SUMMERY OPEN SHELVES DIY
Are you a decorating enthusiast like me? If you’re not sure, answer these questions… do you love blogs, magazines, and books about decorating? Do you change up things like pillows, vignettes etc seasonally? Are you on the lookout for new decor inspiration? If you answered yes to these questions, you are a decorating enthusiast. Today I want to inspire you and show you how to change up your open shelves (or any flat surface or hutch or built-in shelves) to give them a summery look… and you don’t need shells or starfish or sea glass or netting to do it.
One of the best diy projects we did here at StoneGable was installing open shelves in our breakfast nook. In a home that is 20 years old they add a big punch of on-trend styling. Bobby and I (and when I say Bobby and I, I mean Bobby) planked the wall behind the open shelves to give our home a new, fresh look! They were easy to create…see post and directions HERE.
Decorating open shelves has been both a joy and a challenge. Creating the right balance between proportion, height, texture, not enough, too much and way too much was a learning curve! But FINALLY, I feel I have struck a design that feels right to me!
To see a tutorial about how to decorate shelves or a hutch that strike that perfect balance click HERE. A must read for all of us who struggle with decorating shelves! Here’s an image from the post…the image will make sense when you read the post.
Some summers I feel a beachy vibe and other, like this summer, I’m not in such a beachy mood! We don’t need to decorate with beach-inspired accents to make our home summery.
This summer I decorated with a contrast of twiggy organics and galvanized metal and white ironstone! The look is a little farmhouse… a little industrial… a little fresh from the garden.
I don’t change the shelves each season, I just add and edit a few pieces. Although these shelves are not overtly summery, a few summery elements go a long way to giving a nod to the season. This is a great thing to remember as you decorate!
Instead of using plates as a background I used oval willow charges (Decor Steals). The are organic and dark and make the white ironstone pop!
A few more galvanized metal pieces were added for the summer. My favorite is the galvanized vase holder with the white ironstone milk bottle vases! Right now Lantana is growing like weeds around my home so they are in the three little vases. Adding garden flowers makes the neutrally decorated open shelves look a little more summery.
I brought back the metal cake pedestal as it works well with the galvanized metal on the shelves. I found this piece at World Market and it’s one of my favorites! Right now it holds a stack of dishes and bowls.
I think it’s important to vary heights when decorating shelves! Pedestals and cake plates are amazing to use as risers!
Speaking of risers, isn’t this small galvanized cake pedestal just grungy enough to be gorgeous? A tri of different size cake pedestals came from Decor Steals.
Notice most of the pieces like the soup tureens and bowls have dishes or platters under them. Those layers add lots and lots of interest!
Our chestnut bar sits under the shelves and I use the top of our bar as another shelf, of sorts.
I picked the flowers early this morning and put them in a white ironstone pitcher. The big galvanized tray (Antique Farmhouse) is another favorite.
I’m most comfortable with decor that has some symmetry. It looks neater and more organized to me.
It takes some “playing” to find the best balance for shelving. I spend a good deal of time adding and editing, rearranging, standing back and studying the overall look with a critical eye and moving items again… and again!
Then I usually walk away for awhile and come back later with a fresh eye! If needed, I do the process all over again!
Once you get it right…you will know! Can you see why I don’t totally makeover my shelves for every season?
If beachy is not your thing for this year, try an organic, industrial, farmhouse look! Yes, it’s a little different for the summer but you just might love it!
You might like to follow me on Pinterest and see what I’m finding to pin every day HERE.
Because we live in the mountains I’ve never decorated with shells, seahorses, etc. I LOVE this summery look. The willow chargers give it just the right balance making this my favorite styling ever! With the addition of pumpkins I could see this going into fall.
Thanks again for the inspiration.
I recently styled our rustic kitchen shelves in red, white, and blue. (Blog post coming soon.). Beachy doesn’t work for me ever. Love your shelves. You did an excellent job.
