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Tips for Styling a Dining Room with Open Shelves

Tips for Styling a Dining Room with Open Shelves

Open shelves have become a popular choice in modern dining room design, offering a practical and aesthetically pleasing way to display and store items. Styling these open shelves requires a careful balance of functionality and visual appeal. Whether you’re looking to showcase your favorite dinnerware or create an inviting atmosphere, here are some tips to help you style your dining room with open shelves.

Plan the Layout:

Before diving into the styling process, take some time to plan the layout of your open shelves. Consider the available space, the size and number of shelves, and how you want the items to be arranged. A well-thought-out plan will ensure a cohesive and organized look.

Tips for Styling a Dining Room with Open Shelves

Display Your Dinnerware:

One of the main purposes of open shelves in a dining room is to showcase your beautiful dinnerware. Start by arranging your plates, bowls, and cups in a visually pleasing manner. Play with different heights and layering techniques to create depth and interest. Remember to mix and match colors, patterns, and textures for an eye-catching display.

Incorporate Greenery:

Adding a touch of nature to your dining room can make it feel fresh and inviting. Introduce small potted plants or fresh flowers to your open shelves. Choose plants that thrive in indoor environments and have a compact growth habit. Consider placing them in decorative vases or planters to enhance the overall aesthetic.

Balance Open and Closed Storage:

While open shelves provide an excellent opportunity to showcase your favorite items, it’s essential to maintain a balance between open and closed storage. Use baskets, boxes, or woven bins to hide clutter or store items that are not meant to be on display. This way, you can have both functional and visually appealing storage solutions.

Mix and Match Decorative Objects:

Incorporate decorative objects that complement your dining room’s style and add personality to the space. This could include candle holders, art pieces, vases, or sculptures. Experiment with different shapes, sizes, and materials to create a visually engaging arrangement. However, be mindful not to overcrowd the shelves and maintain a sense of balance.

Create Visual Harmony:

When styling your open shelves, aim for visual harmony by considering color schemes and themes. Choose a color palette that harmonizes with the rest of the room. You can achieve this by grouping items with similar colors or patterns together. Additionally, consider the overall style of your dining room—whether it’s modern, rustic, or eclectic—and select items that align with that aesthetic.

Embrace Negative Space:

Leaving some empty space on your open shelves is just as important as arranging items on them. Negative space allows the eye to rest and provides a sense of balance. Avoid overcrowding your shelves with too many items and consider the proportions of the objects you display. Remember, sometimes less is more.

Regularly Update and Rearrange:

Styling your dining room with open shelves doesn’t have to be a one-time endeavor. Periodically update and rearrange the items on display to keep the look fresh and engaging. Switch out decorative objects, swap dinnerware, or rotate the artwork to breathe new life into your dining room.

Tips for Styling a Dining Room with Open Shelves

Consider Lighting:

Proper lighting can enhance the visual appeal of your open shelves. Install subtle, ambient lighting above or below the shelves to highlight the displayed items. This will create a warm and inviting atmosphere, especially during evening gatherings or intimate dinners. Consider using LED strip lights or small spotlights for a dramatic effect.

Use Books as Decorative Elements:

Incorporate books into your open shelves to add a touch of sophistication and intellectual charm. Arrange them vertically or horizontally, interspersed with decorative objects or plants. Select books with attractive covers or those that align with your dining room’s overall theme or color scheme. This will create a visually appealing arrangement while also offering some literary inspiration.

Showcase Glassware and Bar Accessories:

If you have a collection of glassware or bar accessories, the open shelves in your dining room are an ideal place to display them. Arrange your wine glasses, champagne flutes, decanters, and cocktail shakers in an organized and visually pleasing manner. Consider adding a mirrored tray or a stylish bar cart to further enhance the display and create a dedicated area for mixing and serving drinks.

Incorporate Artwork:

Artwork can add a personal and artistic touch to your dining room. Hang small paintings, prints, or photographs on the wall behind the open shelves or lean them against the shelves for a layered effect. This will create a dynamic focal point and draw attention to the items on display. Choose artwork that complements the overall style and color palette of your dining room.

