23+ Shelf Decor Ideas to Refresh Your Living Room

23+ Shelf Decor Ideas

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The living room is where we spend a lot of our time in. It’s the room where you and your family and friends gather to chat, relax or watch TV. And so it’s the room that should look good and where you feel both inspired and comfortable being in.

If yours is looking a little tired or boring, it’s time to spruce it up. And there’s no better or simpler way to refresh your living room than with new shelf decor!

Whether you’re redecorating your living room from scratch or you’re simply looking for living room shelf decor ideas to refresh your existing bookcase or floating shelves, you’ll be sure to find some ideas and inspiration in this post.

Here are 24 shelf decor ideas to freshen up your living room.


White ceramic vases by NyisStudio

White ceramic vases by NyisStudio

Vases with faces by CeramiConnoisseur

Nortric ceramic vases by Hestng

Ikebana Vase by MujoStore

Decorative vases are a great addition to any shelf, whether you are using them to hold flowers or trinkets. They come in a variety of heights and shapes so you can choose the perfect set for your home. They can be used individually or grouped together as part of a larger collection.

You can also select glass or ceramic vases in different colours, so that each piece matches or compliments your desired aesthetic look.

Artwork Prints and Paintings

Artwork prints look great displayed on shelves or on the wall above your set of shelves. You can arrange them in all sorts of ways, using frames and mats of varying sizes, and then group them together to create a beautiful picture display.

Choose pieces that are vibrant and colourful for a bright, ‘pop’ look or opt for a single colour or a black and white palette for a minimalist look. Select frames that fit the colour palette of your living room.


Photographs of your travels with family and friends or growing up are a great way to show your guests who you really are. Do some digging through your photo collections and pick out the best ones to feature on your shelf decor. You can group them into interesting collages or display them in different ways using frames and mats of varying sizes.


Another great way to decorate shelves is with books. Books are an easy way to add colour to your shelves and they provide a nice contrast to the framed art. Books stacked on top of each other in different colours can create interesting patterns on the shelves.

You can arrange your books by colour. If you have a lot of books with different colours, it’s an easy way to make the entire shelf look cohesive and appealing.

Or you can arrange the books by height. This is another easy way to make the entire shelf look visually interesting. For example, if you have a collection of tall books and smaller books, you can group them based on height for a cool, fun look.

Vintage Books

Vintage books

If you’re going for more of a classical look, then those beautiful vintage leather-bound books would look great on your shelves. Your visitors can look through your vintage book collection to find interesting stories from the past. They come in a variety of colours, sizes, and genres so you can pick the perfect set for your shelf decor!

Magazines and Journals

Browse through your collection of architecture, art and fashion magazines and journals, and pick out the ones that look the most interesting to you. You might have books on Charles and Ray Eames, Helmut Newton, and David Hockney so these could be a great way to share your subject interests with your guests.

Wooden Letters and Words

Your favourite phrases or words can be creatively displayed using wooden letters and words of all shapes and sizes like ‘Relax’, ‘Be Happy’ or ‘Live Your Best Life’. You can use them alone or group them together to create more impact. You can also spell out your name or a meaningful phrase which you can display for all to see.

Candles and Candle Holders


Candles and candle holders are a great way to add warmth and light to your living room decor and can be used on their own or grouped together as part of a larger display. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you can choose the perfect set for your home.

Choose a tall candle holder for a bold look or opt for a small candle holder for a minimalist feel. You can even opt for a simple holder to give your decor a timeless look.

Available in a wide variety of scents and colours, candles are a great addition to your home’s cosy ambiance!

Flameless LED candles

Flameless LED candles are a great alternative to the hassle of having real candles in your home. They also have timers so they will light up automatically at the times you set and you don’t need to worry about burning your candles all the way down! You also don’t require a plug to operate them. Finally, they’re also flameless so there’s no danger of fire or accidents, making them the perfect addition to any shelf!


Decorative and sculptural glassware such as vases, decanters and carafes can look great grouped together on shelves. For an interesting look, display them in different shapes and sizes and in different colours.

Bottles and jars filled with brightly coloured stones or pebbles are also great decorative elements to add to your shelf decor.

Whether they are displayed alone as an eye-catching focal point or grouped together with other decorative elements on your shelf, they are sure to bring a unique character to your living room decor!


Paperweights are another element that can really add a unique look to a shelf or bookcase. The artisan hand-blown glass ones in particular look sculptural and add an element of art and design to your home.


A clock can add an interesting visual element to your living room’s decor! They come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you can choose the perfect one to complement your home decor. You can choose a designer or minimalist-looking clock to give your living room a modern, contemporary look or a traditional clock for a more classic aesthetic.

