First things first, this isn’t a ‘how to style a shelf’ post, I’m not there yet. It’s just a little ramble about trying to get the hang of making a surface or set of shelves look casually cool – styled, but in a way that’s actually usable at the same time. I have been wanting to blog more about home stuff for a while and have this big mental block around making it all look lovely and perfect. But I decided to actually take more of a ‘sod it’ approach and share some snaps of a ‘work in progress’ for a post and take it from there, rather than try and pretend I’m some sort of interiors expert – when I’m far from it. But it is something I really love and enjoy.
The shelves here are from my office. They’re the Expedit (now known as Kallax) style from Ikea. We’ve had them for years. Sometimes I wish I got them in white, but others I am pleased they’re in the wood colour as means it’s a break from the all white office walls. Plus with the white boxes and baskets it might look *too* white, if that’s even a thing in blog land?
I use these shelves to store lots of beauty products that arrive. Generally all body and hair products are stored here. Along with some of my camera equipment and some books. Plus random items I have blogged and need to take/return to their home that get put on the top so I take them with me when I leave the room. I have a few prints that have mostly been accumulated over the years as personalised/blog names that I want to keep in my office. I have a few perfume bottles too, as I tend to use these here last thing before I leave. Basically, it’s all a bit of a mess as there’s a lot of stuff. As much as I love the idea of a carefully styled, minimal series of shelves with a single item in each cube – that just doesn’t happen for me. I need to be realistic, use the storage carefully and then if there’s surface space left – that’s where I can try and make it look pretty.
Above is a snap of how it was all looking before I decided to give them a bit of a switch around and ‘re-style’ them. One habit I tend to have when it comes to home stuff is that once I find a way an item works/a home for it – I tend to return to that and struggle to get my head around alternative ways it could be used. For example, the pictures on the top – once I had them placed leaning here, I struggle to imagine them in other places?! Odd… and something I’m trying to break. Switching around the locations for items you already have is sort of the home equivalent of ‘shop my stash’ – a good way of refreshing a space, without spending any cash.
I purposely took the above photo looking as messy as it is. For one, it’s a nice dose of reality for you. My office does NOT look like a Pinterest board most of the time. Most of the time there’s a blend of chaos of dog toys/beauty samples/photography bits and paper work or random notepads with lists scattered on any surface you can see. This is an example of the chaos – and even this isn’t that bad. To see it in it’s full context… check out the rest of the clutter?! A mix of products I’ve taken photos of, some that have just arrived and aren’t stored away or used yet. Blankets, photo props… the list of mess goes on.
I kept the overall ‘structure’ of the shelves the same. With the white boxes at the bottom. I felt it wouldn’t look balanced if I moved them higher. The white wood baskets (all Ikea’s finest) are where I put the ‘incoming’ things mostly. I have one that has some backdrop things I use, another has my Dyson hair dryer and every day hair styling bits – as I tend to do this downstairs, so keep them where they’re easy to reach. The other two are where make-up or skincare bits go before I put them away properly into the ‘to try’ storage.
This is the current ‘After’. It’s not perfect. But I’ll tell you what I changed and what I’m still not quite happy with. I tidied up the ‘incoming’ baskets. Putting some things I want to try away in their proper homes. The basket on the left still has some of the backdrop bits I use regularly, they’re just folded a but better now. I tidied the baskets so they only have products up to their top, rather than over flowing.
I then re-arranged the two shelves with books. Taking away the smaller ‘bitty’ things that were in there and bringing all the books I keep in my office together here. I will probably add a few more here so they’re both full and neatly lined up.
Then the top shelf. This is the bit I find the most tricky! I have a trio of these pink gift/hat boxes from Ikea that I keep some of my LUSH products in. Previously I had them stacked so one was up there with a silvery box from the MAC Mariah Carey mailing and the other two by the sofa. But I moved so the smallest and largest are now on top on the left hand side. The lamp is also from Ikea, and I like it but also know it doesn’t really work there so need to find an alternative. The corner can get a bit dark if it’s not sunny, so I want to have some sort of light source there – just need to find something that’s not this lamp…
The prints/pictures are all stacked. I was going for casual, but not sure I’ve nailed it yet. I think I need something bigger to create more of a height difference between each one. I also think I need to find a new home for the star light. This one I like mostly because it helps create a lovely bokeh effect in the background of profile/make-up photos… but I need to break out of my comfort zone and change that.
Progress, but not quite perfect. But that’s ok – I’ll do another little update as I make some more tweaks I think and share the next iteration of my Ikea Expedit shelves as they change again!
Of course I have been using Pinterest for a whole lot of inspiration and ideas for how to make it look how I want it to in my head. I’m pretty active on Pinterest so if you wanted to give me a little follow please do! You can find my Pinterest profile HERE. My ‘shelf goals’ board is below for you to have a little browse…