How to Decorate on a Budget: Part 2

Last week I showed you Part 1 of my Decorate on a Budget series, where I found a buffet at Goodwill and refinished it in under $50! Today I'm back with Part 2 of the series. This edition is all about working with what you've got to decorate {or redecorate} your living space. You can dismantle bookshelves to start clean, then restyle the shelves using the simple steps below. 

Step 1: Remove everything and start fresh.
Step 2: Gather your favorite things. Find all your favorite books (of all sizes), sculptures, jewelry boxes, plants, framed prints, and treasures of sentimental value.
Step 3: Start by loading the shelves with the biggest items first, then set the smaller accent pieces in place.

Shelf Display #1 
– Begin with books turned pages facing out. This is a unique way to display books and especially good if the spines don’t all "go" together.
Framed print on a different shelf to offer balance to the top half of the bookcase.
– Add some larger books stacked horizontally to bring in some color.
– A turquoise jewelry box for balance and visual space.
– Finish off with a small plant, seashell and hourglass

(Tip: a low stack of books as seen in shelf display #1 usually needs an object on top of them to ground it and finish off the look.)

Shelf Display #2
– Begin with a whole row of books, some turned vertically and some placed horizontally at the end. On the second shelf, place books turned horizontally to give it visual interest and balance.
– To add more texture, place an abstract painting at the top and layer with your metal initial.
– Finish off with a sculpture, small gold frame, and a plant. Every shelf needs some life and succulent plants is one of the best ways to bring life to a shelf, because they are hard to kill!

Photos: Nicole Diane for Michaela Noelle Designs & Style Me Pretty Living

Of course you don't have to use these exact pieces, but instead use your own items of the same scale and shape. Do you have any shelves begging to be restyled? I'm a chronic bookshelf styler, so mine are always changin'!

Happy Monday!


  1. I never would have thought to hang a bookshelf like that! But it's fabulous and I love it!

  2. very pretty! love the place of that shelf too!

  3. That looks fabulous! Great tips for setting up a shelf vignette.


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