Shelves and the things you display on them can become the focal point in any room. Because they do command such instant attention, dressing them for success – just as you will the rest of your home – is critical. Really good Sydney home staging calls for the same routine on your shelves as you use for the rest of your home. You’ll want your unit to be clutter free, harmonious in colour, balanced and beautiful. We offer a few tips below to help you nail the styling of your shelves.


Take everything currently on your shelving unit down. Arrange each item into groups of like objects – books, candles, framed objects, etcetera. Now look at them critically. You are decluttering your shelves here, so be ruthless. You really don’t want to keep anything unless you simply cannot live without it. Dispose of everything there that you do not need or love. Donate shabby books, determine if you have too many small items and donate the ones you can live without.
Now you have a more manageable collection of items to work with.

Consider the Shelving Unit

Whether your shelving unit is built-in or stand alone, you should take this opportunity while it’s clean and empty to consider the unit as a whole. If it’s built-in, should you add colour or texture to the back, giving it new depth and dimension? A simple step like this one can really electrify your shelving and its treasures.

Begin with Books

Books seem to be the most popular items in a homeowner’s collection. Take a few moments to arrange the books into small stacks remembering to consider colour as you do so. Each stack should have at least three books and possibly as many as 10. Try placing the stacks vertically and then horizontally – perhaps all the books on one shelf will be vertical while they are placed horizontally on another. You are looking for balance here, remember.

How Much is Too Much?

Continue to play with the content of your shelves, adding one item or grouping at a time with an eye towards visual weight and overall balance. Some dramatic items may claim a shelf of their own while smaller items can be grouped together in vignettes. Try to place important, weighty objects in the four corners to surround the other items. Don’t overburden any single shelf and don’t be too frugal with your look.

This project may take some time. You may change it 42 times in the course of this staging exercise. That’s okay. Most of us don’t have the expertise or the practice to instantly know where and how the shelf should be presented. This is one of the reasons why home sellers call in somebody with experience in Sydney home staging. We suggest putting the shelf together, then letting it stand for hours or even an entire day before you decide if it is right.

Add Artwork and Greenery

Framed artwork, potted plants, and other natural elements will give your beautiful shelves a final note. Be creative here. Lean a small framed print against the back wall of one shelf, then place an arrangement of small sculptural elements to one side or the other of it. As you ‘brainstorm’ your shelves, keep in mind that visual weight is important and necessary in the overall balance of your finished shelf.

Plants and flowers shouldn’t be forgotten in the scheme of things throughout your house. The same is true of natural elements like stone or wood. These pieces anchor your home and give it a sense of belonging where it sits, which is a restful signal to send to prospective buyers.
Dressing your shelving units properly can make a big difference in your final sales price. The entire unit becomes a compelling piece of artwork that will inspire buyers to think about how their collections and art will look in the same space. Please don’t worry. Your Sydney home staging expert will give you pointers and help you correct the balance if it’s necessary so feel free to flex your home design muscles – it’s good practice for your new home.

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