Easy Rules To Follow- How To Decorate Shelves and Built Ins

Easy Rules To Follow- How To Decorate Shelves and Built Ins

How To Decorate Built In Bookshelves

The other day I walked into our Den, a gorgeous room with beams running across the ceiling, full of light and adorned with windows that remind me of a seaside home. Want to guess what we use it for? A kids room, and for the Christmas tree once a year. Since moving in two years ago, we have been designing rooms one at a time but completely neglected the Den. On either side of these large curved windows are two built in bookshelves. It really is our in-home library for storage purposes. However, I couldn’t believe that it hadn’t donned on me to do anything with these beautiful book shelves! So, in comes Decocrated.

Decocrated is an amazing home decor subscription box that send seasonal boxes of curated one of a kind seasonal decor. The pieces are hand crafted and help keep my home beautiful throughout the year. Meaning- I have lots of pieces to play around with! Let’s get to it. ((Use code CHELSEY10 for $10 off your first box.))


The Before


Obviously this little shelf had loads of potential. I have this habit of constantly moving things around until I find the perfect look I love, so the final style will probably change through the year. That’s because it sometimes takes me a moment to find the perfect balance between design and function. Plus, I tend to get new pieces all the time and really just love to play around with decor.  



1-2-3   1-2-3   

If you look at any styled area, I will repeat this until it is engraved into your brain, style is complimented by odd numbers. Ish. That means that you can group items in threes, fives, etc, for a cohesive design. That also means grouping of like-type pieces look best in threes.  This rule is flexible because like the pumpkin sitting on top of the books above, the books are grouped in three, but additional items can be placed in because the shelves are also separated into threes. 


Contrasting Pieces 

When you see beautifully designed shelves you might think, how did they know all these pieces go together? Or, I would have never thought to place those together. However, there are actually rules that can help you do just the same! The first rule, add contrast! I personally love to introduce black into my decor because it gives a space depth, and helps me mix together both antiques with modern pieces. You may choose to add a bright and vibrant color instead, but never discount a good dose of black, because it truly is timeless. 


Function Is Key


 The common mistake I see with spaces and decor is neglecting to use a space for function. It can be pretty AND be a highly functioning space as well. The last thing you want to do is create a ton of spaces that are unusable in your home. Think about the adjoining spaces, can you make it a designated usable space? Given that the nearby windows are low to the ground, I turned the space into a reading nook full of pillows to create that cozy vibe. These pillows are actually from the Decocrated Summer & Fall boxes.

You can also add baskets to your shelving to hide items we don’t want on display, but that you need for everyday use, like keys, remotes, baby toys etc. 


Diagonal Patterns


Signage This is another trick I use to make sure my shelving is organized and pleasing to the eye, and it has to do with how we look at areas. You want the eye to dance across the area, without seeing obvious patterns. Look at the greenery in this space for example, it moves from the top right, to the center middle, and down to the right again at the bottom. The black pieces flow from the top left diagonally to the bottom right.

How many patterns can you find in this built in? Use this trick with common elements such as woods, papers, metallic pieces and greenery to ensure the design flows just right.


When In Doubt  

If you ever find yourself stuck, do yourself a favor and pull all of your pieces off the shelf, or even out of a room before beginning. This is one of my biggest tips because it is important because we get caught up on what is already there. Instead, take pieces out, maybe you only need half of the items you have. You can always find new homes around the house for decor you no longer need, or maybe you find that you just need a little more! Focus on adding pieces one at a time and I guarantee you will have a better time with the design altogether. Still stuck? Send me an email and our team is happy to help you get your space to one you’ll love. Email me personally at Chelsey@themamaguide.com or find us on Instagram @TheMamaGuideOfficial .

10 Stunning Fall & Halloween Front Porch Decor Inspirations

10 Stunning Fall & Halloween Front Porch Decor Inspirations

10 Stunning Fall & Halloween Front Porch Decor Inspirations

It’s here, Fall is here! I think fall is always a favorite because it’s cozy. It is just warm enough to not be miserable, but just chilly enough to snuggle up and enjoy the beautiful vibrant colors that mums and the trees give us each season. It’s actually one of my favorite reasons for moving to New England. Driving becomes a magical show with orange, red, and yellow trees alike. Don’t you think? 

This fall, I am especially in love because I am surrounded by gorgeous porches, like TO DIE FOR porches and antique homes stripped from magazines it seems. I just had to stop, snap, and share. These won’t be the last photos you see, so be sure to subscribe for more decor inspiration! Anyways, let’s get to the inspo. 

