With nearly 150K followers between their accounts, Wesley Turner and his husband, Daniel Schavey, are Greenville’s own Instagram royalty. Fans across the country avidly watch the daily stories of life on their South Carolina flower farm (with glimpses of the pigmy goats and a donkey named Romeo) and for seasonal design inspiration with items from their two shops ROOTS An Urban Gardener’s Oasis and 4Rooms. Demand for décor from their ever-growing viewership motivated them to launch @thenestedfig, an online store that ships nationwide.
We asked Turner to weigh in on shelves: what to put in them and how to create effortless style. He was quick to share five tips that yield surfaces that feel equally timeless and seasonal. “You can fill a built-in or bookshelf in about an hour and make it look like it took a lifetime of collecting,” says Turner.
And, don’t be afraid to refresh your shelves. “I call it never done,” says Turner. “The bonus is when you move something to a different spot, it feels new all over again.”
Mix and Match
By mixing different metal and wood tones, you can create the appearance that your décor was collected along the way. To start, gather nearly twice as many items as you think you may need and about a third of them should be large. Bigger, statement pieces can hold their own alone on a shelf.
Risers build height for accessories. Books and decorative boxes are classic items, but now there are decorative wood risers built just for the purpose. Don’t be afraid to corner a riser; it will create room to layer in front of it. Soldiers need to be straight and perfect, not décor. Turn an item 90 degrees and create instant flow.
Mix in real or faux greenery to soften shelves for an immediate lived-in feel. These are the items to switch out when the seasons. Simply swap items of similar size. If you have a box as part of your display, store off-season pieces in it. Pottery and woven items add similar warmth with their natural finishes.
Design in Layers
Too many small items grouped together look messy. And, too many large items feel heavy. It’s the right balance that makes a bookshelf stand out and feel harmonious. Stack items and tuck items behind each other to build layers. A change in levels encourages the eye to slow down and study what’s there.
Utilizing frames is the quickest way to add something personal to vignettes. Not just for beloved photos, consider adding kids’ artwork, flat mementos, even postcards to hinged frames of all sizes. Anything put under glass immediately feels special. Highlight a single item by placing it under a domed glass cloche.