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How to Style Mindfully :: Fall Open Shelf Styling

The bright green leaves are changing colour to reds and auburns... there's a craving for warm drinks and hearty soups. Maybe it is the feeling of wanting to get cozy and comfortable with lots of self-care that makes me love this time of year more than any other season. I'm hoping to embrace it with purpose and, with an open mind.

My free-standing open shelves is where I began refreshing my home. The last time I styled the very same shelf was back in March. It was done with the intention of creating a 'how-to' blog post, you can read that process here. However, this time, I wanted to create a visual narrative of how I am feeling. The impact of objects around us are often underestimated. They have the power to help us feel transformed and be a soft reminder that comforts us.

A rooted feeling

This styling was all about feeling grounded and reminders of having the earth beneath my feet. The colour palette is predominantly warm, earthy with neutral browns and beiges. There is a healthy shot of comforting indigo blue, a colour made popular by the indigo dye. This dye is derived from leaves native to India among other regions of the world. I remember seeing a lot of this colour as a child growing up in India.

Textural touches

Textures dominate in this styling, you'll find natural wood mixed in with ceramics and stone. I used books, bowls and vases. I wrapped the books in neutral paper, to help avoid their loud covers and create a sense of uniformity and repetition.


I also added one of my original artworks. Framed in a vintage, thrifted photo frame I picked up sometime last year. I didn't want to completely do away with things from the previous styling, there were many beautiful things there that I wanted to bring back. Like the 'face' vase for example, it is a well-loved piece in my home and always manages to emote, like abstract and illustrative artworks tend to do.

Adding newness

My newest find is on the very top of the shelf. A ceramic and metal artwork by Lisa Skog. It was purchased on our first "trip" since the quarantine restrictions began easing up. I remember feeling a profound sense of joy and gratitude when I walked into the art gallery, something I took for granted prior to the pandemic.

When I saw this piece...its imperfect form, the grounding circular shape and the way the light washed over it created an instant connection. To me, it was a reminder of 'Wabi Sabi', a Japanese philosophy that asks us to accept imperfection. And, that's precisely what I intend to do for myself for the rest of this year. Feel grounded, accept imperfection and embrace everything with an open mind. Just like my open shelves!


Hope you enjoyed this blog post. Comment your reactions below! Follow me on Instagram @shastudioinc for my design journey. Thanks for reading!

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