The Antique Pumpkin Stack

The simple elegance of stacked pumpkins make a towering statement. Perched inside an urn, this is the best example of the important of height in decor. Dried sunflowers compliment the piece with an aged nature to match. You almost miss the Ash tree branch in the back which gives depth to the porch. Against the shuttered antique doors, this simple piece makes the age of the home more charming, the neglected paint is almost romantic. I captured this photo in Salem, MA. One of my personal favorite towns in New England.

Doortop Pumpkins Rows

The most charming New England trend is popping up across the east, with rows of pumpkins above the door. This is the perfect compliment to typical bare-faced colonial homes. Often, without much space for decor, a perfect way to add cozy and charm. 

Salem’s Famous 136 1/2 Derby Street

You won’t want to miss this famous little alley house perched behind the floral shop. The spook filled yard screams Halloween at the beginning of each Fall. What else would we expect in Salem? Each year the yard changes with fresh ghoulish scenes. You won’t find sprawling mums, but you will get all the holiday feels. 


Farmhouse Neutral


Pumpkins arent for everyone this fall, and farmhouse trends are still rolling into homes. This bright and cheery small entrance makes quite the punch with bright greens and autumn colored pops. A flower box and a well placed wreath can always go a long way. 



Let Us Spell It Out For You

You can’t really go wrong with the classics, whether you stack, bunch, or pile them. This adorably addressed home keeps Fall simple, and let’s their porch shine. The simplicity echoes into the white scape and framed perfectly pruned greens. It proves that it doesn’t take a lot to make the neighbors stop and stare.  

Sunflower Sunshine Glow 

What better way to come home than to this glowing, warm entry? The soft yellow illuminates the golden tones of these timeless doors, balanced by the beautifully pieced sunflower wreath. 

Simple Statement 

Often times an already pleasing design needs little change to make an impact on the season. This year we see plenty of organic-based wreaths from cotton to barley. This is a tamed version that lets the original design stand true.  

Trick Or Treat Signs  

Signage is a great way to insert a welcoming or playful feel to any entryway. This one happens to be mine! Find the tutorial for the signs HERE and the wreath HERE. I was inspired by the colors mums give us every season and chose these flowers on my wreath to match. Signs are easy to make and easy to see from the road, a great piece your neighbors will gush over. 

Yearly Blooms To Love  

Not only is this perfectly pruned yard gush worthy, it’s actually my favorite in all of New England. The benefit on planting those fall mums we keep drooling over, is that they return every year. Just like tulips, plant yours this fall and enjoy them year and year again. This yard is down the way from our home, and passing it is always a delight. 

Crisp Cape Feel  

Though this darling facade is not in the cape, it’s seaside location mirrors the homes that are. Simple garland adorns the entrance with matching pumpkin decor on each side. The window boxes are picture perfect packed with color to contrast. Personally, I’d love to walk this sidewalk to home every day, what about you? 


All In The Details

This Fall shoot is just the beginning, I can’t wait to share more of what I love in New England. Just a few years here has been the most beautiful adventure, from jaw-dropping seasons to renovating our new home. Be sure to subscribe for future updates and follow me on Instagram for more home inspiration. 

Xo Chelsey


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The Mama Guide Podcast Launch

The Mama Guide Podcast

The Podcast is finally here! I am so excited to bring the blog to you on audio! Designed with you in mind, in short episodes that you can listen to while doin your Mom thang, running errands or heading to get the kids. 


 Interviews With Mom Experts? You bet, we have lined up some super talented women who are experts in their field to bring you their secrets, make your life easier, and share their wisdom.

Episodes Every Week

 Ready to make your home and yourself thrive, Mama? I believe that everything begins at home, and keeping it pretty doesn’t hurt either! Get tips to be your best, the Podcast is just for Moms! Get ready for amazing tips, tools, and interviews just for you. As women, we are stronger together! This podcast is designed to connect you with women everywhere and give you all the tools you need. Plus more! 


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You can find The Mama Guide Podcast live NOW on Spotify, search for The Mama Guide Podcast or click the Spotify image below to head right to the channel! ITunes and Google Podcasts coming soon! You’ll also be able to catch show notes right here on the blog, as well as downloadable resources and more, so make sure to subscribe here to the blog.


Ultimate Fall Tablescapes Guide + Decocrated First Look Fall 2019

Ultimate Fall Tablescapes Guide + Decocrated First Look Fall 2019

All About The Tablescape

Fall decor is the staple season for a reason, it’s warm and cozy. Comfort is our general favorite across the board, you see fall spike across Pinterest and magazines galore! But how do you bring that beautiful elegance and warmth into your home? The first place you need to begin is your tablescape, settings, linenes, and more. The biggest questions I get for home decor are how do I place items without looking cluttered? What pieces do I use for a cohesive flow? How do I even get that magazine worthy look on a budget?  

