The Shelving Store Blog
As the weather turns and you find yourself indoors a little more often, you might start to change your mind about some of the decor in your house.
Maybe the nautical theme in your living room isn’t quite working anymore now that summer is over, or maybe you’re just looking for something a little more cozy and rustic with the holidays approaching. We think we might have what you need: wood shelves!
An easy way to add a little rustic charm to any room, particularly one that you want to warm up for the winter months, wood shelves are easy to install, great for storage, and are easy to decorate. But what if you want to go beyond just storing things on them? Glad you asked! Here’s a few ways to decorate wood shelves to make your home even cozier:
Hang some pictures that match the time of year
If you’re anything like our parents, you probably have a ton of pictures of your family from various holidays growing up. Now is a perfect time to set up some wall shelves and start cycling through them. Got family coming over for Thanksgiving? Why not show off a picture of your daughter’s turkey costume from her second grade Thanksgiving play? What about your older son’s first picture with Santa, or the first time you all went sledding? It’ll help you get more in the spirit of the season, and give you a chance to embarrass your loved ones with treasured memories - isn’t that the point of pictures?
Books that you’re actually going to read
It’s just what it sounds like - some people keep books around just for the look, but that means they usually wind up getting more attention than the ones you’re actually working on. If you plan on spending some time in front of the fireplace, or at least inside with a blanket and the heater up, use your wood shelves to stack the books you’re actually planning on getting to in the near future to keep them in-sight and on your mind.
Organize everything by color, shape, and so on
If you have some knickknacks to display, and who doesn’t this time of year, try to coordinate everything to maintain a ‘flow’. Autumn colors with autumn colors, snow colors with snow colors, nothing too big or too out of place, and try to remember your weight limits to prevent anything falling off and breaking.
Arrange things asymmetrically
A lot of people have the natural inclination to put all their shelves at the exact same height to keep everything looking symmetrical and even, but doing the opposite can actually make a more modern and dynamic look. Vary the heights of your shelves to freshen up the look of your den and make it easier to put things on them in some cases. (Which is always helpful with heavier things like vases.)
Don’t let it stress you out
A key thing to remember in most decorating scenarios is to just relax and enjoy yourself. The longer you think about exactly what treasured junk from your mom’s house to show off on a wall shelf for the autumn months, the harder it’s going to be for you to just relax and enjoy your new decorations. Don’t overthink things, don’t spend an hour redoing one shelf until it’s just right, just let everything go where it may and remember - you’ll probably be changing it all after the New Year anyway.
If the weather where you are is anything like where it is for us here at The Shelving Store, it’s probably looking a little...bleak and grey outside right now.
Bad news for any of your outdoorsy types, but it’s great news for anyone who likes to stay cozy indoors, especially if you have a fireplace!
Even after you get it all cleaned out and ready to use, you might find the top of your mantel a little...sparse and wanting. Since you’re going to be spending the next few months in front of the fireplace, why not take some time to make it a little more decorative? Here’s a few tips to spruce up your fireplace mantels for the cold months, the warm months, and everything in between:
Add some greenery: Mantels tend to be made out of tough, hard-looking materials for durability and safety purposes, but this look tends to weigh down the rest of the room. Get some seasonally-appropriate greenery and plants to keep atop the mantel to avoid everything looking too harsh - some mums and lemon cypress for fall, lavender in summer, etc - and add a more natural look to your den.
Dishes and pitchers: Some of you out there (like my dad, if he ever reads this) might be balking at the idea of un-usable plates and the like, but these are a great decorative touch that tends to be the perfect size for mantels. Get some matching decorative dishes (the kind with fun messages or images printed on them, or maybe a kitschy souvenir from a favorite vacation spot) to line the mantel, and maybe some corresponding cups and pitchers. The pitchers can be used as ersatz vases and plant holders (for the previous tip), and they can be arranged to frame a treasured family photo or a picture you wanted to show off.
Theme it for the holidays: Mantel decorations don’t have to be permanent, and if you’re the kind that likes to get into the holiday spirit (whatever that holiday might be), consider the mantel as an additional surface for decoration. Line it with garland and lights for the holidays (making sure to keep everything out of the fire, of course), hide some Easter eggs up there, use it to show off embarrassing photos of your kids when their birthday rolls around...whatever kind of holiday spirit you’re in, the mantel is a great place to show it off!
Go for a nautical theme: When summer comes around, a mantel is a good place to make a little beachside setup for anyone that lives near the water (or just loves boating). Get some driftwood and sea shells for that beach-campfire vibe, set up a few lanterns and a knot ball for a dockside look, or even put a little aquarium up there. (Just remember to feed the fish!)
Just put your TV up there: Of course, there’s always slightly more practical uses for the space above a mantel - if you have a big flat-screen TV, you could use that space to mount your television and free up room on the rest of your living room furniture. Just a suggestion.
The weather is changing, the days are getting shorter, and even with football back on TV it’s getting to that time where even the most devoted local athletes have to start hanging up their sports gear.
Unless you’re part of a league (or the sort that plays a sport indoors such as hockey), you’re going to have to find somewhere to start keeping all your off-season sporting goods until the weather calms down and you need it again. Need a little advice or inspiration on where you’re putting it all? We thought you’d never ask:
For all the people that talk about how “email is the future” and how “everything is going digital”, it sure feels like you still get a lot of mail, right?
Maybe the previous tenant at your house used to get a lot of coupons sent there, maybe your bank hasn’t quite caught on to paperless billing yet, but whatever the reason, it feels like you never have an empty mailbox. And what’s worse is that it all starts to pile up after a while - the kitchen counter gets covered in dental bills, the entryway is full of phonebooks, and nobody knows what to do with anything.
So what are you supposed to do with it all, other than taking it straight to the garbage? We’ve got a few tips here to help you get your daily mail organized and ready for wherever it needs to go:
Get started in the entryway
If you’ve got an entryway, chances are this winds up being a resting place for a lot of your excess mail. A good way to start organizing mail in the home is to cut it off right at the pass and get some entryway mail organizers for your front room. Try to hang them right by the door or somewhere right in sight so you can see them and get your mail put away as fast as possible before it can clutter up the rest of the house.
From there: get sorted
After your mail has been safely stashed away, you’re going to need to figure out what’s important enough to keep and what can get tossed aside. Once a day, maybe every few days if your mail intake is slow enough, get some binders, folders, or something like a desk organizer to sort your mail by type. Bills in one stack, personal letters in the other, coupons/vouchers below that, or whatever works best for you. If you get letters or packages addressed to multiple family members, you could also consider giving everyone their own folder or cubby to promote organization.
Develop a system and prioritize
Of course, sorting the mail isn’t going to do a ton of good if you’re not actually doing anything with it. If you get bills, try to file them or stack them in order of importance or due date. Anything that requires your response needs to be addressed as needed, and anything you want to save for later (like those ever-present pizza coupons) should be kept away from the ‘active’ pile so it doesn’t get discarded by mistake.
...and try to make it a routine
Let’s face it: none of these tips are going to do a lot of good if you stop doing it after a week. Make sure your family is all aware of the new system (even if you have to have one of those awkward “family meetings” that people only ever had on TV shows in the 80s) and make sure to stick with it. After a while, you’ll barely even notice you’re using a routine until someone points out how that table in the entryway isn’t stacked up with flyers for the oil change place across the street. (And imagine how happy you’re going to be when someone finally points that out!)
The holidays are rapidly approaching, and this tends to bring with it a lot of stress about what to do: what to clean, presents to start buying, how to deal with your least-favorite relatives, and so on.