Hanging Plants and Pot Plants

Hanging plants and pot plants are something you can use to add colour or greenery to your shelves and home but it’s even easier to group them as part of a larger plant display. You can choose a taller plant with bright flowers for a pop of colour. Hang the plants in different ways using various stands and racks or simply place them on shelves and let the leaves drape over the shelves for a more lively and dramatic look.


Terrariums are super cool home decor pieces and can instantly add an earthy look and feel to your living room. They can function as standalone pieces or you can add them in groups for a more textured look. You can choose a nice faceted glass container to add a luxe, designer touch to your shelf.

Terrariums are miniature eco-systems enclosed in glass containers. They are easy to maintain and can last for months or longer with proper care. Plants like ferns and cacti do well in terrariums. Since terrariums need to be watered only occasionally, it’s a great way to have greenery indoors.


Succulents in pots

Succulents are also a great idea for low-maintenance shelf decor because they’re easy-to-grow plants that require very little effort but add interest to your living room decor! They come in a variety of colours and shapes, so you can choose the perfect ones for your shelves and home. You can group them together in interesting patterns or place the small pots on a tiered display stand then place this onto one of the shelves.

Faux Plants

You can also use faux plants if you want the green look without the hassle of looking after the plants 🙂


Seashells are beautiful standalone pieces or can be displayed as part of a larger seashell collection. They add a coastal feel to your living room decor so they’re a great way to add character to your shelves without much effort! They also work well with other decorative elements like sea glass or driftwood – so mix and match them to create different effects! Driftwood can add a natural vibe to your living room decor.



Crystals and gemstones are a great addition to your home and look great displayed individually or grouped with other decorative pieces. They are great for adding eye-catching colour and shimmering sparkle to your living room decor. And they are also great for meditation or spiritual healing – so add them to your shelf decor and toss them in a bowl or a small vase for easy display while you meditate.

Decorative Boxes

Decorative boxes and boxes with lids come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials – so it’s very easy to find a nice set for your home’s decor. Decorative boxes can be grouped together on shelves or they can be used individually to add appeal to individual displays.

You can use them as containers to display your decorative items, collectables, mementoes and trinkets or as small slots to keep your jewellery and knick-knacks.

You can use wooden boxes for a rustic look, metal boxes for a more industrial aesthetic or fabric boxes for a more homey, cosy feel.

Decorative Balls

Decorative balls made of jute can give your home a natural, rustic, country look. You can place them in a glass vase, bowl, or basket. You can also get decorative balls in a variety of shapes and sizes – from spheres and cubes to stars and hearts to triangles and circles, so you can mix and match them to create interesting patterns and designs on your shelves.


Wood mountain book ends

Bookends can add character to the bookshelves in your living room. They come in a variety of interesting shapes, sizes and materials so you can choose a set that’s perfect for your home’s decor. You can mix and match them with other decorative pieces to create an interesting look on your shelf or you can place them side by side for a cohesive look.

Choose from a variety of styles like animal-shaped, sculptural, decorative metal, marble, crystal and many other design options.

Model Ship in a Glass bottle

A model ship in a glass bottle can add a whimsical, nautical touch to any shelf or mantlepiece. They can be simple in design or highly detailed and intricate works of art! They can be used as standalone pieces or grouped together as part of a bigger seafaring collection. It can make for a great conversation starter and can instantly add character and intrigue to your living room. They help tell a story and can evoke memories of travels and adventures!


Figurines are another way you can add a decorative touch to your bookshelves and shelf decor. You can choose a figurine based on your personal taste and style or based on a theme. This is a fun way to express your interests and can add a unique feature to your home’s decor! You can get figurines in a variety of materials and sizes including porcelain, crystal and stone. You can easily mix and match them with other decorative items and displays on your shelf.

Soft Toys

Soft toys are a cute and novel way to add a cosy feel to your living room decor. They will instantly add warmth and character to your shelves and living room! Plushies are adorable and are a great way to add some colour and fun to your home’s decor!

You can choose plush toys or stuffed animals of various sizes and shapes and group them together or have them peeking out of a fabric or wicker basket on your shelves.

We hope these ideas provide some inspiration when it comes to creating shelf decor for your home! The decor on your shelves can express your personality, interests and style, and can act as a focal point or conversation starter in the living room! You can mix and match the decorative elements that we’ve listed to create different looks and effects. Have fun and enjoy decorating your shelves to give your living room a new look! 🙂

Let us know how you decorate your shelves!

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