Monday, March 25, 2019

How To: Decorate Shelves on a Budget

I thought I knew my passions until I had an apartment of my own. Then came home decor. Since I was a kid, I have been rearranging various rooms in my parent's houses and getting creative with decor. I'm talking taking old bottles from the garage and repurposing them into flower vases. Forget the expensive Pottery Barn and World Market pieces my mom filled our house with - my homemade ribbon curtains, painted armoires and framed "art" were the focal points of our home at a point in time (my poor mother). Fast forward 10 years with a slightly larger budget and empty apartment, I now have endless home decor options to fulfill my newfound passion. 

Since I am in college and share an apartment with three other girls, our decoration is a mix of our black & white Chanel and Frida art, gold lamps, faux fur and oriental rugs and accent pieces combined to create a chic-ish, hodge podgy, girly vibe. It is so not my style, but I love it anyways because it literally is so damn girly and cozy.  

I've already written a blog post about my final college bedroom so I won't bore you with those details, but even in the past eight months I've been in this bedroom, my style has evolved immensely. I mean, look at that before and after. Yikes. As my style evolved, I quickly learned that shelves might be the hardest possible things to decorate in a home. Too cluttered and it looks messy; too bare and it looks like you could care less. This is even a small bookshelf and it is still the most challenging decor task I have experienced thus far. Not to mention bathroom shelves. They can transform a bathroom, but only if done right. Even though my shelves will all probably look completely different in the next month, I wanted to share my thoughts while styling these parts of my bedroom and bathroom. 


Pinterest is your best friend. We are all aware of the OG inspiration website. This holy grail has endless decor inspo to envision your own concept. Not to mention, a kick ass algorithm that saves me every time. Ever get lost in the "more like this" photos underneath the photo you just pinned? Me too. I've also fallen down the interior decor "explore" page on IG. You should see the number of home decor inspired posts I have saved. These authentic photos of real people's homes have absolutely saved me. Not just from an inspiration standpoint, but also within my budget. I try to pay attention to particular details and save money were I can. When it comes to hardware and lighting, I know exactly what I want because I have seen so many images of homes that are consistent with my style. 

Take your time. One of my biggest problems that Bryce could actually kill me over is the fact that I get carried away when it comes to decorating. Whether it is a new space or an old space, once an idea pops into my head, I will do everything I can to make that vision a reality. This exact scenario has caused me to redo my bathroom shower curtain 10 times, or impulsively buy an entire vanity. Not a good idea. Instead of impulse buying (in any category), be patient and think about what you want and where you can get the best price. Which brings me to my next point.

Mix a few expensive pieces with affordable pieces. It is no joke that 90% of my home decor is affordable. This is partially because I often have such a limited decor budget (even though I frequently blow it) and partially because I can find cheap pieces that look like they are straight from West Elm. I am talking wicker baskets, heavy throws, marble trinkets, woven dish towels... I am constantly dragging Bryce to TJ Maxx, Target, Home Goods and World Market to look for the must-have piece that I usually never find. The plus: it has brought out a whole new person in Bryce. Through all of the begging on my end and complaining on his end, he has finally developed an interest in home decor. I like to say that I had a part in that, but if we are being honest it is because he is an 80 year old man at heart and secretly loved envisioning the perfect home just as much as I do. Speaking of Home Goods...

Home Goods is heaven. It is heaven in a store (most of the time). When the Home Good gods are on their A-game, this place is my heaven. It is how I have afforded to up my holiday dinner tablescapes, add light and airiness to my bedrooms, and of course, decorate my shelves. Sometimes I take it too far and leave with two carts full of moroccan poufs and cutting boards. It is like an addiction - you go in hoping the messy shelves don't have anything you need, but also hoping it has everything possible to redo your bedside table and maybe the kitchen table, as well. Then you end up leaving with another full sized mirror, two more moroccan poufs and a six foot tall gold lamp that you're going to replace the shade on. You see the problem? It's exactly like Target in the sense that you never go to Home Goods to get what you need, you let Home Goods tell you what you need. 

Books are a must. This is one thing I wish I had started buying years ago, especially with how rare you come across book stores anymore. Whether it is fashion books, interior design, art or cooking, they are such a unique and tasteful way to make a space look 1000x more chic and polished. They all range in prices, but do some digging on Amazon and used book sites and you will find affordable ones. I recently splurged a little and purchased the ones pictured above and it was worth every penny. Stacking them in different ways around my house has really brought the look together - put an expensive ass candle on top and you are set. This is one thing I will definitely continue to collect. To my friends reading, bookmark this blog post for my birthday coming up. Thanks in advance! 

Shop all of my shelf finds here: 


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