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A Modern and Organic Entry: Shelf Styling Tips + Shop The Look



The entry of my friend’s house that we started revealing this week (the living and dining room at least) is one of those areas that felt like no-mans land but it’s not – it’s the very first thing you see when you come into this house, and also something that you can see from quite a few rooms so obviously it’s VERY important.

Emily Henderson Corbette Crypton 70s Modern Makeover Living Room 61

I threw in these photos again from the living room post earlier this week, so you can see where the entry is in the house. The front door is right behind the new fig tree and Modernica planter we added in this photo, below – so that vignette is the first thing you see. Then you look right to the sunken living room and left to the dining room.

Emily Henderson Corbette Crypton 70s Modern Makeover Living Room 21

That’s all to say… it’s important. My friend Corbett was pretty stumped by this area. The wood used to be a really dated orange/contemporary finish with brushed nickel hardware. So she replaced it all with this beautiful darker walnut (I think) which transformed it to be gorgeous.

Emily Henderson Corbette Crypton 70s Modern Organic Entry Way 21

It’s all useful cabinetry (even the ones going up the stairs – those hold strollers/car seats and coats. They pull out and have huge amounts of storage for her and her family.

To style this we used pretty much all of our basic lessons.

1. Start with a consistent color palette: We wanted the entry to work with the neutral living room and this wasn’t the house to necessarily drop in a ton of bright graphic colors. So we kept it to black, whites, grays, and some terracotta tones (pulled from her Turkish rug and vintage pottery).

2. Mix up the shapes, sizes, and scales within that color palette for a more eclectic look: This house is very serious (what with the wood and concrete) so we wanted to make it feel more inviting by giving it that more eclectic look.

Emily Henderson Corbette Crypton 70s Modern Organic Entry Way 3

3. Pepper all those things around evenly: The black vase on the left echoes the black vase on the top right. The terracotta pot calls out to the rug color and the other pots as well as the warm tones of the wood. The frames are all different shapes and orientations and yet layered together they feel like a cool team as they are all blacks, whites and woods.

4. Create Groupings: This can just even be two things, like the two vases below on the top shelf. The easiest way to actually style out a bookshelf or space like this is to separate things into groupings – a chunk of books here, a small collection of vases there and then keep playing around with it and repeating the same styled groupings with slightly different (but similar) objects.

5. Keep some negative or quiet space: The white vase on the top shelf gives your eye a visual rest, as does the more quiet art. It’s all eclectic but not cluttered and it feels tonal and not loud.

Emily Henderson Corbette Crypton 70s Modern Organic Entry Way 4

6. Add natural greenery or flowers to keep it feeling fresh and to have the organic shape of the plant break up the lines and bring in that natural sculpture shape.

Emily Henderson Corbette Crypton 70s Modern Organic Entry Way 5

We mixed in some newer pieces of art (from BlockShop and Target) with some that they already had (like the drawing above). Then we borrowed some beautiful handmade pottery from Sheldon Ceramics, which is local to LA and had the perfect simple pieces for this space. But the rest of the pieces were sourced from Target, Rejuvenation, CB2 and West Elm – we also borrowed a few tonal books from my house for the shoot but have since replaced them for her with some new ones (that of course we kept tonal).

Emily Henderson Corbette Crypton 70s Modern Organic Entry Way 3

In case that above entry looked easy to style, it wasn’t. Corbett was stumped, Brady even texted me stumped after he started styling it, but once we applied the simple rules and process above it started working. Just keep tweaking until it feels right in your own space.

But let’s face it – a lot of it is about having really great stuff and knowing where exactly to find it. Which is why we want you to be able to get that look without all the styling mishaps that even we succumb to. So without further ado – get that look, if you are into it. Let us know if you have any questions below, and happy Friday.

Emily Henderson Crypton Corbetts Entry Get The Look1

1. Tall Black Geometric Vase | 2. Terra Cotta Vase with Handles (similar) | 3. Seated Figure Print (similar) | 4. Black Frame | 5. Magnet Woodblock Print | 6. Bengal Woodblock Print | 7. Woodblock Print | 8. White Gallery Frame | 9. Assorted Ceramic Vases | 10. Flat Woven Rug (similar) | 11. Natural Wood Frame | 12. Blind Contour Print (similar) | 13. Marble Tray (similar) | 14. Short Black Geometric Vase | 15. Terra Cotta Bud Vase (similar) | 16. Alura Open Vase | 17. Abstract Art Set | 18. Vintage Plaster Bust (similar) | 19. Terra Cotta Vase | 20. Ceramic Vases Set


***Photography by Sara Tramp for EHD

Fin Mark


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Woah, stunning. This whole house with the wood, white and concrete theme is just so beauttiful, thank you for sharing it this week!


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A true work of art. Definitely the most beautifully designed shelves I’ve ever seen.


oh please open those storage areas up! i want to see what that pull-out storage looks like! ok, kind of kidding because it feels rude to ask to see someone’s storage, but it sounds really cool. maybe a round-up of interesting built-in storage?

Robyn Pittluck

I also want to see inside! I am past the stroller stage but how do you fit a stroller or car seat in there?? V curious

we should go back and shoot it because these types of genius storage solutions are like porn to moms. We are going to shoot her kitchen soon, so we’ll try to squeeze it in. xx


So beautiful! Are there any shots of what those pull-out organizers look like? I love the idea!


