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Quick & Easy Living Room Refresh

So this week the weather in Tulsa took a dramatic turn and we have found ourselves trapped inside because of the snow and below zero temperatures. Unfortunately this also meant that I wasn't able to get my flowers this week. In order to keep myself busy I decided to spruce up our tiny apartment living room by creating a floating shelf accent wall.

This is a super easy process that anyone can do. First step is to measure your wall to determine how long you want your shelves to be. I wanted my shelves to stretch over the entire wall to really make a statement. My apartment also has very high ceilings, so to accentuate that I decided to do a total of three floating shelves.

I already had some black brackets from our previous apartment. I wanted to keep this project as budget friendly as possible, so instead of buying new trendy looking brackets I stuck with what I already had. I just needed to stop into Home Depot to get the wood for the shelves.

I love going to Home Depot whenever I need lumber for a project because they will cut it for you if you need a specific length or width! Super super helpful if you live in an apartment and don't have the ability to cut it yourself. I left my shelves the natural raw wood color to coordinate with the frame of a large print that is hanging in the living room. You can easily stain or paint your shelves to be whatever color best coordinates with the rest of your decor. In the future when I have more time (and when I feel like tackling a project) I will probably paint mine white.

You'll notice that the bottom shelf is in line with the back of the sofa. I did this to mimic the height and affect of a sofa table. This is an excellent idea for anyone who has very limited space but needs an additional surface for every day items such as lamps for task lighting or your morning cup of coffee. I absolutely love having this additional surface. I use it way more than I thought I would.

The other two shelves I hung higher on the wall to really take advantage of the high ceilings. Depending how long your shelves are I would recommend putting a bracket on each end and then one in the center for additional support. My husband and I aren't super handy yet. We did our best to find studs in the wall to ensure our brackets would be secure. Our cheap stud finder wasn't much helping very much, so instead of drilling a third middle bracket into nothing but drywall we decided to skip it all together and just know that we can't put anything super heavy on these shelves. We're still learning...

Next is the fun part!! Layering in the decor. My goal for these shelves was to make them as minimal and balanced as possible with items I already had laying around. I didn't want to crowd them with tons of little knick-knacks. I wanted these shelves to have a very curated look to them.

I started by separating all of my accessories into groups. This will help you determine how much you have of each type of accessory. For example; I had a good amount of darker pieces, lighter neutral pieces, and others that added a nice pop of color.

Once all of my accessories were separated into their groups I stared layering in the darker items. When layering your first round of items you want to make sure they are balanced. Meaning they aren't all off to one side or all on one shelf. You also want to make sure you're balancing the size of the items. It's easy to do a lot of little clusters, but if you break it up with larger prints or vases you'll see this makes a huge difference in filling up negative space.

Next I sprinkled in my lighter colored accessories. Again making sure they are all balancing each other out. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the placement right. If at any point you start to get frustrated, just walk away for a few minutes. Take a little coffee break. Then when you come back to look at your progress you might realize what is making the grouping look somewhat off.

Finally I layered in my remaining accessories to fill in spots that looked a little bare. When you feel that everything is where you want it to be, take a step back, maybe make a few adjustments, and you're done! How easy was that?! The best part for me was knowing that all I had to buy were the boards to make the shelves. Everything else I already had just laying around!

I'm a huge fan of shopping your own home. Don't be afraid to steal things from other rooms. Sometimes you'll find that an accessory or piece of art that's lived in one room for years looks ten times better in it's new home! It's also a pretty fun game to play. So stay home, save money, and get creative!

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