In our little home we have this GIANT heater that sits just below the shelves you see above. And when I say giant it sticks into the walkway by 3 feet and is 3+ feet high! Anyways, I have been wanting to put some shelves above it just to add some visual weight so your eye doesn't immediately stare at the giant brown heater.
But life happens and 2 years later I still didn't put shelves up until the other day when I went out to dump out trash and there sitting by the dumpster were these 2 shelves (brackets and all!) I'm not one to walk away from a great and free find so I hauled them home and immediately up them up :) I can say that I'm a little sad it took me so long to put up some shelves, but I am so in love with them that I will stop being annoyed at myself.
The key to styling open shelves is to put things on them that are personal. That could be a special moment (like our wedding picture) or a certain object (like the plant that was a start from a family plant that has been past down from Marcus' family). You don't want to overcrowd your shelves but a little overlap is always a good thing. My advice is place a few items at a time and then step back and ask yourself if it looks balanced? Is there something that is annoying you (if you don't know what try moving things to new spots or place some books down and set something like a candle or picture on top to create different heights). Styling shelving doesn't have to be overwhelming, select a few things that have memories or that you love and use those items to style your shelves.
Do you have open shelves? What are some items that you love to showcase?