I don’t know about you, but styling shelves doesn’t always come easy for me. I often struggle to determine the right amount of items to use – the more items you have on a shelf the less of an impact each one will have, but with too few items it will look really sparse. Playing with balance and symmetry can be tricky as well.

I’ve been trying to perfect my shelving unit for the past few months since we moved into our apartment and, although I’m not 100% happy with it, I do think it’s come a long way. Since the basics of a good shelf often include trays, books, etc. I likely still have some tweaking to do, but I wanted to share what I have so far and see what you think.

(By the way, you can get all of the items I’ve listed for about $150 total!)

The Top Shelf

The top shelf of the unit is all Hearth and Hand items from Target! (Thanks to Chip and Jo for creating a beautiful AND affordable line of decor.) I opted to keep the two vases on the left free of greenery and instead play up the color in the middle with the mini cedar trees.

Although I don’t usually switch up my decor based on the season (my apartment doesn’t have the space to store a bunch of seasonal items), I did opt for pieces that are more of a fall and winter vibe, so they should work well until spring.

Shop the Top Shelf


The Middle Shelf

I was definitely struggling with the middle and bottom shelves. I do think the frame may be a bit undersized, and the faux cedar stem ended up being bigger than I expected so it reaches a bit closer to the top shelf than I would have liked.

I LOVE these brown wooden vases from Hearth and Hand, though, and think they look a lot more high-end than their price lets on. The cedar stem looks fine from afar, but close up it is very clear that it’s plastic, so know that before purchasing.

As a note, I didn’t include the frame as it’s just a cheap item I picked up from HomeGoods a few months ago and is pretty interchangeable with any other similar frame.

Shop the Middle Shelf


The Bottom Shelf

As I mentioned before, I had a hard time with the middle and bottom shelves in terms of which items to put where. I settled on pairing the lantern with the pinecone basket, although I go back and forth between swapping the pinecones with the medium wooden vase. The fun thing about decor is that I have the freedom to switch it up if I ever decide to go that route instead!

One thing I do have to think about is what I will put in the basket come spring (pinecones have a pretty cold-weather feel) but I definitely have enough time to figure that out.

Shop the Bottom Shelf