Maybe I’m just curious, maybe it’s the booklover in me – but I absolutely LOVE looking at all the various items people display on their bookshelves.

In a way I see it as a summary of their life’s journey so far… all the books they have read, random beautiful things they’ve picked up over the years, photographic memories, trophies, etc.

As years go by, the shelf reflects a charming accumulation of keepsakes, until it’s time to sell the house. In pursuit of trying to make it look presentable to the market, people realise that their shelves look nothing like the dreamy images you see in magazines.

But don’t worry. As professional Home Stagers, we see this day in-day out and are more than happy to help! These are our 5 Tips for some Shelf-Care!

1. Remove Personal Items

When it comes to selling your house, you want to allow the potential buyers to imagine themselves living in it. That means anything that resembles your life needs to go. It may sound harsh, but trust us when we say it makes a huge difference!

That means all your family photos, hobbies, personal hygiene products…. They all need to go.

If you need some tips on how to do depersonalisation properly, do not hesitate to give this one a read!

2. Choose the Right Decorations

If you are trying to do DIY home staging, you may find this to be the trickiest part of the process.

When we’re doing our selections of ‘knick-knackery’ to place on shelves, we take into account:

  • buyers’ demographics (which items will resonate with them and catch their eye)
  • what style we’re going for (keeping the décor congruent with the main style, e.g. don’t mix coastal elements with contemporary ornaments)
  • matching colour theme (reflection of colours throughout the house)

We wrote an entire article about this topic – click here to read How to Choose the Best Style.

coastal style integrated staging picture shows a wooden table with coastal furniture and elements with a shelf in the background

Decorations we use for styling shelves:

  • Trinkets (little statues, stone animals, globe, decorative spheres/boxes, etc.)
  • Picture frames (containing property magazine cut-outs; no people)
  • Books
  • Book holders
  • Candles
  • Vases
  • Pot plants/greenery
  • Baskets / storage cubes
shelf displaying all the different decorations, trinkets and books
open kitchen shelf containing a vase with flowers, cookbooks, bowls and a cutting board and three glass bottles

For Kitchen shelves:

  • Glass bottles
  • Cookbooks
  • Tableware (glasses, plates, bowls, etc.)
  • Cutting boards
  • Kitchen utensils (mortar & pestle, lemon press, etc.)
  • Greenery
  • Artificial fruit
  • Teapots
  • Salt & Pepper shakers
  • Oil & Vinegar decorative bottles

3. Add Greenery

This one is an absolute must for home staging. Green is one of the colours that stands out in real estate photography, which is why we need pops of greenery in every single room, nook, and shelf.

Plants add an element of nature, cleanliness & vibrancy to every space.

If you are having trouble choosing the right greenery, this article may help!

coastal style interior design living room with a TV and a shelf

4. Avoid Clustering All the Decorations in One Spot

The idea behind sporadic trinket placement is to avoid visual overwhelm. We want to direct buyers’ eye to travel, take in all the details, at the right pace.

Décor Layout Tips:

  • Don’t be afraid to skip some shelves completely.
  • Play around with different heights and visual elements.
  • Stack the books horizontally and place a trinket on top.
  • You can use greenery as well as empty vases.
  • Do not over-decorate the shelves, less is more, keep it simple.
home office with a study desk in the middle and a set of shelves behind it

5. Work With What You Have

This point relates to what we call ‘Integrated Staging’ – meaning you live in the house while it’s being sold, and we come in to stage it. Using a combination of our & your furniture and decorations, the result is always a unique look, which is why we love it!

When it comes to styling your bookshelves, we work with what you have.

That means we remove your personal items, but keep the books and decorations (provided they’re congruent with our style and colour theme). Sometimes all that we need to do is rearrange the layout and add some of our ‘fluff’.

Here are some examples of integrated staging shelves we’ve done for our clients in the past.

a bookshelf portraying integrated staging - old books, clients decorations in combination with some of our decorations

Thanks for reading! We sincerely hope you got some value out of this.

If in doubt, (paraphrasing our Property Stylists) – “Just do what feels right”.

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By |2021-02-26T12:45:20+10:00February 26th, 2021|DIY, Home Staging Tips|

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