Some real talk about purchasing shelves and the process of find shelves that will work for your home. This information will save you a TON of pain and suffering trying to find decor items that will look great on your shelf.
I get soooo many requests from people look for small book because their shelves are only 5 inches wide. Standard books are between 6-6.5 inches wide. Even if you forego the book look...think about the width of a vase or jug.
If you have mistakenly purchased one of those extremely skinny shelves...it's not your fault! The marketing wizards will deceive you by photographing scaled down books and folded towels to make it look like those things would fit. These two pictures were both included in the same shelf listing. One is an accurate representation and the other is not!
In what world will a shelf that just fits a bottle of lotion...also fit a stack of books and a group of other knick knacks?!
Always check the measurements (sometime buried in the item description). I would not buy a shelf less than 8 inches wide. My personal preference is at lease 10 inches.
The following is my favorite shelf. I use it in a number of the photos of our shelf decor + book combos. You can find it on Amazon!
Also, with a wider shelf, you can layer objects like picture frames and vases. Lastly, you don't want your decor items going directly to the edge of your shelf. It just looks silly (IMO). I would say to leave at least an inch.
Happy shelf shopping folks! You are now armed with information to make home decorating just a touch easier!