Hi, I’m
Amy Pottenger!

amy pottenger interior designer

I know first hand what it’s like to be running a business while raising kids and cultivating a thriving marriage. It’s a lot.

It’s my mission to use my 15+ years of experience to create a lifeline for entrepreneurial mamas, helping them realize the homes of their dreams.

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No Drama Open Shelving


Open shelves. So many people love them and so many people are also TOTALLY STRESSED about what to put on them! One of the most common requests from our Design Power Session clients is helping to figure out how to use and decorate open shelves.

Whether you have them in your living room, kitchen or somewhere else, no need for drama, because today I’m sharing my favorite practical tips to make this a less overwhelming task, and I know you’d rather focus on growing your business than attempting to style your open shelves for the 12th time, right?

Here’s how to get to stylin’ those shelves like a designer and be done with it, already:

kitchen interior design
  1. EDIT THE THINGS. You knew I was going to say this one, because it’s TRUE. When in doubt, simplify. You might be trying to shove too many things on those open shelves. Make it easier on yourself and go larger scale with fewer items: 

2. VARY THE HEIGHT + SCALE of your items. If everything is the exact same scale and height = b o r i n g. And we’re not having that. Need to add some height to make it work? Stack books! 

3. VARY THE AMOUNT OF ITEMS FROM SHELF TO SHELF. As you look at some of the photos of the open shelves we’ve styled, you’ll notice that often there’s a pattern of: one centered larger item, followed by the next shelf with two smaller arrangements and open visual space in the center. This works in the same way as varying height does, to add interest and move your eye around the space.

Photo by Jonathan Thrasher Photography

4. USE BASKETS TO ADD TEXTURE AND HIDE THINGS. This works especially well when you have all open shelving but wish you had some closed cabinets mixed with it. Or in spaces where you need to keep some practical but not pretty items. Baskets to the rescue!

5. ADD SOME PERSONALITY. Use items that mean something to you! Books, photographs, art work, objects- any of these add life to your space and will make it feel more like YOUR home.

Photo by Ashley Avila Photography
Photo by Ashley Avila Photography

5. IT’S OKAY TO BE PRACTICAL. Especially if it’s a hardworking room like a kitchen, office or laundry room- style with functionality in mind! Need accessibility to your laundry soap? Then why not put it on an open shelf in a pretty container!

Photo by Jonathan Thrasher Photography

Still want pro help styling your own shelves? We’ve got your back. Check out our Design Power Sessions and help will be on the way in no time!

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