I scour home decor stores for a living so trust me, these buys will really elevate your open shelving

Switch up the look of your display shelves - and consequently your entire living room - with these aesthetic decor buys

vase, book, knot and bowl
(Image credit: Net-a-Porter, Lulu and Georgia)

Open shelving is the natural place to display your very best decor finds. In fact, the very nature of the shelf allows your chosen pieces to be viewed at eye level, making them the main focus of attention. A carefully-curated edit of decorative objects displayed at different heights is the perfect way to spruce up a plain wall, IMO, so I’m on the hunt to find the most eye-catching and stylish home accessories to do just that.

If you’re in need of a little open shelving inspo then you’re in luck, as I’ve searched through the best home decor stores with a fine-tooth comb to find the home accessories that were simply made to be displayed. From sculptural ornaments to the chicest bowls and vases, here are the best buys to elevate your open shelving.

Our top 12 open shelving decor picks

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Best decorative objects

Best bowls and trays

Best vases

Best book decor

How do you decorate open shelves?

There are a few failsafe home accessory combos that will always elevate your open shelving. Some classic decorative options include: bowls, books, vases, ornaments, and candles.

Shelves, by nature, are flat - so it’s important to create height and dimension through your chosen decor. The shape and silhouettes of the pieces you choose are key - a sculpted vase makes a striking statement against a plain wall for example, and standing bowls or sculptural pieces are great options for contrasting with flatter accessories like trinket trays.

When it comes to color, stick to different shades of one palette (e.g. earthy tones or different shades of neutrals like cream, beige and brown) for a classic look. If opting for a tonal look, different textures will give the arrangement more of a considered feel. Organic materials make the chicest finishes in this case - matte and textured stoneware and hand-carved woodwork to name a few.

You can brighten things up by selecting one or two pieces in statement colors while keeping the rest of your shelving decor neutral. Or of course you can experiment with color a little more and clash different bright shades (e.g. the colorful book and stonework vase above) if you’re after more of a playful, modern scheme.

Valeza Bakolli
Contributing Shopping Editor

Valeza Bakolli is an experienced shopping editor. She previously worked at BuzzFeed where she honed her skills in all things shopping - from gift guide curation to spotting top home trends. Finding the best bargains online is her happy place (you won’t believe how much she got her Nespresso machine for!) and when she’s not romanticizing her morning coffee routine, you’ll probably find her creating a tablescape for yet another alfresco dining event in her backyard.