Thanksgiving. And it makes hosting on Thanksgiving that much easier, since the decorating is already done in October.

Here are a few easy painting ideas with pumpkins. pumpkins after

You only need three things: pumpkins, paint, and paint brushes. pumpkings supplies

I painted just the stems of a few pumpkins with a metallic paint. And on others I painted the entire thing. The turquoise pumpkin is my favorite! The one on the right is a black painted gourd, which also turned out really great.

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My friend made this cool one with a gold and black pattern.pumpkin gold and black

One great way to decorate your home with your pumpkins is to add a few of them to a tray. Odd numbers work best. Then fill around the pumpkins with some colorful leaves. pumpkin after

I hope this gave you some new and easy ideas of crafts to do this fall. These pumpkins were all made with my girlfriends at a craft night, but these ideas are easy enough to do with kids. What is your favorite fall craft or decorating idea?

Save Your Coleus by Cutting It

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If you are like me, you love to plant coleus in your garden each year. It’s such a beautiful plant that comes in so many different colors and works well in shade. This plant is known for its leaves, but it will flower. When it flowers it actually takes away from the beauty of the leaves, so keep it in check by snipping off the flowers as soon as they appear. They are not hardy in our zone, so at the end of each season it’s sad to see them go. This year you can try this technique to save them all winter, and you can plant them outside again in the spring.

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Coleus at the end of the season before cutting it

Use a pair of scissors and snip off a few nice pieces of each coleus that you want to save. I suggest picking the hardiest plants to use. You want to have a piece that is about 5-8″ long. Just approximate, there really is no wrong way to do this.

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Coleus pile

East Falls Home

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The home that I decorated in East Falls is finally complete! This space is the home of my friends Holly, Dan, and their daughter Piper.  We started with a blank slate by using white paint throughout the first floor and up the stairs. Everything was painted the same shade, Snowbound by Sherwin Williams, even the trim. The house was previously painted yellow, and the white really brightened up the rooms.

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The asian flower art above I picked up at an estate sale. The green shadow box was from Joann fabric.

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The light fixture was originally black with chandelier bulbs. We spray painted it red and added new modern round bulbs, which completely transformed this light fixture. The total cost to update the light was about $30. That is a huge savings compared to buying a new light, which would have been at least $100.

red shelves

The shelving unit above is from IKEA. This shelving unit is very versatile and affordable. It comes in many different sizes and also in the more basic black or white. We wanted to inject some color into the space, so we went with red. The light above was spray painted to match.

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The view above is what you see when you walk in the front door. Dan had the great idea to use the Velvet Underground Andy Warhol poster. It matches perfectly with the smaller Andy Warhol prints. Do you remember them? They are from a DIY that I shared with you before. Most of them ended up in this space, along with some art that Dan and Holly already owned. The lamps are from Target, the side table is from Joann fabric, the coffee table is from IKEA, and the chair on the left is from Homegoods.  The cactus and succulents are from a wonderful new shop in East Falls, which you need to check out. It’s called Vault + Vine and they have a great selection of plants, gifts, and coffee. It’s a win, win.

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Dan also found the pillows below. How could I say no to Big Lebowski pillows? I couldn’t, and they’re awesome. The sofa is the Monroe from West Elm in celestial blue velvet.

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The entryway I have blogged about before, but here are a couple new shots.

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The amazing mirror and rug are from an estate sale. The secretary desk is from Craigslist, and the light and ceramic dogs are (mostly) from homegoods. Using a secretary as an entryway table is a great way to hide all the clutter that collects by the front door.

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You won’t believe the transformation. Here are the photos from before:

 

What do you think? I think it looks incredible! And all of this was done on a budget of 3k. That was the initial budget, but it actually came in closer to 2k. We found a lot of great deals and we DIYed where we could.

Let me know if you need help decorating your space, and we can work on a plan to tackle it!

Easy DIY Art

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Art is something that can be tricky to find, especially if you have a tight budget. Sometimes you need to think outside of the box and you will be surprised with what can be turned into art. I had an old (2004) Andy Warhol planner that was just sitting around taking up space, so I decided to frame the photos to make affordable art. You will see where they are going in a couple of weeks.

Here is the  original planner.

 

All you have to do is take out the pages, trim the edges to fit a frame, and frame it! Michaels and AC Moore are great places to find very affordable frames. If you don’t know which frame to get, just go with black. It’s classic and will match anything. And you can frame a bunch of random artwork with all black frames and they will instantly match.

 

What do you have sitting around taking up space that you could turn into artwork? If you can’t think of anything, you could just buy a calendar and frame the pages.

DIY Staghead Fern Mount

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I have wanted a wall hung staghead fern for an eternity. I don’t remember exactly where I was when I first saw one, but I know over the years I have seen them everywhere. I’ve gazed upon a lot of them at Longwood Gardens  and have seen them in magazines and blogs and of course on pinterest.  Most recently I was going to buy one at the Philadelphia Flower show on Sunday, but then saw the plant by itself for less than 1/4 of the cost of a wall mounted one. Knowing that I was staring down a week of “me time,” I knew I had to DIY it. I googled and found these wonderful directions, which is basically what I followed. I ended up using floral wire instead, but it’s the same technique. The directions are from Gardenista, and if you haven’t read this blog yet, you’re in for a real treat!

Supplies:

-wood to mount your plant to (I used a wood slice from a craft store, but you can use anything)

-moss

-hanger for the back of the wood (or two nails with a hanging wire)

-nails

-floral wire, or fishing line

-pencil

-hammer

 

Directions:

  1. I found it easiest to start by adding the hook to the back, so you’re not trying to do it with the plant hanging on one side. Add the hook according to directions of what you are using. I just needed to nail in the two small nails that came with the hook.
  2. On the front side, mark a round shape that is about an inch and a half larger than the plant base, on add sides, with a pencil.
  3. Nail the nails around the circle. I used about 8.
  4. Take the plant and slip it out of the pot. Then untangle the root ball to remove some of the dirt that is around the roots. I removed about half of it.
  5. Place a small amount of dirt in the middle of the circle and place the plant on top. Move the dirt around so that it is making a mound of dirt.
  6. Cover the plant base (dirt, roots and some of the bottom flat fonds) with moss. I wanted to use moss from my garden, but there is a few inches of snow and ice out there, so I bought some at the craft store.
  7. Wind the wire from one nail, up and over the plant and secure around another nail on the opposite side. Wrap it around each nail a couple of times and then move across to another nail. Keep going until the plant is secure.
  8. Place the plant and wooden board in a container of water and submerge. Let it fully dry.
  9. Hang it up on your wall to enjoy. From what I read it will need a weekly soak, but be sure they dry out between waterings.

 

Let me know if you try this DIY project and how it turns out!