20160616_104539I had the fun opportunity to visit my friend, Jess, her husband and 10 month old baby for a few days and see her new home.  Jess was my personal trainer and we developed a wonderful friendship.  Sadly, for me, she moved away to be closer to her family in Missouri, but we have stayed in touch.

While I was visiting, she enlisted my help in decorating her new home. We decided to style her built-in shelves in her great room.  This room is one big room with her kitchen and dining area.  It will be the perfect space to entertain and gather for family meals.

One of my favorite things to do is style shelves.  I think it comes from growing up on Meadowbrook Drive.  Mother always had built-ins and she loved to stack books and treasures.  Jess was a willing participant and had an idea of what she wanted the finished product to look like.  We decided to go with items that had texture, varying heights, and looked like “found” pieces.  It was really important to Jess to use neutral, minimal color.  She is going to pull in color with pillows, a throw and flowers.

We started with the shelves like this…

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Jess has only lived in the house a few weeks.  So what was put on the shelves was literally unpacked from a box and placed so the boxes could be disposed of.    Before we went shopping we snapped pics of the bookshelves to help us make our choices at Target one evening and Hobby Lobby the next day.

Once we got home with all the purchases, we cleared everything off the shelves and adjusted each shelf so they were varying heights.  We unwrapped everything and laid it out on the floor.  I also shopped her house for other items, in particular books.  A very simple trick for bringing color into your room, is removing the paper covers off your books to expose the spine.  I like to group books into color categories.  If it’s important to you to retain the covers, then put them away in a file folder to reunite them later on.  Jess didn’t care so we threw the covers away.

Here are some beautiful vignettes from her shelves…


20160616_103808These gold pineapple bookends from Hobby Lobby were only $24.99.  Set upon a lucite base, they look very high-end.  See how we grouped the books with all the dark spines together?


This was one of Jess’s books, a gift from her mother.  I loved it because each page held a different quote.  Another fun tip is to open your coffee table books to a beautiful page to add interest.  Turn the page when you want a new pop of color.  When her mother comes to visit, it will please her to know her gift is on display.

The mirror is actually for the wall, but in this case we used it as a tray. She can always change it up and hang it on the wall later.

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The frame (which Jess will fill with a photo later) was from Target.  We liked the wooden base.  I loved the message in a bottle and gold feather we found at Hobby Lobby.

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20160616_104200The galvanized “C” we will hang on the wall. Don’t be afraid to hang items on the backs of your bookshelves.  I placed a fun wooden sphere on a stack of books.  The lantern is one of my favorite pieces.  It’s chippy and looks like a found piece.  The best part is we bought a set of LED battery candles.  With a switch of a remote she can get beautiful candle light without the worry of a real flame.  The clock is also from Target and she will hang it on the wall, although, I like the unexpected touch of it leaning on the wall.  We grouped it with a frame and gold votive tea light.  When you are arranging decor, try to group items in odd numbers, like 3s and 5s.  If you look back at the beginning photo you will see we adjusted the shelves to be seven compartments.


Anytime I can, I love to add the warmth of a lamp.  She had a outlet so I knew we could add this hammered lamp she spied at Hobby Lobby.  It’s silver, but don’t be afraid to mix it with other metals. Jess’s favorite piece of everything we found is the marble pear (which actually isn’t marble, but resin) placed atop a black candle holder from Target.

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The pottery plate and bowl, the vase and sculpture were shopped from her home.  Jess loved the idea of an orchid and it fit perfectly in the shelf as the tall accent piece.  I love the arrow candle holder we found at Hobby Lobby.  Again, we used battery candles. Jess is going to fill the bowl with green apples for a pop of color.  The beautiful, framed scripture came from Hobby Lobby.



We found the gold sphere at Hobby Lobby, put it atop a stack of blue books. The LOVE print Jess already had and we grouped it with the coordinating wooden sphere.

Jess and her husband loved the finished product and I have to say I do too!  The room looked so put together and zen.  It will be the perfect space to relax.  I am really proud of well Jess did carefully selecting things and embracing the change of her space.  I can’t wait to return in the fall to help her again with another room.  Welcome home Jess!