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How to Style Shelves: 9 Need-to-Know Pro Tips and Tricks

HGTV stars and Instagrammers share the stories and strategies behind their displays. Get ready to shake yours up, room by room, with HGTV Magazine — it’s the easiest refresh around!

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Photo: ASHLEY WILSON. From: HGTV Magazine.

These Shelves Say: Life Is Happier in Color

Blogger Ashley Wilson has ROYGBIV in her blood — even her bathtub is rainbowed. So brightening the shelves in her bedroom in Logan, Utah, was a natural choice. She collected books and objects from thrift stores and scoured sites for quirk, like a pink poodle from Overstock. “Art pulls the color story together,” she says. Her pot of gold: “I see these shelves first thing every morning, and they always put me in a good mood!”

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Photo: Amy Bartlam. From: HGTV Magazine.

These Shelves Say: Go for Creature Comforts

This isn’t just the room of a 5-year-old in Los Angeles — it’s a “café” to host tea parties for stuffies. So designer Ginny Macdonald gave her furry pals a place of honor. They sit near treasures including books passed down by family and a basket of tissue-paper honeycomb balls (she’s into crafts). Lemon wallpaper by Lulu and Georgia reflects the kindergartener’s love of yellow, says Macdonald, “and her vibrant personality.”

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Photo: Lisa Romerein; Styled by Christopher White. From: HGTV Magazine.

HGTV Star Tip: Sabrina Soto

"I have one rule: Keep it clean! Lots of small pieces all over the place can look busy. I stick with bigger items — stacks of coffee-table books — mixed with medium-size vases and baskets. It’s the perfect #shelfie." —Sabrina Soto, Ty Breaker

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These Shelves Say: Be Yourself

As designer Quintece Hill-Mattauszek zhushed up this Washington, D.C., apartment for someone who had just gone through a breakup, she made shelves a focal point. The client wanted the place to feel all hers, “and she’s an avid reader who loves books.” Hill-Mattauszek built a display wall out of vertical maple boards with 12-inch-wide shelves. “The look is about much more than flair,” she says. “Books tell the story of who you are.”

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