Sacramento Street Smarts: Shelf Styling


It’s no secret around these parts that we love a nicely styled shelf. Shelves are a great way to infuse some personality into a room, while still serving a functional purpose. The key to leveraging your shelf space as both a decorative and functional asset is styling—so we’ve dedicated this edition of Sacramento Street Smarts to just that.

In our opinion, one of the most important things to remember when styling a shelf is variation. Combining elements with different shapes, textures, sizes and orientations will help bring a vignette dimension and visual interest. It’s critical to edit down. If something doesn’t serve a functional and/or aesthetic purpose—get it out of there. For anything that’s functional, but not necessarily aesthetically pleasing, think about concealing it in a decorative basket or bin on the lower levels—out of the direct line of sight. 

Here are a few sample vignettes you can use to help you pull together your ideal shelf look:



Potted Aloe | “Windows” by Sadye Sagov | “Melt” by Adrienne Jackson | Bookends | Vintage Decanter | Hangar 1 Vodka | St. Germain | Highball Glasses | Tray | Brass Candlesticks | “Moon” by Rob Delamater | Wooden Box | Brass Bowl

It’s important to remember that styling a shelf isn’t something that necessarily needs to happen instantaneously. This is a look that often comes together over time as you collect new items and your needs evolve. There is no need to panic if you don’t have all the pieces—start with what you do have and then build from there to fill in the gaps.

Craving more design advice? Be sure to check out our Street Smart archives for more insider tips!

Image via Coco Lapine

Written by Ali Hartwell for Sacramento Street

Blooms in Season: Spring Hues

Blooms in Season

This time of year the flowers are in abundance – peonies, iris’, garden roses, flowering branches – you name it! It is by far my favorite time for flowers. Although it makes it quite hard to decide what to highlight here for all of you. Thank goodness Natalie has an incredible eye for what works well together. This spring arrangement has some of my favorites – I just wish the iris photo was a scratch and sniff. Enjoy this months installment!

Blooms in Season 3What florals or greens do you like to use during this funky Spring/Summer transitional period?

ALL of them! Ha. The transition between Spring and Summer is one of my favorites. For a couple of short weeks we see peonies and roses used at the same time and this seems almost crazy. In early May the buckeye blooms and I like to sue it in everything. It have beautiful foliage and soft pink plums that pair wonderfully with every other flower this time of year, yet they can stand alone perfectly, too.

What sort of fillers do you recommend when you want your arrangement to feel robust but not tacky?

The buckeye I mentioned above is perfect as a Springtime filler that feels abundant yet not as if it is even filler. The key is to find greens that don’t feel like filler but actually feel like a textural element that lends to movement and leads the eye throughout the arrangement. I have been also loving catoneaser, as it is blooming this time of year and honeysuckle! I can’t use enough honeysuckle.

Blooms in Season 1 Blooms in Season 5

What are some good tips you have on how to know what sort of florals go well together aesthetically?

I find that paying attention to size differentiation is a key to making an interesting arrangement. When all the flowers are the same size, it is hard to have any one flower stand out. When the flowers are small, medium and large, your eye will move from one flower to the next, allowing each to have a moment to shine. It’s not so much about the varieties as it is about the size, texture and color.

When playing with multiple colors in one arrangement be sure to give attention to the “bridge color”. That color is the one that links the two opposing colors so that they seem to flow and blend rather than oppose one another.

With wedding season about to be in full swing, what are some floral trends we can expect to see this yet?

I’m starting to see arrangements come back in to a more contained look and I’ve heard fewer requests for wild arrangements. I’m seeing a continuation of the trend to use color (which makes me so happy) and we’ll see a lot of blush/peach/coral and burgundy/oxblood paired this year.

Blooms in Season 4

To get inspired by past Blooms in Season posts – click here.

Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Images by Caitlin Flemming for Sacramento Street


A Modern Update for a Reinvented Obsession

Room Anatomy TemplateOne of the areas of my home that is in constant need of an upgrade is my office. As a decorator, my office is often the temporary home of a whole host of items: boxes filled with products to install in my clients home, a plethora of fabric samples, and the occasional can of paint. There are times I’d like to just blow it up and start completely over with a new look. When I had a glimpse at the new HP Spectre Laptop, my mind nearly exploded – this was the inspiration I needed to begin to tackle this project. The touch of copper and sleek lines inspired me into the direction I hoped for in this project.

Room inspiration

Recently, I’ve been attracted to things with a copper flair. I’m not one who would necessarily want copper pots in my kitchen (too much upkeep) but I like a hint of it in décor. Copper has warmth to it and at the same time seems modern and current. I started with a few accessories in my office but I could also see expanding it to more substantial objects too. As with any new idea, I like to start with a mood board that helps me to visualize the spirit of the ideas I have floating around in my head.

The next step is to put together the items that I might include in the room. This room anatomy is how I would build an office with this “hint” of copper. Not over the top, but an elegant touch of copper. What I love the most in this concept is the computer that works so beautifully with the warmth of copper. The new HP Spectre has clean lines, is super thin, and actually draws inspiration from high-end furniture. The computer not only functions flawlessly, but it melds perfectly in a beautifully designed room. Take a look more closely on their ‘Making Of’ video.

Room Anatomy Template


HP Computer | Copper Pot & Succulent | Chair | Desk | Picture Frames | Clock | Task Lamp | Copper Binder Clips | Rug | Trashcan

So now that I’ve conceived the new office, its time to shake it up and improve how it looks and how it functions. This is definitely a project I can get excited about!

This post is a partnership with HP Spectre. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting sponsored posts that keep Sacramento Street doors open.

Moodboard Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8  ||  Client Project Image by Caitlin Flemming

I’m Loving . . .

White Kitchen

My dream stove – oh how I can’t wait to eventually get my hands on a fixer upper!


I’m working on a rooftop lounge for a client and this brought me a ton of inspiration for the oasis we are trying to create.

Weekend Wear

This is currently my weekend wear – ripped jeans with a tee. You can’t go wrong.


Bathtub envy. One project I’m working on (currently in demo), we are on the hunt for the perfect bathtub. This one is in serious contention for being the winner.


This entry has me completely smitten – the simplicity, old with new – it’s beautiful.

What are you loving this week?

Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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