We recently did a refresh of the dining room shelves and want to share some tips with you today.
A few months ago, I decided that our dining room shelves were looking a little tired. I wasn’t crazy about the way I styled them originally and had not done a thing to change that. I knew I needed a fresh pair of eyes to give them a refresh. I called my friend Beth Harper, the Lone Rearranger, and scheduled a visit. Beth is so good at taking what you have and giving it a better look. You might remember that she is the one who helped hang the mirrors on the wall of our stairway. Based on the final look of our shelves, we have some tips for refreshing your dining room shelves.
Shop the House.
I didn’t even need to take things off of the shelves before Beth arrived. However, I did shop the storage shelves in our basement to select some items that have a spring vibe. I also picked out some things that haven’t seen the light of day for a while.
The very top shelves stayed the same, but we redid the second shelf. I previously had lined up some platters, and that look just didn’t do it for me. Beth agreed and got to work. She doesn’t use a formula or anything. She just arranges things so that they look nice. Here are some tips to use if you want to give your shelves a refresh.
Book shelves aren’t for just books.
Adding a variety of items mixed in with your books makes the shelves look more interesting. The little girl was an engagement gift (there’s also a boy), and she was antique when we received her. The pencils were a souvenir from Argentina, and the little tin they are in was an Ikea find.
Use what you have.
I bet each of you can shop your house and come up with cute and interesting items for your shelves. For instance, those shoes belonged to my late mother-in-law. My father-in-law bought them for her during World War II. She never wore them, obviously.
Use seasonal items.
I like to use seasonal items like this bird cage in the spring and summer. It will be replaced with gourds and mini pumpkins when autumn rolls around.
Paint or don’t paint.
You can paint or wallpaper the back of your shelves or not. Right now, ours are painted the same color as the walls. (Stucco at 50% by Sherwin Williams.) I know that in the future we can opt to change the color which will change the overall look.
Shelf displays are great places to use your souvenirs. I have mentioned here that I only buy souvenirs that will work in our house. The top pair of opera binoculars in this photo were purchased about 25 years ago on a trip to Estonia. The other pair belonged to Mike’s aunt and are quite old.
Use vintage items.
These bottles were in my mother’s laundry room since my childhood. Back then Lestoil (which is like today’s Pinesol) came in bottles like this. There were also green ones and amber colored ones. Mother liked them so she kept them, and I’m glad she did. The painting behind them is an old water color that I bought in an antique shop in Paris. It has been all over this and previous houses.
Use high and low.
It’s fun to mix expensive items with inexpensive things. Ditto for mixing old with new. It’s more fun when your shelves tell a story.
Have fun with it.
The bottom line is to have fun with it. If you’re like me, you take this shelf stuff too seriously. There are no right and wrong rules. It’s done right when it looks right to you.
Hopefully, this gave you some ideas on how to refresh your own shelves.