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10 Tricks for Living Room Shelves Styling On A Budget

10 Tricks for Living Room Shelves Styling On A Budget
Published on Mar 24, 2022
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Floating and ladder shelves have been in style for quite some time and add interest to what can often be a boring, empty wall! But if you have shelves in your home, then you’ll know how stressful it can be trying to decide how to decorate them.


We know how stylish they seem to look in magazines or other people’s homes, but when it comes to your own, they’re so much harder to fill. Especially on a budget, it can be so hard to find items that both work together and match the colour scheme of your rooms.


So we’ve put together some simple top tips on how to make the most out of your living room shelves, without having to break the bank.


Have a Hunt Around Your Home


You might be surprised by how many lovely decorative items you already have in your own home!


Things like photo frames, candles, reed diffusers, and even books make great additions to your living room shelves and you may already have them lying around. You may have already bought your candle holders or other home accessories from stores like Oka and completely forgotten you have them, or they could be better placed elsewhere in your home.  


So if you don’t have a big budget for decorating your shelves, then this could be one of the easiest ways to fill them without any expense. Try adding a couple of matching candles or house plants that you’re happy to move from other rooms, or have a hunt in the loft for anything you bought years ago and forgot all about!


Incorporate Simplistic Artwork


A very cheap and simple way to make your shelves look expensive!


Try to find line work or tonal shapes rather than busy floral prints or similar, this will help to keep your shelves looking modern and sleek, and won't need to be changed if you decide to redecorate at any point or change the colour scheme of your living room.


Stylish artwork from stores like Cox and Cox will really help to create a focal point for your room and make the shelves look purposeful with the right placement.


Many print suppliers also offer 3 for 2 so you can get mix and match designs that all look great on your shelves! You can also find great deals on artwork using our discount codes.


Stagger the Heights of Items


A great tip for making the overall look of your shelves work really well is to stagger the height of the items you choose! Choosing items of different heights creates interest in the shelves and makes it look planned out and well designed.


And the best bit is, you can create this all on a budget! The items you choose don't have to be expensive to look great.


For example, place tall pillar candles from stores like Candles Direct next to smaller picture frames or ornaments. Or you can even offset the placement of your shelves on the wall to create a more eye-catching design.


Try To Group Objects in ‘3s’

A simple, yet very effective interior design tip is to group your objects in 3s!


Odd numbers tend to work best for interiors, whether that’s cushion displays or canvas placements. This trick can also be used with items already in your home and affordable additions like books and house plants. If you don’t happen to have spare plants or books in your home, take a look at Coopers Of Stortford.


Don't worry if your shelves are on the smaller side, you can still try this placement on each side of every shelf. Try pairing together different textures and heights to create interest on your living room shelves. Following the 'rule of 3' will also help you feel that your shelves are complete and will stop you from thinking you need to buy additional items.


Add Faux House Plants


Faux house plants are super affordable and work in every room of the house! We love Dunelm for faux plants, they always have a great selection and are great additions to the home.  


You can find so many different styles and even colours. A flowering plant for example can make it easy to match to your current colour scheme.


House plants can also add a calming feel to each room which works well, particularly in the summer months. The most popular house plants this season are the Philodendron Hop, Peperomia, Monstera and Rhipsalis - so keep an eye out for those!


Buy Second-hand Books


Second-hand books are so easy to find and can be a great addition to your shelves that you've probably never even thought about!


If you’re decorating on a budget then this is a really affordable way to find new pieces that fit in with your current décor. If you can’t find second-hand books in the colours or patterns that you’re looking for, you can always wrap these at home using paper from your local craft store!


Our favourite places to find cheap books are discount stores, online marketplaces like eBay or a good charity shop. You can also ask friends or family to save old books they might be throwing out!


Head to Charity Shops

As mentioned in our previous tip, we love a good charity shop bargain!


You might be surprised how many items you can find that will look great on your new living room shelves. Charity shops are a great place to find those knick-knacks that will make your shelves really stand out and be custom to your style and home.


You’ll be able to find amazing candle holders, photo frames, vases and much more. Another top tip is to keep an eye out for unique glass bottles (or even empty wine or spirit bottles) that you can add your own candles or battery-powered fairy lights to!


Look Out for Discount Codes


Looking out for discount codes is always our favourite tip when it comes to saving money, but this can be especially important when shopping for more costly items such as interior and home decor.


No matter what items you’re looking for, or which website you’re shopping on, there’s always a good chance you can get a great discount code!


From 3 for 2 deals to 20% off, these small savings here and there can really make a huge difference to your overall budget. Try browsing through our favourite decoration and interior discount codes to see just how much money you could save! 


Remember: Less is More

An important thing to remember when decorating your living room shelves is to keep them clean and tidy. To put it simply, don't be afraid to leave empty space!


The one thing that can make your shelves look just like those in interior magazines is to be selective over which items you choose - and how many.


You don’t need to fill every shelf. Simply place a few things in clusters across the whole space. You can pick up lovely home accessories from stores like Made in Design which offer a unique focal point to any room. This will help your shelves look sleek and will also save you money if you're not purchasing endless items.


This can usually be a case of trial and error - so don’t worry about not getting it right the first time. 


Add Lighting

Adding a bit of lighting can really make your shelves pop in the evening and add a bit of warmth to your living room.


You can use battery-powered lights to outline your shelves, highlight certain objects, or even fill a vase. You can pick up battery-powered or LED lights from stores like Amara.


As with all of our tips, try lighting with a few different items. You can always change this up after or take some off if it’s not quite what you want!

And there we have it! We hope this helps you style your beautiful home, without putting a huge dent in your wallet. 

For more articles on how to save money on your home, check out our range of saving tips.

Charlotte Marshall

Charlotte Marshall

Savings Ninja

Being a full-time content writer and part-time shopaholic, globe-trotter and avid lover of all things food (and wine)...I love researching the best money-saving hacks so that I can help fuel my own passions, and yours!

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