Shelf Styling – My Styling Process

I recently posted our new floating shelves in our kitchen on Instagram and after a few messages, I decided it would be a fun post to walk you through my design process for shelf and table styling.

I think there are many “right ways” to style shelves. And part of what makes your decor different from another is by bending the rules to fit you & your style. I usually start by pulling everything from the shelves so I have a clean canvas & then start with big items first. Here is my mental checklist:

  1. Group similar items in uneven numbers
  2. Use varying heights/sizes to layer pieces
  3. Stick to a common color theme
  4. Add Texture
  5. Bring in unique pieces
  6. Keep everyday used items within reach.

I’ll even let you in on another little secret, I don’t always feel like my shelves are complete. My upper shelf doesn’t feel “right” to me yet, but I would rather wait for the right piece to come along, than stick something I don’t love up there just to fill the space. Using things you love, that are unique to you and your home, is what separates you from the rest of the decor world. And despite the mindset social media has given us, it doesn’t all have to be finished and perfect to share it. Share the process, and your journey, because that is part of finding your style.

Grouping things in uneven numbers: This is one of those rules I like to bend. While its a great starting point, it isn’t a must do for everything. If everything on your shelf is a group of three it is going to look overly styled and not organic.
Example: My glasses are in a group of 3 from the front, but I actually have 6 glasses up there. I stacked my books & small dipping cups in sets of three, but I stacked my bowls, plates, & water carafe’s in even numbers for balance.

Use varying heights & sizes to layer pieces: Books, small trays, cutting boards, and even dishes are a great way to add height. Place books under a mixing bowl to elevate it. Grabbing a small wooden tray to stack on top of your books or to place under some glasses is an easy way to add height.
So what if you have something you love, but it is only a set of two and the same height? Do you toss it aside and find something that better sticks to the rules? Absolutely not! I have a little trick for that too.
For example, my glass carafe’s are only a set of two, but I love them so I wanted to use them both. Even though they are the same height and I only have a group of two (bending those rules again!). So to fix this issue, I placed one back and pulled the other forward so they give off a layered look which helps keep them from feeling flat and mundane.

Stick to a common color theme: When I look at finished shelves I step back and almost blur my eyes to feel out the colors. I want there to be consistency in my colors, but I am also looking for a nice flow throughout the shelves. Try stacking your same colored/like items opposite of each other from shelf to shelf.
For example: My drinking glass are on the opposite side than my glass carafe’s. I have placed my larger black items (scale & planter) spaced diagonal from each other from shelf to shelf. On the same bottom shelf, I used both my white dipping cups and my white dishes, but they are separated by two other objects that help break up all the white.

Add texture: This is probably my favorite part. Adding texture is an important step, think of it as the part that brings your shelves to life. Pull your favorite linen napkins and stack them on a book or in a small basket. Bring in aged wooden bowls, baskets, or cutting boards to give depth and texture. Try adding plants or greenery to liven up your space.

Bring in unique pieces: Things that speak to you such as vintage finds, art, handmade items, family heirlooms. That cutting board on the counter, my husband made that. The antique scale is something I have had for years and still love it as much as the day I got it. Even my stack of books could count towards unique to me items, they are some of my favorite and go to cookbooks.

Keep everyday items within reach: Shelves need to be versatile. Keeping them pretty is great, but also keep in mind they should be functional as well. Make sure they are useful by keeping everyday things on the lower shelf so you can grab them quickly. I placed our drinking glasses close to the edge because they are right next to the sink there.

One of these days I will video my shelf styling to help give you a better visual. In the meantime, I hope this helped give you a starting point. Remember these are not so much rules as they are guidelines. Don’t be afraid to color a little outside of the lines. Like I said it is what makes you different from the next.

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Reno Update Part 1

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, then you probably know that we just spent this last weekend moving into the house! While we are no where near finished, we did finish up the must haves to be live-able again. I am including a full list of our projects and how we split them up at the end!

Last time we left off with tile and concrete board tile. Once we got that removed and the beams in the atrium down, things started to move pretty quickly!

To save money in the budget we decided to keep most of our existing cabinets and just get new doors made for them. We got pretty lucky with these cabinet bases being in great shape. The doors just were dated and I wanted a shaker style cabinet. We decided to save money and also keep the drawer fronts the same. Down the road if we want to change them out it will be a pretty easy fix.

Our appliances were due to arrive on the 29th of December, but they ended up pushing that back until the 19th of January because of a backorder. Unfortunately that wasn’t going to work because our countertop measurement was scheduled for January 3rd. Thankfully, Home Depot was kind enough to send over their floor model so we could get the island put together and ready for the countertop to be measured. The countertops are being installed tomorrow and I cannot wait to see this all come together! We are going to put board and batten around the island to add some character to it!

This is standing at the door of the Laundry/Mudroom. We had just taken out the first beam out and the room looked even more open, which I didn’t think was possible. Those high ceilings are everything!

January 6th we started flooring! It was the BEST day. Walking through this house for the very first time I imagined how amazing this house could look with hardwood flooring throughout. And it did not disappoint!  We chose Vicenza Oak Floors from ADM Flooring and love them!

