This post has been highly requested, by friends and family, our followers and even some customers. The Silver Mushroom Label Rustic Ladder Shelf with Wire Baskets has been one of our best selling products since it graced our website. We think part of its success, aside from its beauty of course, is the ladder shelves’ functionality. But how should you style your shelves?
When styling any sort of shelving situation there is a fine balance that must be struck, it can be difficult to find the sweet spot between the shelves looking thoughtfully styled and them looking cluttered, chaotic and crowded. Trust us, the latter is not what we’re aiming for.
Step 1) Functionality is Key
This is an element that can be very easy to forget when faced with 5 rungs of empty baskets. Functionality is actually our number one priority when styling any space or situation. There is no point at all in having the most beautiful house in the world and not being able to live comfortably in it because you can’t find anything. The same goes for styling a shelf. Start by making a list of what you need to have access to from your new ‘storage’ piece, we styled ours for our kitchen, see our list below for inspo. This should give you a starting point to work from, you can add a little personality and style later on.
- Tea, Coffee & Sugar Jars
- The Biscuit Jar
- Chopping Board/s
Step 2) Play with Heights
If you look at any well styled shelf, at first glance you will notice that everything is sort of ‘higgledy-piggledy’ in heigh yet it looks as though it should be exactly that way. Varying up the heights of different items adds visual interest and draws the eye to key elements of the styling, this breaks up the design and makes it more digestible.
We decided to leave the top shelf of our ladders for decor items, as we’re a family of females under 5’5″ we thought it would be easier to have the items we need more frequently on the lower rungs . We placed 2 stacks of mugs on our second shelf down, the shelf below that we placed our 3 Kilner Universal Jars (biscuits and other essentials), they offered a centre point and a lovely contrast in heights. Mix things up and play with your items, try them out in different locations, until your happy with it all.
Step 3) Books, Books and more Books
If you’ve seen any trends for the last year or two you will have noticed the common denominator is the specifically placed decor books. Now, you could just add any old book that you think looks pretty in-situ but if you wish to inject a little more personality into the styling then find a book that means something to you and the space. For example, find a recipe book that you love, a styling book that embodies your space or a lifestyle book that represents you! We have been loving the book ‘This Is Home: The Art of Simple Living’ as we’ve been trying to move towards a ‘slow lifestyle’ and this book has been a catalyst for us, so we thought it deserved pride of place on the top shelf!
Step 4) Less is more but too little is a bore
This is a styling tip applicable to any scenario. Again, it’s all about finding the sweet spot between your home looking jam-packed with clutter and as sparse and clinical as an art gallery. Our style lends it’s self to the ‘more’ side of the spectrum, we love cosy cottage styles, very much like our Soft Scandi Edit which you can view here. We often have to take a step back and remove a few items when styling our ladder shelves. We had a whole bucket load of pine cones ready to use on our Autumnal Ladder Shelves and that little voice in our heads was screaming to use the whole lot. Luckily we managed to resist and just popped a handful here and there, we got the perfect balance for us in the end. Again, everybody’s ‘perfect’ is different, but we always recommend opting for a little less of whatever it may be than you originally thought. We know it’s scary but give it a go and see how you feel.
Step 5) Don’t forget the Decor
The element that ties everything together is often the finishing decor touches. On our Autumn Ladder Shelves the little candle, the cluster of pumpkins and of course the beautiful garland bring the entire situation ‘together’. We love the natural look of having the garland just up one side, as if it almost grew there organically (and somehow sprouted fairy lights..). This final step is often the simplest and most straight forward. You have the bones of your styling, now you just need to add a little fun and personality. Why not bring in your colour scheme with our Faux Stems collection? Available here. Or add seasonal items such as mini pumpkins or pine cones, have a forage around in the garden or a local park and see what you find!
We hope you found this styling guide useful. We know that taste is totally unique to each one of us but these steps simply guide your personal taste in the right direction and should help you to get the best of it. Please let us know if you give this styling guide a go, let us know in the comments how you get on.
Have a wonderful day,