Add Textural Elements:

To create visual interest and depth, incorporate textural elements into your open shelves. Mix and match different textures such as woven baskets, ceramic vases, metallic accents, or natural materials like wood or rattan. This will add a tactile dimension to your display, making it more visually engaging and appealing.

Seasonal Decor:

Change up the look of your open shelves to reflect the seasons or holidays. Consider incorporating seasonal elements such as festive table linens, holiday-themed decor, or seasonal foliage. This will keep your dining room decor fresh and relevant throughout the year while creating a sense of celebration and warmth.

Maintain Organization:

While styling your open shelves, it’s important to maintain organization and functionality. Keep similar items together and group them in a logical manner. This will make it easier to find and access items when needed. Consider using storage containers or dividers to keep smaller items organized and prevent clutter.

Personalize the Shelves:

Don’t be afraid to infuse your personality into the styling of your open shelves. Incorporate items that hold sentimental value or evoke cherished memories. Whether it’s a collection of family photographs, heirloom pieces, or travel souvenirs, displaying these personal items will make your dining room feel more inviting and meaningful.

Tips for Styling a Dining Room with Open Shelves

Create Visual Symmetry:

If you have multiple open shelves, strive for visual symmetry by balancing the items on each shelf. Arrange similar items on opposite sides to create a harmonious and pleasing display. This can be achieved by placing matching pairs of vases, candle holders, or decorative objects on each shelf.

Play with Heights and Proportions:

Varying the heights and proportions of the items on your open shelves adds visual interest and depth. Place taller items towards the back and shorter items towards the front to create a layered effect. You can use stands or risers to elevate certain pieces and create a more dynamic arrangement.

Consider Backdrops:

Enhance the visual impact of your open shelves by adding a backdrop or accent wall behind them. Paint the wall a contrasting color, use wallpaper with an interesting pattern, or install a decorative wall panel. The backdrop will provide a stunning visual contrast and make the items on the shelves stand out even more.

Incorporate Lighting Fixtures:

If your dining room has high ceilings, consider installing pendant lights or hanging light fixtures above your open shelves. The lighting will not only provide functional illumination but will also create a captivating focal point. Choose fixtures that complement the style of your dining room and the items on display.

Display Art or Mirrors on the Shelves:

Instead of limiting artwork or mirrors to the walls, consider leaning or hanging them on the open shelves. This unconventional approach will add a unique and visually appealing element to your dining room. Choose artwork or mirrors that fit the size of the shelf and the overall aesthetic of the space.

Introduce Unique Collectibles:

If you have a collection of unique or vintage items, use your open shelves to showcase them. Antique dishes, vintage glassware, or rare collectibles can become conversation starters and add character to your dining room. Make sure to arrange them in an organized and visually pleasing manner to highlight their charm.

Use Decorative Plates:

Incorporate decorative plates as part of your open shelf display. Hang them on the wall behind the shelves or display them on plate stands within the shelves. Choose plates with intricate designs or patterns that complement your dining room’s color scheme. This adds an elegant touch to the overall look.

Incorporate Texture with Textiles:

Bring in texture and warmth by introducing textiles on your open shelves. Use fabric napkins, table runners, or even folded tea towels to add a pop of color and texture to the display. This creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere while complementing the other elements in your dining room.

Edit and Simplify:

Lastly, regularly edit and simplify the items on your open shelves to maintain a clean and organized look. Over time, it’s easy for shelves to become cluttered. Take the time to remove unnecessary items and reevaluate the arrangement periodically. This will ensure that your dining room stays visually appealing and clutter-free.

Styling a dining room with open shelves provides an opportunity to showcase your creativity and create a personalized space. Use these additional tips to curate a visually stunning and functional display that reflects your style and enhances the overall ambiance of your dining area.

Emma Soleil
Emma Soleil

Hey there! I'm Emma!

Home On The Grove, A Phoenix-based blog, serves as an inspiration hub for feminine, casual style, as well as covering home & decor, home & garden, home essentials, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle topics.