Remember when I tried styling my home office shelves several ways, but wasn’t quite happy with the results of my labor?

I think I’ve finally styled them in a way that I find satisfying. If you don’t remember, these are the different permutations of what my home office shelves looked like before.

First they looked like this:

Functional but blah

Then, I changed them to this:
Different, but still meh

And finally, I rearranged them to this:
Much better, but still not yet The One

I still wasn’t happy with that last one, though I felt that it had more depth, dimension, color, and visual interest than the first two. So I did say I would change it up a fourth time.
I finally was able to do so the other day, but couldn’t shoot because of poor weather. A bit of sunshine shown through this morning, so I hurriedly set up my camera (though still with the poor lighting and the requisite blurriness that seems to accompany all my photos).
Anyway, here is what I came up with:
how to style home office shelves

To me, it feels much more relaxed and spacious, as the most important revision I ever did make was to lessen the books on the shelves. I wouldn’t have done this had I not seen the top shelf already bowing at the back due to the weight of the books. So I just retained the books that I use more often (and those that I like having on display), and relegated the others to another spot in my home office/library.
Judging this arrangement against the notes I had previously stated about how to style bookshelves, I’d like to think I was able to include all the important techniques.

  1. Layer your shelves from front to back, side to side. Now before I proceed, notice that I made one particular revision in the middle of my shoot.From this:
    how to style home office shelvesTo this:
    how to style home office shelvesI basically added some smaller, propped up books at the back of the wooden cutout letters on the top shelf, as the wall seemed empty to me. Plus I needed to add more depth to this part of the shelf, and the books propped up on the wall instead of lying supine or upright on the shelf provided the depth that I wanted.
  2. Add dimension via objects in a variety of shapes. In my last post, I found that I had too many round objects, which didn’t really do much in creating dimension. So this time, I added globular, tall and spindly, horizontally crooked, and geometric objects (owl figures, miniature globe, driftwood branch, key-pattern cutout planter, my precious Sanseveria bacularis plant, and a small sharpener shaped like a vintage cash register) to provide a visual break from vertical and horizontal elements (the books and boxes).
    how to style home office shelves
    Those owls were a steal at P80 for the pair from Dapitan Arcade. The file boxes are from Ikea.

    how to style home office shelves
    The scalloped frame is from H&M, which I believe cost me P799, if I remember correctly. The driftwood branch was something my sister used to have; I don’t remember if someone gave it to her or she picked it up herself from one of her travels.

    how to style home office shelves
    Copper key-pattern cutout planter is also from H&M, while the succulent was IMHO an expensive buy from one of the sellers at QC Circle, at P100 (for a half-foot tall plant!). The cash register-shaped sharpener was something my husband used to own (and which I conveniently appropriated for myself haha), and the “etc” wooden letters are thrifted from a vintage shop along Kamias Road.

    how to style home office shelves
    Miniature globe was a last-minute buy at the Changi Airport from a recent work trip to Singapore.
  3. Vary the heights, textures, and colors of and in your arrangements. As I was going for a more asymmetrical (meaning not balanced, with each side not mirroring the other) arrangement, I needed to create more interest—and by this I mean employing the different elements of design, such as texture, color, and dimension. If my arrangement before had more or less uniform heights,

    this time, I tried to make the difference more obvious.
    how to style home office shelveshow to style home office shelves
    It also helped that the books I chose to display lent more color to the shelves. This is also why I propped up the Pantone book behind the block letters; they made the top shelf feel more vibrant (especially with the stack of mostly dark colored books) and reflected the same colorful palette in the bottom shelf.

how to style home office shelves
how to style home office shelves
There you have it! What do you think?
There are obviously plenty more shelves to arrange in this house, and I will get around to styling them properly….one of these days. No one’s in a hurry anyway, right? I can live with a little mess every once in a while 😉