Learn the tips for styling glass cabinets or built in book shelves with things you already have to save money.
We have lived in our little, old home for about three years now, and I have never (not once!) styled the cabinets in our dining room.
If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve mentioned my new thought process for our home in recent posts. In the past I have always been hesitant to decorate or put any time/energy/money into decor or styling for a few different reasons.
For one, its not my dream house, so I always had it in the back of my mind that it would be silly to decorate much and I should just wait until we have our dream home (crazy, I know!). Also, our house is very old and the finishings show that. And because we rent and this is a trailer house (artificial everything), we decided early on that we didn’t want to put any time or money into the actual home (no ripping out cabinets or painting for us).
Well, I’ve had an epiphany! For my own sanity and happiness, I need to enjoy the home we are in right now. I want to make it cozy and comfortable and do what I can to express myself through decorating and get creative. This may mean finding things at thrift stores to fit within our budget, DIY’ing as much as I can, and working with what we have.
We are still not planning on changing any of the actual home (no renovations over here), so I am trying to make my decor and style work with this little old house. Hello brown trim and brown paneling, I see you! Because our home is old, I’ve decided to go with an intentionally old and vintage style in my decorating to match it.
If you have ever felt any of these reservations about decorating and enjoying the home that you’re in, I hope this will help you! We don’t need to feel like we have to fixer upper everything in our lives. If its not in your means to be able to completely renovate your home JoAnna Gaines style (love her BTW), don’t fear! You can still make your home comfortable, cozy, and cute with a little creativity and work.
Okay, now you know a little background about how much it means to me to have styled these cabinets, haha, onward and forward we go. Read along for tips on styling glass cabinets of your own or built in bookshelves, on a budget and with things you already have!
Tips for Styling Glass Cabinets – Built In Bookshelf Decor
First things first you’ll want to start with a clean slate. Take everything out of your cabinets and off your shelves. Then, give them a good cleaning. Use a wet rag and your favorite all-purpose cleaning solution to wipe the insides down. Then, be sure to clean the glass if you have glass doors.
Gather Decor From Around Your Home
Next, you’ll want to gather things from around your home that you think may look good. Be sure to look in every nook and cranny.
Start with this first before you head to the store to buy anything! You might be able to decorate all of your shelves with things you already have.
This is the part where you will want to get really creative! Think outside of the box. There are a lot of things that you may not consider putting together in a cabinet for decor, but you’ll be surprised by how much will work.
Books are great, pitchers, plates, coffee mugs, serving dishes, odd and ends, trinkets, frames, baskets, etc. Try to pick a variety of items in different sizes and textures.
I had a lot of things already in the cabinets that I was just storing in them. Mostly dishes. I grabbed some Little House on the Prairie and Louis L’Amour books from our bookshelf in another room. I also found some serving dishes in our kitchen that I wanted to use and random trinkets.
Once you have everything laid out to look at, start to add things into your cabinet.
Place Larger Items on the Lowest Shelves
Start with the bigger things like baskets and large pitchers, etc., and put them on the lowest shelves. This creates a good base and sort of stabilizes everything else as you work up.
Its more appealing to look at if the sturdier decor items are on bottom. Work your way up the shelves, getting lighter as you go, but keeping the middle and top shelves for the most part similar.
I kept my large white pitcher on the bottom on one side, and a large glass drink dispenser on the other side. Everything got lighter as I moved up.
Stick With a Color Theme
Its best to choose things out of your gathered items are are in the same color theme. If you have neutral decor that you’re trying to match, then only choose neutral things to go in your cabinet or on your shelves.
Because our cabinets are a dark brown, I wanted to freshen things up a bit by adding a lot of color to the cabinets. This also makes it easier to see the decor against the dark cabinets.
We have two sets of cabinets on either side of a large mirror. I started on one side, and ended up using all of my colorful decor there, so for the other side I kept things more neutral. As time goes by and I find or collect more more things, I’d like to add a little more color to the other side as well. I do love both sides though!
Mix and Match
Don’t be afraid to mix and match things in your cabinet. It adds interest and texture!
Pair a few books on one side with a pitcher on the other. Add a trinket here and a trinket there. Because you’re using odds and end things from around your home, they’ll look better if you mix and match them in the cabinets.
Stack Items and Have Different Height Levels
Stacking different items and having different height levels will also add a lot of interest! You can do this with almost anything
I turned a pie plate upside down to stack another dish on top. Books are also great for stacking. Plates can be stacked and a small box can be used to stack mugs on, like I did on the top shelf of one of my cabinets.
Keep Re-Working it Over Time
As time goes by and you accumulate more things for your cabinets, re-style them! Don’t feel like you are stuck with your first attempt for forever. Seasons and holidays are a great time to give your glass cabinets a little makeover.
I made a list of things that may look good to add to mine, and I’m going to keep my eye out for anything I like when I am thrift shopping, see a good sale, etc.
Your style will change over time and you should update your cabinets as it does!
I hope this helps you when styling glass cabinets or bookshelves in your own home! Let me know, have you struggled with the same hesitancy when decorating?! I hope I’m not the only one! Thanks so much for stopping by.
Don’t have glass cabinets but do have built-in bookshelves? Check out THIS post by Lisa over at Farmhouse on Boone for styling built-in bookshelves! Its one of my favorites.