Home Feng Shui Hitting the “Wow” Factor: Decorating a Shelf

Hitting the “Wow” Factor: Decorating a Shelf

by Contributing Author

I will introduce the secret of how to decorate. The difference between a well-designed room and “WOW!” A well-designed room is in the details. Once you’ve picked the right wall color and become familiar with your new favorite piece of furniture, it’s time to put the finishing touches together, like decorating a set of shelves. “Wow!” Follow these 5 tips.


Even voracious readers need bookshelves with more than just books. If books are part of your shelving plan, create reading pockets that are balanced among decorative items such as framed photographs, small sculptures, and other collectibles. Sprinkle your favorite reading material with decorative elements. The same is true for functional shelving dedicated to craft supplies, bathrooms and kitchens.

Group similar sets of items with other functional or decorative elements between them. In the bathroom, place a basket of cosmetics between two different sets of towels. The craft room organizes fabrics in complementary tones. Experiment with different combinations!

accept whitespace

Overcrowded shelves can crowd and overwhelm your space.Leave a few wiggle room and blank spots. This does not mean that there is a hole. It may be more subtle than that. For example, try stacking tall books sideways instead of placing them on a shelf. Leave space between the top of the stack and the shelf above it. Do not wedge the item tightly. Leave a small gap to allow the shelving units and behind walls to breathe a bit.

Jazz up the background

The often overlooked back panel of the bookcase is a canvas just waiting to bring your space to life! Paint the inside of the bookshelf a little darker than the wall color. Alternatively, choose complementary paint, decorative patterned paper, or a mirror. Be creative. If you’re really into something different, try alternating two complementary colors, or a solid color and a simple pattern behind every other shelf.

get eye level

Sit in a chair in your room and see which shelf is at eye level. This should be the focus. Use that shelf to feature photos, artwork, or other favorite elements. Then sit back and enjoy the view.


You can create the illusion of deeper shelves by stacking items. Push a group of books back and place a small piece of art in front of it. Use natural items such as corals and stones before framing or matte prints. The one-two (or three!) punch of the elements tricks the eye into seeing deeper space than the shelf actually has.

Ange Cho

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