When we renovated our farmhouse here in France, we added open French oak shelving in the kitchen to complement modern white base units and a white worktop. It was the first time we had done this and the first time we had not had upper cupboards and we love it. We can change things around, it’s a form of decoration in itself.
I love this! It’s decorated just right for summer!
So inspired by your posts, Yvonne….keep them coming, love the little touches you do to your place, a joy to read & incorporate some in my lil’ space .Thank you 🙂
This took my breathe away. The willow chargers are just the right touch with the fresh lantana. I LOVE this look. Great job Yvonne!
Love these decorated shelves Yvonne! You always put just the right touch on SG, inside and out. To me the flowers add the cheery factor! Love all of it!
Yvonne, your shelves look great! It’s a nice alternative to the beachy decor. This look works with a variety of design styles; and would work great in my glass front cabinets. Thanks for the inspiration!
I have to say that I love everything you do …but for some reason these shelves really caught my eye. So much so I want to get rid of my rustic hutch and run to the store to grab some shiplap. Right. Now! I’m serious. Thanks for sharing.
DO IT TAMMY! YOU GO GIRL!
We’ve never totally renovated a kitchen or dining area, BUT I was able to talk my husband into trusting me to take off the upper kitchen cabinet doors and WOW! that achieves almost the same look as open shelves. For those on a budget or perhaps renting, it’s a sure fire way to change the look. (Keep the doors for when you move out!) BTW, hubby had to admit it looked great and really liked it! 🙂
Deb, what a great tip! I bet your kitchen has a whole new look! Thanks for the advice
Looks great! Like the idea of the rattan placemats behind the pieces!
I really like your ideas and how this looks and I think this is one of my favorites of your posts. I am a farm girl from the mid west and now live in the southwest, so a beach inspired look has never been something I have understood or done. Thank you and enjoy your shelves!
Love, love, love this! Beautiful…as always, Yvonne! 😀
It’s beautiful Yvonne! I love it!
And I love when you write “Bobby and I…” It makes me smile because I guess I could write it for my husband and I quite often too;-)
Beautiful, Yvonne. Can you tell me where you found the galvanized vase holder with the ironstone milk bottle vases. Your house is beautiful, and I love all your posts.
Hi Karen, I found this sweet piece in a local store called Country Corner.
I love this Yvonne, it’s winter down here in NZ, but i think i’ll go and rework the white bookcase shelves i have in my family room with your inspiration in mind.
It’s all expertly styled Yvonne and great tips for how to do it at home. I love the white dishes and how you displayed everything.
Thanks, Yvonne, for sharing your great ideas and practical tips! It was so refreshing to read that we can decorate for the summer without going “beachy” and we can do it without adding sea glass and shells! I loved your ideas and have pinned them for future reference. Enjoy the weekend….
Have to say willow chargers are so versatile ,can be used in several ways to enhance any area, especially your shelves. Love to see bloggers homes , peruse magazine pages, borrow so many ideas head is spinning with all I want to change. You have beautiful home you decorate exceptionally well.
I like to restage my shutter shelf in living room often, for season, holiday, just cause. For summer have beach/lake, bees, travel. The travel I use in other seasons also depending on my mood. I have art made for different themes but like to add to it, delete some for changes. My problem is having room to store it all.
Do you have special storage area for all your embellishments? Have found not doing as much for Christmas, as has gotten to be bit much to handle with so much else going on. Have found like it less decorated/simpler. Just too much to go thru, unpack, repack at end of holidays. Our house is too small for too much so has worked out better to keep decorating in any season simpler.
Enjoyed your post very much. Happy weekend
Love your new shelves! To me, nothing says summer like zinnas!
Beautiful! Thank you so much for your inspiring tips and photos, Yvonne. I have three shelves to install in my kitchen and was wondering how many inches apart did you hang yours? Is there a rule of thumb? I want to have room to stand some platters upright and to put my ironstone pitchers there which I could measure, but you never know what you might want to add in the future. 🙂
I like that you kept palette tight – white, brown, galvanized with just a punch of colorful flowers
Love this post! It’s nice to know that even the experienced sometimes need to do and re-do.