I just realized I looked at this house when I was looking to move in 2014. It is almost unrecognizable! I just had to go back and find the listing photos to see the “before”. Bravo!


I would love to see those before photos – and the pull-out storage, too! I want to know absolutely everything about this stunning house. You and your team have gone above and beyond this time, Emily!


Oh goodness. Without disclosing the address or identifying details, I’d love to see any “before” pictures that are available! This house was a good canvas, but it’s clear the owners, and the EHD team, have taken it from good to stunning! A proper Before/After would be so satisfying.

we’ll show them at some point – especially with the bathroom. the problem is that their before photos are totally weird angles and are super super low res. but we’ll include them someday i promise (the kitchen is the BEST transformation).


Just gorgeous! I love the entry and living room together. I know that getting the styling right is so much more difficult than it looks… and of course it’s supposed to look effortless! You guys nailed it. Thanks for the links… my living room shelves need all the help!


Very pretty. I’d love to see the before pictures of this house.

Cris S.

So many yesses to ‘before’ pictures!!!!!


Love this style so much, and thanks for the useful tips – they really help break down the design process. I never thought of design that way, but it certainly demystified it a bit for me.


maybe a silly question: but where do you get all the greenery and branches? Is this something that most flower shops offer and sell separately or do you have to source more specialized florists?


I love Pottery Barn faux stems! They’re expensive but the quality is so good and they look real! (If you’re looking for faux greenery). I also visit a local plant shop where they have “leftover” stems out from for $1-3 each. Sometimes, if they have a lot that are dying and haven’t sold, they give them away for free. That way the plant has a moment of glory before it dies.

I also take some clippings from the trees and bushes from my backyard. Those don’t last long at all but they smell nice.

We clip mostly from outside 🙂 We buy the trees at the flower market downtown, but all the branches come from the backyard typically. xx


I feel like we’re seeing hints of the chalet here in this home. You’ve been exercising the scandi part of your brain for some time now. 🙂

YES. YOU ARE RIGHT. This house is actually a huge inspiration to me. When she was designing it I was sitting next to her and it was before we bought the cabin. Now i’m like ‘i want a version of this this house, too’. Hers is more japanese, mine will be more colorful/playful (because, duh) but the ideas are the same – super streamlined, organic, a lot of natural elements, but simple …


Thanks for the great tips! The color echoing is so important. In art school, I had an instructor that put it this way, “always move your colors”. He would say that whenever you have paint on your brush, you need to touch everything with that color, even if just a little. Look closely at the paintings of great masters and you’ll see it! I still think about that every time I do anything, including decorating.

man I wish i had gone to art school. I feel like i’m learning on the job every day which I know you have to do regardless, but tips like that could have really helped 🙂


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This house is STUNNING!!!! I cannot get enough of it!!! Please show more and btw, this is my favorite, most impressive job you’ve done and I love all your work!!

thank you! but Corbett designed the house – we just decorated/styled it. She makes me look REALLY good. xx

Jen M

THANK YOU (sorry to shout but I am that grateful) for the step by step guide to shelf styling. S uc h a tricky thing and gives me relief to know that it can be a challenge even for professiona ls! Xo

you are welcome 🙂

Lisa Lee

I love everything I’ve seen in this home. Beautiful. Thank you for this shelf styling post! This is the direction I’m heading in styling my own home. Can’t wait to see the kitchen! From what I can tell, it appears to seamlessly flow from the dining room. Very minimal, but warm with the white and walnut. I just painted everything grays from your list of favorite neutrals. I picked out a walnut counter for my island, and haven’t seen a lot of examples for this direction out there yet. It is so lovely to see how they used walnut throughout… Read more »


Love that the usually unusable space of the stair wall received storage cabinets as well. Very smart.


I have a sideboard/highboard that is similar in shape – long and narrow. The only difference is that the wall above it is higher and there are no shelves like here. So anything I put on there looks itty bitty..
Seeing this I’m thinking that I probably need to hang pictures first and then decorate because nothing will ever look right in front of an empty wall. The shelves really do make such a difference in breaking up the space!


I am also a natural walnut lover, myself. It is one of those woods that lightens as it ages, however and may end up orange again. Just a warning. I did give my walnut a slight stain to avoid the orange blonding.

It’s a beautiful home and styled perfectly. Enjoying all the posts!

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Beautifully styled, but it looks like a magazine shoot. It doesn’t look like someone’s home. No personal items, no quirky things that don’t really go but you love them so you display it anyway.


I’m on the edge of my seat for this home reveal, since we live in a (smaller) super similar version in AZ. Half wall in the living, oak wood cabinets, concrete floors, stairs into living, floor to ceiling windows and all. The half wall and Our entry has also boggled me for years as you see into the living from it with the half wall. CANNOT WAIT!


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Beautiful. Thank you for this shelf styling post! This is the direction I’m heading in styling my own home. geometry dash

Steven L. Martinez

I love the way it looks very clean and the place makes wider. You don’t have to be rich to afford this kind of shelf, very simple yet the modern style is now yours. Thank you for sharing your ideas in creating and arranging shelf that will make your visitor comfortable in the place. Room makeover tulsa is great! I hope to read more of this blog, Keep up the good work.


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