Julianne Moore used living room shelving to create a decorative display, and experts think it is a 'work of art'

Shelving is a smart solution to keep spaces neat, tidy and chic

Julianne Moore
(Image credit: Getty Images / ANGELA WEISS / Contributor)

In a living room, storage should restore calm, provide display space, and be suitably chic. 

Not everything needs to be hidden away when it comes to storage – American actress Julianne Moore's living room is proof of that – in fact, decorative solutions can make a huge difference to your look and feel. A shelving unit will work particularly well in a living room, where you want to display beautiful objects.

In Julianne Moore's living space, the actress has used open living room shelving to introduce delightful decorative moments.

Decorating shelves is also a great way to add personality to a plain space. Be they layered with ceramics, vintage glassware, plants, or favorite books, shelves can be used to add individual style to a home, as Mike Fetherston, design director of Hetherington Newman, explains. 

‘As living rooms and family rooms are increasingly central to the home and where families come together for to socialize and entertain, areas for display are important to personalize the space and add interest, giving a more relaxed and welcoming feel.’ Choose from floating shelves (without visible supports) to stylish built-in bookcases and display units.

Like Julianne's, a shelving unit can be used for so much more than storage, it can be a feature – or, a decorative piece of furniture – in its own right. 

Consider the design of the shelf itself and its backdrop for extra impact. A curvaceous design could enhance the front of a simple shelf or a natural (waney) edge could highlight the rustic look of a solid timber one. 

Using curved lines within a home offers a wealth of benefits, including the potential to add both flow and dynamism. For smaller spaces, curved furniture can really help to soften the room and extend the eye line, whereas, in larger spaces, big sweeping curves create cozy, cocooning, warm moments. 

However, if curved furniture feels a step too far, it can be fun to experiment with accessories and furnishings that incorporate a curved edge or pattern. Scalloped trims on rugs and pillows are a great way to add some softer lines into a living space and also give you a chance to experiment with pops of color or pattern on the trim.

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Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.