Interior Design: Shelf displays

Published by: Elizabeth Gormley
Published on: 2010-01-10 15:26:13

Maybe you have a collection you would like to display in your home in Connecticut, like miniature plates, dolls, stones, or candles.  Or maybe you just have a few framed photographs and accessories you would like to make more visible.  Shelf displays are a great way to organize and design in any given room of your home.  From color to theme, the entire thing can be a work of art in itself.  Just follow a few simple steps and you will have an admirable conversation piece, a shelf display of which you will be proud.

To begin, it is important that the shelving piece is clean.  Dust before painting or staining, or arranging.  Then, decide on color.  It should suit the overall color of the room.  You might go for the same hue as the broad windowsill or door frame.  An earth tone like chocolate brown or steel blue will be minimalist sophisticate.  If your display is a nautical theme, consider navy blue or white.  Keep in mind that the color of the shelving should make the display stand out—so don't display light-colored items on beige or white.  Handsome contrasts are key to visibility.  Also, you might think about a stencil on your shelving, but keep it simple because you don't want it to overpower your items.

Your display items may have a theme or they may not—it really doesn't matter.  What counts is the general aesthetic of the shelf display as a whole.  If something seems too small and out-of-place, pick a favorite hardcover book upon which to place it.  If you have a color photograph, surround it with candles that compliment the colors in the picture.  The picture frame itself might be incorporated into your display.  You can use a brown leather, studded frame for a Western display, with miniature horses and maybe a small cactus.  Consider an elegant, stainless frame if you have retro pieces on display, 1950s cars or dolls from that era.

Whatever you decide upon, it's important not to overcrowd.  Prioritize and decide what matters most.  Leave some empty spaces on the shelves so it isn't cluttered and overwhelming.  Balance the size of the items.  A plate on display beside three miniature dolls will be better than one whole shelf of large items and one whole shelf of small items.  However, special collections should always be kept together.  A shelf display may simply present one hobby or passion.  There may be a succession of family photographs arranged from long ago to the present, on faux-aged wood.  There may be coins on display, the most common pieces at the bottom and the most rare at the top.  You can paint the shelves a green the color of money.

There are limitless possibilities with shelf displays.  You might consider an uplight below, or spotlight above your display.   Regardless, color and arrangement are key design factors that will affect the aesthetic as a whole, no matter what you want to present, exhibit, and proudly show off.


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