BeSo chic. BeSo organic. BeSo boho. BeSo YOU. ...thoughts on design, fresh interiors + style from a photo stylist.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

#shelfie 101 : styling tips

In the age of the Selfie, we design-obsessed have a version all our own ... the Shelfie. Oh how we love a perfectly styled shelf. 

What is it about a well-designed etagere or bookcase? Is it the sense of order, the pretty mix of layers + textures? What draws you in?

I admit it, I'm guilty. Every time I see Emily Henderson's freshly styled bookcases, I'm inspired. Granted, I'm a photo stylist. These are the things we live for... to style, decorate, accessorize. Give me an empty bookshelf any day, and I'm ready to dig in and style away. Call me crazy, but styling a shelf is my kind-of fun!

I just recently teamed up with two amazingly talented women, Kelley Vieregg of KVID {Interior Design} + Emily Decker of EA Decker Photography. We were on location in the Charlotte area, in a fabulous kitchen designed by Kelley. I had the chance to add a few styling touches, and Emily captured it all in beautiful images. 

Shelf Styling

White Kitchen, Design by Kelley Vieregg of KVID Interior Design. Photography by EA Decker Photography.

A killer kitchen, right? I mean, this is what dreams are made of (especially for those of us who adore an all-white kitchen).

I so love collaborating with other creatives. I had such a sense of girl power with this shoot. These lady bosses have got it going on. So much talent, style + creativity.

This brief shoot has me craving more opportunities to style, play + collaborate. I also wanted to share a few behind-the-scenes shots and use this opportunity to share some styling insight. A mini Shelfie Styling 101.

I know there are plenty of tips out there for styling a beautiful shelf (like this one from Em Henderson + this one from Design Sponge), but I wanted to give you my spin on the subject. The first step with styling a shelf is to clear it of everything. That's right, take it all off. Start with a clean slate, and then start building with books + props.  I typically love adding artwork into the mix, but this time kept it super clean.

Bookshelf Styling by Patti Borrelli, BeSoStyle blog

Here are a few Quick Tips 
for Styling a Simple + Chic Shelfie:

1. Balance the elements. When styling shelves, it's all about the balance. You want to balance the colors and weight of objects. For this one, I kept the color palette fresh + clean since the shelf resides in an all-white kitchen. I wanted to carry that white-on-white look throughout. I chose to balance the whites with metallic accents and added a few natural textures, like the raffia tray ... making sure the right and left side of the shelf got equal love with pretty white shapes.

Shelf Styling Tips by Patti Borrelli, BeSoStyle blog

My goal was simple + clean. Of course you can always add more props + layers. 

Here is where I started...

White Kitchen, design by Kelley Vieregg. Photography by Emily Decker.

The balance was off for me. Sometimes you don't know until you start to play with the arrangement. I didn't like the groupings right on top of one another and needed to balance the shapes and colors a bit.  Just a few tweaks + edits ...

Photo Styling by Patti Borrelli, BeSoStyle blog

...and I liked the fresh result...

white kitchen, shelf styling, bookshelf styling, shelfie, white design

2. Keep the mix simple. I love a layered shelf with a mix of bohemian, eclectic elements, full of color + texture... but sometimes with shelf-styling, less is more. Streamlining the color scheme to a blend of two or three colors keeps the look fresh and gives the eye places to focus and places to rest.

white and metallic bookshelf. styling by Patti Borrelli. Kitchen design by Kelley Vieregg. Photo by Emily Decker.

3. Add something organic. In this scenario I mixed in fresh potted herbs since these shelves are in the kitchen. Plants like succulents are perfect for shelves because you don't have to water as frequently. You can also opt for adding organic shapes like driftwood or coral...or cut a fresh branch or two from outside and place them in a vase or jar (like I did for the kitchen island).

White shapes, white style, bookshelf styling, kitchen shelves

White Kitchen, Design by Kelley Vieregg, KVID Interior Design. Photography by Emily Decker, EA Decker Photography.

... Here's a glimpse from behind the scenes in this stunning kitchen, design by Kelley Vieregg, KVID {Interior Design}. Photo by Emily Decker of EA Decker Photography.

I hope you enjoyed this mini lesson in shelf styling. Share your secrets with me too + be sure to comment. I love hearing from you.



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