Standing in the dining area looking towards the family & living room. 

If you don’t look closely, it almost looks like a finished house 😉 The appliances were delivered Saturday and we wasted no time beginning to move in!

When we looked at the house we made a full list of all the projects we wanted to do. Big and small. We decided to break them up into categories based off what needed to be done before it was live-able, what could be finished after being moved in, and what we would do over time as our budget allows.


So here is a list of the things we wanted to have done before we moved in and the dates they were done/started: 

  • Take out the glass & sliders on the Atrium (family room) – Dec 8th
  • Pour a concrete slab in the atrium – Dec 14th
  • Tile for the wood stove – Jan 8th
  • Wood stove moved to new location & Roof/ceiling patched – Jan 8th
  • Carpet in the kids bedrooms – Jan 4th
  • Hardwood throughout the main & master – Jan 6th
  • Kitchen Cabinets painted (still missing the cabinet doors but we kept the drawer fronts since there were in such good shape) – Jan 1st
  • Appliances Delivered Jan 19th
  • Countertops Jan 23rd
  • Majority of the paint done – Still in progress lol

And a list of what we will be finishing after we move in 

  • Baseboards & Door Trim
  • Frame in the wall & build the fireplace box & built in benches for storing wood
  • Decide on flooring & overall usage of the mudroom (Some things I just needed more time to decide on and this room is one of them so we opted to finish it after we live in the house a bit so we have a better feel of how we will use the space.)
  • The main bath (We have two working toilets besides this bathroom and we have to move plumbing around which is time consuming so we opted to leave this for after we moved in as well.)
  • Kitchen tile backsplash 
  • Kitchen open shelves 
  • Office nook makeover in the closet outside the master
  • Drywall patching – there is so much patching to do throughout the house!

Over time list:

  • Replacing the front door & covering the front porch
  • Extending the front porch to wrap around the side of house (it will be outside the dining room up to the door off of the family room.)
  • Master Bath & Closet (bathrooms are expensive so we are putting this off for awhile so we can save for it. Everything is functional, just dated and that is fine to wait until we have the funds for a full remodel in there!)
  • Replace master French doors & build a deck
  • So. Much. Landscaping. Work. ( this will be several years before we get it to where we want it, but it will be worth it once its done) 
  • Chicken Coop, because I miss my babies 
  • Exterior Paint – I’d love to get to this by Fall, but I am not sure the exterior will be ready for it. Sooo I’m going to have to be patient on that. We had an exterior inspo post a few weeks back with the debate of going light vs dark on the exterior & I am so happy to say that we decided to go light with dark trim. We are saving the dark exterior for our little cabin in the woods (we have this place on our property just begging for a cabin, so its a project we would love to do eventually!)
via @workshopapd
via @pinterst

I want to go slightly darker than white, almost like a linen with darker window trim and lots of greenery. And eventually, we will add touches of stone & brass accents to warm it up a bit. A little Modern European vibe 😉

I hope this was helpful and inspiring for any of you looking to take on a project in your house! It’s hard to go through a renovation, but the after is so rewarding! I would love to hear what projects you have planned for this year!


Our Flooring Choice

We, well let’s be real here, I have been on the hunt for the perfect flooring for about 2 months now. Justin probably would have been fine with the first  sample we ordered 😉 The amount of samples I have collected is probably a bit excessive, but I was waiting for one to arrive and the “aha moment” to follow. There were many that I liked, but I wanted to love our flooring because it is quite an investment. 

I’ve had this photo from House of Jade Interiors saved for so long. It is one of the main photos I have been pulling inspiration from for our house. I have been searching for an engineered White European Oak hardwood that has bold knots throughout and gives off almost a Lake house vibe to it, finished with a matte look. Not specific at all, right?!

The white oak is pretty trendy right now, and I did have to really ask myself if I loved the flooring color because it is “in” right now or if I truly love the light oak finish itself. Light flooring has always been a popular choice for Scandinavian homes and that is a look I have also loved for a long time. To be sure, I grabbed some classic wood flooring in a medium tone. 

And I do love it! The flooring samples on the far left are gorgeous. It is Rustic Nature from Build Direct’s Baltic Oak Collection and it’s only $4.09 a square foot. It’s a beautiful classic flooring that you really can’t go wrong with. The more I looked through photos on my inspiration board, I knew I wanted the white oak. Now, the problem with wanting White Oak flooring while it is trendy, is that the prices definitely reflect that and several options were simply just too much money. I did find some great choices through Hallmark Floors, but we didn’t have a dealer nearby to order samples through. So the search continued! 

Photo from Studio McGee. Flooring pictured is Alta Vista Laguna by Hallmark. 

My friend Brooke from Plank and Pillow  (who has the most amazing home!) has beautiful floors too! She has Padua by ADM Flooring Design and they are stunning. I called them up and ordered three samples in Padua, Picano, & Vicenza. They were at my doorstep in 3 days which was incredibly fast. 

