What to put on shelves in the living room

Are you thinking of decorating the shelves of your living room? If you are confused about what to put on the shelves in your living room, you should not worry. In this article, I will discuss what to put on shelves in the living room in an effective way.

Built-in shelves are the most simplistic way to give a room a smart and diverse feeling while surrounding oneself with the things that express your choice. It requires some decorative styling, but once the categorized collections are organized perfectly, it gives a layered, balanced, and sophisticated feel to space.

This categorized decoration lets your guest get an idea about your choice. The process is beneficial for those people who have limited areas in their living room. Because built-in shelves don’t require one to buy extra pieces of display cabinets while providing generous display space, it saves both money and space, but some people become confused about what to put on shelves, and they put the wrong pieces. Thus, they fail to create the expected outlook to the living room.

Therefore, in this article, I will give an overview of what to put on shelves in the living room with some easy steps. So, if you don’t want to miss the information, stay tuned with me.

What are built-in shelves?

Built-in shelves are a permanent piece of furniture attached to the wall of the room. They are specially used in the living room in order to decorate the books or other pieces of showpiece on the shelves. Generally, the shelves of the living room indicate those built-in shelves. The built-in shelves are efficient to fill an empty space with diverse colors and pieces to create a glamorous look in the living room.

The built-in shelves can also be used between the two windows of the living room to decorate the room without creating a blockade in front of the window. You can also make open shelves in the living room instead of built-in shelves.

Benefits of open or built-in shelves in the living room:

  • Shelves offer a great storage space
  • One can display his dearest showpieces on the shelves properly
  • Shelves in the living room help to organize items and make the room stylish
  • Shelves provide a modern look to the whole living room’s interior

What to put on shelves in the living room

Before putting items on the shelves, it is more important to decide how you want to decorate the shelves. So, make a draft in your mind about how you will put the items and where they will be placed. It will make your task easier to gather the items and eventually to put things on the shelves in the living room. Generally, people put the following things on the shelves in the living room:

Small Bonsai Plants: As you know, anything with a green touch creates a fresh feeling and gives relief to our eyesight. One can decorate the shelves with little bonsai plants. It is also possible to decorate with creeper types of plants on the shelves. The implementation of trees will increase the beauty and get some maintenance work to do with the bonsai.

Books: If you have a bunch of interesting books, they can be a great source of decoration. Try to keep the books horizontally and vertically to create a balanced look and simple look. Since they are flat items, one can use them in the back of the shelves to create an interesting background for the other pieces of items.

Vases, pitchers, bowls, baskets, and other vessels: There are different colors, designs, and shapes of vases, pitchers, bowls available in the market. If you have some of them, you can decorate the shelves with these things. You can purchase some pieces as they are not expensive at all.

Picture frames: The picture frame is a decorative piece and a piece that can remind you about the memory and story. You can easily create a stylish look with the picture frame. Moreover, you can also use big pictures on the top of the shelves without hanging them onto the wall to represent a gallery vibe.

Small mirrors: Mirrors are a great way to brighten a room and are nice decorative pieces. If you have a darker living room, you can utilize the advantage of the mirror. They will create a modern look in the living room and also will brighten the room.

Candles: Another effortless yet designer trick to make candles an ideal decorative component is to place candles on the living room shelves. You can use stones and different plastic flowers with various colors around the candle to create a more aesthetic outlook in the living room.

Lanterns: Lanterns are also a unique piece of decoration that one can use on the shelves. There are different sizes, colors, materials of lanterns available in the market. Generally, black, white, and metal are the most usual colors of lanterns. This why most lanterns get blends with any space and color scheme in your home.

Other decorative objects: Along with this, one can also beautify the living room shelves by utilizing the old pieces of collections from a different variety of items!

Note: To enhance your living interior you can collect a nice artificial flower, Hung a quilt Stands or a painted image.

Some important things to keep in mind while putting things on shelves in the living room:

  • If possible, it is better to go for white-colored built-in or open shelves. Because white color blends with other colors smoothly, it creates a fresh feeling in the room.
  • If you have larger space on the shelves, you may be able to add several rows of decorative items to the shelves. Try to keep the larger items in the back part of the shelf and set the smaller pieces in front of them. For example, you can keep a candle in front of a large, flatter book.
  • Keep some items straight while keeping others plumb to create a more appealing view.
  • Never burden your living room shelves with all decorative stuff. Just because you have lots of decorative items and doesn’t mean you need to display every single of them on the shelves. You should be precise while choosing the items and hand over the rest stuff to another place.
  • It would be intellectual to start decorating with leaner things while decorating items on the shelves. For example, one can start with photo frames and mirrors that lean against the back of the shelves and create an interesting background for other pieces of objects.
  • Our eyes like odd numbers and so, try to keep items in odd numbers such as 3,5,7,9. That means it would be eye catchy if you set the items in groups by maintaining the odd number.
  • To create a complete look on the shelves, keep various sizes of items together.


1.What should I put on my living room shelf?

In this case, one has to decide what types of looks he/she wants to create on the shelves. If you want to create a cordial look to the living room, you can decorate the shelves with white-colored decorative items.
If you desire to create a modern look, it would be convenient to decorate items with color variations. A traditional look can be created by keeping books and rustic color items on the shelves, such as any old items that have a special meaning.
Therefore, one can set any small to medium-sized decorative items on the shelves, depending on the living room’s desired outlook.

2.How do you decorate shelves in the living room?

Since shelves are visible, it would be intellectual to be picky while choosing decorative pieces to organize them by maintaining few tricks.
Use a color pallet: pick two or three colors of items and display them repeatedly. It will create an intentional and synchronize outlook.
• Use books to decorate the shelves.
• Display sculptural objects that have an unusual shape. For instance, you can display a Moravian star, metallic orbs, and small trophies.
• Make sure the items complement each other and create a blended look.

3.How do you arrange things on shelves in the living room?

You can easily arrange things on the shelves in the living room by following some quick tips.
• Choose some unique and lucrative pieces for the decoration
• Keep less decorative items on the shelves to create an unoccupied look in the living room
• Use different height, texture, and objects
• You can give your decorating shelves a functional feature by placing the necessary items in the shelves’ bottom part and decorating items on the top. This feature makes the necessary items handy and easy to use

4. How to create shelves in a living room?

Generally, the shelves in the living room are made of wood. Pine, birch, and oak are the three most ordinary kinds of wood used for building shelves in the living room. Among these woods, Pine plywood is lightweight and is not expensive.

Final verdict:

Unquestionably, it is artful for people to decide what to put on the living room shelves. This task becomes trickier when it is about the living room. When the guest appears in the living room, the room outlook will indicate the owner’s taste.

However, you can display different pieces of items such as small sculptures, orbs, trophies, Plants, books, and other decorative items on the shelves. I have given detailed instructions on what to put things on the shelves of the living room. So that you can easily create a simple but smart decorated shelf in the living room, I hope you will find the article beneficial.

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