Philadelphia-based stylist Kristi Hunter knows a thing or two about curating a storage-focused, Instagram-worthy floating shelf. Whether you are a DIY novice, display guru, or just in need of a straight-foward place to store household items, she has you covered. We recently spoke with Hunter on her best tips to style a floating shelf with ease.
Figure Out Functionality
Is your floating shelf geared toward functionality or more for display? For example, are you adding floating shelves to your kitchen to store flatware, pots, pans, and cooking necessities that will need to be easily accessible? While this isn’t the most enjoyable part of creating a beautiful space, it’s the most important thing to consider. For a utilitarian setup, place items, like your favorite pan, within arm’s reach, while your grandmother’s China is better left for higher shelves.
Let Color Be Your Guide
At the end of the day, styling shelves is a matter of “playing until it feels right,” Hunter says. “There isn’t an exacts science, a wrong way or a right way.” Establish a color palette and pop in items where they fit best.
Focus on Composition and Balance
If your floating shelf will be used for an art display, BOXI by Semihandmade’s DIY Slab Floating Shelves fit the bill. “Start with larger decorative items and work largest to smallest, layering so there’s dimension, as well as enough negative space for the eye to wander,” she says.
Let Nature In
Plants are always a good idea and go with a range of decor. For a plant-focused shelf, go with BOXI by Semihandmade’s Maple Floating Shelves,“and start with larger plants, which often fit better on lower shelves, then bring in hanging plants,” says the stylist. Give any draping plants room to breathe, and be sure to tuck in smaller plants, like succulents.
Live With Empty Space
Hunter loves getting props from flea markets, antique shops, and local artisans yet cautions those excited to style their own shelves to take their time. “Learn to live with negative space and build as you find things that you are drawn to and make your heart sing,” she adds.