Photo by Plank and Pillow

My heart skipped a beat and the ‘aha moment’ happened as I pulled out the last sample because it was perfect! It’s gorgeous and everything I have been looking for! So we ended up selecting the Vicenza from ADM. The online photo of it is quite a bit lighter than it is in person, which always seemed to be my problem. There were so many samples I had ordered based off the photo online and they came in completely different. Thankfully this time it was for the better!

The knots are dark and still subtle throughout. They are matte with a slight wire brush texture to them and they are finished with a UV Lacquer. They were also within budget at $4.49 a square foot at even included free shipping. They will be here next week and I cannot wait to start laying them down!

If you want more behind the scenes on the flooring and our projects on the house, you can follow along over on Instagram @havencomforts! This post is not sponsored and these are just personal opinions from a long two months of searching for the perfect flooring! 

Holiday Gift Guide

Well friends we have 3 weekends left until Christmas! Are you ready? Still shopping? Or haven’t even started? I am a little in between, the kids are done but I haven’t bought for anyone else yet!

I threw together a little gift guide today to help spark some inspiration for myself and hopefully for you as well. And the best part is, it’s all on Amazon. Prime two day shipping for the win! 

For Her
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I am a sucker for all things cozy & festive! If it is soft or gives me a reason to stay home on a Saturday I am all for it. So I rounded up some of my favorite cozy & homey products for you. I am especially loving that cute leather desk mat (#9) & matching confetti knit set (#6 & 7)! 

For Him
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For the men in your life, I pulled together some tried and true goods that I hope will help in your search! Justin is a big outdoor guy, he loves a cold beer, and anything involving smoking or grilling, so it is safe to say I have a few of these items on my list for him as well. Hopefully he doesn’t read this 😉 

Holiday Entertaining
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Entertaining guests is something that comes with the Holidays and there is something to be said for a party with a good bar selection. Whether that be a liquor bar, a coffee bar, or a good old cocoa bar; It’s just a fun festive way to add a little something new to your holiday parties this year! This bar cart (#8) decked out with your festive liquors, glasses, & greenery would be an instant focal point in any room! I have been eyeing that leather chair (#9) for quite some time now too! The combination of the leather and those modern brass legs is too good. 

I hope these help inspire some gift ideas for those on your list! Even if you are a last minute shopped, these are almost all 2-day shipping through Amazon Prime! So pin this to your Pinterest so you can come back to it later!

The links above are affiliate links and we appreciate any purchases made directly from them. It helps balance out the time we spend putting these posts together for you! All brands, products, and opinions are our own.  

Interior Tour

As promised here is a tour of the interior on our new fixer! I posted a video tour in our stories over on Instagram so you can see it in a walk through setting as well. It is saved under the highlights so you can come back to it whenever! The house was an estate and had a ton of stuff left when we got the keys. We have been working on clearing everything out and this weekend we are finally getting to some more demo, starting with the atrium below!

The exterior door you see here will be the main entry to the house. This view is from the atrium looking towards to the dining and kitchen area. These sliders & the majority of the wall will be removed. The dining area is huge! My heart is so happy thinking about all of the parties & holidays we will be able to host here! 
Dining area + endless flooring samples 
Here is the kitchen! It is a funky shape and definitely the hardest spot in this house to design, between the angled ceiling and load bearing beams we are going to do our best to work with the current foot print. The island will be squared off and the side cabinet here will look a little different. We are keeping most of the cabinet bases & purchasing new doors. We will be painting them white & the island will be a wood tone. 
Inside the Atrium. This will be extended living space to the current space on the right. The windows are coming out this weekend, I think! And then we will be putting up a wall in here. The wood stove will be enclosed and centered against that back beam with benches on either side for wood storage and extra seating. 
Looking down the hall from the kitchen. The kids rooms & the main bath are to the left. I started pulling the trim off (hence the trim still at the top of the doors) & found some black mold so we will have to replace some of the drywall between Hadley’s Room & the bathroom. 
Outside the entry to the master on the opposite side of the hall. To the right is huge doors with a covered porch that will eventually turn into an extra bedroom for Lo. To the left is the main living area. 
The current Living area. The wall between this & the atrium will be coming down to make it one open area. 
Standing in the master looking out. The closet here will be turned into an office nook. 
Master Bedroom. Simple fixes in here. Flooring, paint, new trim, & replacing those french doors.  
Master walk in closet & Vanity
Shower & tub in the master. 

The things we are fixing in the house are mostly cosmetic. It has really good bones and more than enough space for our family of five. The outdoor space and privacy that comes with the house is a huge plus. Every time we are here, I am still beside myself that this is ours. And thanking God for bringing us this home for our family. We have worked really hard to get to this place and it feels so good to finally be able to work on the home our kids will grow up in, make memories, & spend holidays in. 

Below are some inspiration photos for the new house!

I hope you are enjoying everything so far! If you have questions or want to know something specific, leave a comment here or over on instagram! You can follow us here so you don’t miss a post by clicking the follow button to the right of your screen. We are on Instagram (@havencomforts) with more behind the scenes saved to our highlight if you want to tune in over there too!