I recently restyled my shelves and what a difference it has made! There is definitely something to be said about styling a shelf versus stuffing them full with dishes! Here are a few tips I learned on how to style my shelves.
1. Minimize what you have.
By only keeping around the dishes that both get used and are loved, I was able to be more creative in the styling process. We do not have a huge kitchen or a bunch of cabinet storage so I needed to really decide what I was willing to let go of. Plus hiding things in dark corners never to be found again are not worth keeping anyway.
2. Showcase what you love and display it like a store.
Use your shelves to show off that beloved china and cake stands. Think of when you go into Macy's or Anthropologie and drool all over their kitchen section (that's just me?). They are usually displayed in stacks to be shown off not to maximize space. Your dishes deserve a little room to breathe so space things out when you can. As you see, my shelves are still full but with a little wiggle room.
For most of my inspiration I looked to shelving I have found online. By studying how stylists and amazing bloggers style their shelves, you will start to notice common techniques. My main inspiration for my shelves came from this print ad from Target (minus the deer as a pet!). The kitchen feels used but it also is well styled.
3. Use a neutral color and add accent colors.
A wooden bowl, colored bowls, and stacked cook books add pops of color as well as height. Because all of my dishes are white, my small collection of colored dishes add just enough color so that the shelves aren't too boring. Painting the inside of shelving also adds an extra pop of color.
My husband is a manly man. He is not the most careful person in the world and neither am I. But that being said we both are good about being careful when we pull things off the shelves. He has yet to complain about how I have restyled our shelves but he has also endured almost four years of constant redecorating. We also do not have children of our own and my nephew is too small to use and get out our nice dishes.
That being said, having shelves look like this is not realistic for all families. For us, yes, it is inconvenient. But I probably have to hassle with it more than my husband does and to me, having beautifully styled shelves is worth the extra five seconds it takes to unstack a few things. Because really, it only takes five more seconds.
I have five seconds to spare. So if you want beautifully styled shelves but are like me and also have to use them for the everyday, you can have both. You just have to choose that it is worth it and train your family to get used to it. And to be okay if things break. Things break when they get used. Things don't brake when they are hidden away and get used once every blue moon. I don't have stuff like that or worth that much money.