Before we begin, I am excited to share with you that this season’s fall decor is brought to you by Decocrated, an amazing home decor subscription box that I love. Each season you receive hand crafted pieces right to your door that refresh your home through the your home. I love Decocrated because they take the guess work out of home decor, and save you a budget-load that you couldn’t replicate in stores. 

Don’t miss the full unboxing of this Fall’s Decocrated box & Coupon Code below!

Top Tablescape Rules-Ish

They always say there aren’t any rules to decor, but what about something to guide you along the way? Especially with tablescapes, it can be hard to find a good balance of functional decor and knowing where to place items. I stick to the same general decor rules for my placement that will help your create the same beauty in your home. You’ll hear me say these time and time again, but they really do help for even the most seasoned decorators. First, MIX ELEMENTS. Make sure you have a variance of metals, woods, glass, greenery, and linens. Add warmth, tables that are too pristine, sterile, or perfect don’t scream cozy or fall. Use napkins, table runners, candles, and even a few pillows for your seating to make your table inviting. Heights should always vary, and keep items to odd numbers. Ok, now to the pretty details. But first!

Can you spot this season’s Fall Decocrated items? Take a guess and see if you’re right in the unboxing below. 


Cohesive Not Cluttered

Ever wonder if your placement looks cluttered? There’s usually one culprit to that, using too many small pieces. Luckily, tablescapes are easier because you focus on a centerpiece, and work your way out. Don’t be afraid to go larger with items on the table so long as you can still functionally serve a meal. To start, I always lay a table runner, and then my place mats. This will give you your first indicator for what room you have left for decor. Then, add your centerpiece. This doesn’t always have to be in the middle! This season I made use of the empty end of our table to draw the eye into the end of the room and make the space look larger.

Another tip, think of your items like a mountain’s peak. Place the largest items first, then add the remaining pieces around scaling downward in size. This gives the eye a chance to see each item, and filling the space without clutter. It will also help you indicate whether you need an additional larger or mid sized piece to balance your table. 

Signage & Trays

Using signs and trays are the perfect way to add an anchor, or to act as a centerpiece for your tablescape. These are especially great for smaller tables because they condense decor, while filling the space. This tray is from the 2018 Fall Decocrated box, which can be found for a limited time (watch the unboxing video for this secret tip) and the reversible sign is exclusively in this year’s fall box. 

Budget Friendly Tips

The second biggest question I get asked is how to decorate for the season on a budget. I’ll let you in on a few of my secrets to keeping my home beautiful all year long, without it taking a dent from my budget. 

1. Invest in neutral colored staples such as plates, napkins, runners, and place mats. White plates are a perfect choice because they can be dressed up, or down. They compliment any setting or room, and of course they also make your food POP! This gives way for your interchanging pieces to shine as well, without replacing the entirety of your table decor. 

2. Linens can be found at the best stores, for less. I frequently check sale and clearance sections of my favorite stores such as Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn. Filter for the lowest priced items first, and you’ll find staples for your tablescape at amazing prices. 

3. Decocrated is my best kept budget secret because they send about NINE items, for $79.99 a season. That is just a little over $8 a piece! You can’t find those prices even at a TJ Maxx even. Plus their quality is super durable, again, hand crafted pieces for a steal.  

4. Make your own napkins and linens. I have a great easy tutorial for beginners HERE. You can use this technique for all of your table linens, even runners, for a steal of a deal. 

5. Lastly, keep an eye out before the season strikes. Usually stores will clearance items after season, but the best time to find a good sale is just before the turn of the calendar. I use this same secret for almost everything I buy for our home.




Decocrated Fall Decor Unboxing

This season’s Fall Decocrated box inspired my whole tablescape, but I love the pieces throughout my entire home! You hear me rave about them a lot because they make decor so easy for me. Plus. they keep my home beautifully refreshed. Check out the video to see each of the pieces in this season’s 2019 Fall Decocrated box and get even more tips for decor! What are your favorite pieces? Use code CHELSEY10 for $10 off your first box at Decocrated.com

Follow me on Instagram HERE for more photos to inspire your home and make sure to subscribe to The Mama Guide for more easy ways to manage the home, make more time for you and what you love. 

If you have more questions for me or would like to see something on the blog, email me at chelsey@themamaguide.com I love to hear from you all and can’t wait to talk to you soon!