How to Style Shelves in the Kitchen for Thanksgiving & Christmas

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Simple tips on how to style shelves in the kitchen with décor that can easily transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas using rich textures, neutral colors, and cozy elements.

Holiday Kitchen Shelf

Tis the season for all things holiday. Well…almost! We are coming up on the most magical time of the year but also the busiest, right?! There is so much to do for the holidays from shopping & baking to parties & festivities. It can get overwhelming at times with everything we have on our list of things to do.

But, what if I could help you check one thing off your list by sharing how to style shelves in the kitchen for not one, but two upcoming holidays?!

How to Style Shelves

Last week, during one of our many rainy days lately, I challenged myself to style the shelf in our kitchen with décor that could easily be used for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I wanted to create a look that was neutral, natural, cozy, and collected that could be used for multiple holidays. Surprisingly, I think I may have achieved that by using items we already had in our home!

Holiday Kitchen Shelf

Let’s take a look at how to style shelves in the kitchen with décor that can take you from Thanksgiving all the way through the new year. Leaving you with more time for your other holiday activities!

How to Style Shelves in the Kitchen

The Basics of How to Style Shelves

There are a few basic tips to remember when styling a shelf for any season or holiday. Use these simple tips as a guide when beginning to pull objects together to place on a shelf.

  • Stick to a color palette.
  • Use a combination of old & new objects.
  • Include natural elements.
  • Use items of varying heights.
  • Add layers to create depth.
Kitchen Shelf Décor

Choose a Color Palette When Styling Shelves

This might be the most important step when deciding to style shelves with décor for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I decided to stick to a neutral color palette utilizing shades of white, cream, green, and tan. Each of these colors together are warm & cozy, and could easily be used for one or both holidays.

Kitchen Shelf Décor

How to Style Shelves Using Old & New Objects

One of the things I love to do when decorating is to shop our home! As I said before, almost all of the objects I used on our kitchen shelf were pieces we already had in our home. The white plates, bowls, and mugs were stored away in our pantry, so I brought those out and stacked them on the shelf to add layers and create depth.

Farmhouse Kitchen
How to Style Shelves in the Kitchen

The white ceramic houses were a gift from Dave a few Christmas’s ago. I use them in our Christmas décor each year. Not only do they have special meaning to me, but I love the cozy charm & character they add to the décor in our home.

White Ceramic Houses

These ceramic houses are no longer available however, I found this ivory ceramic Christmas village set from Pottery Barn that is beautiful, or this more smaller, more affordable white decorative ceramic village set from Target is cute too.

Stoneware in the Kitchen

The only new object styled on our kitchen shelf, is this deer stoneware pitcher. I found this while researching my favorite Christmas décor finds for 2022 and had to have it! I think it looks so cute hanging here and although it has a reindeer on the pitcher, I felt it did not necessarily scream Christmas.

Farmhouse Kitchen

How to Style Shelves With Natural Elements

No matter the season or holiday, I always love to have fresh natural elements in our home. It adds beauty and coziness!

Pitcher of Eucalyptus

I had to think a little bit about which natural element would work best here for two holidays. The answer…eucalyptus! Fresh eucalyptus is a great year round option as a filler for flower arrangements, but also placed in a vessel all on it’s own.

Natural Elements on a Shelf

On our shelf, I filled a white pitcher with water and added fresh eucalyptus stems with small leaves. These small eucalyptus leaves reminded me of rosemary and pine stems that most of us use in our holiday décor, so I thought it was the perfect natural element to add here.

How to Style Shelves

How to Style Shelves With Height

Add items of varying heights to the shelf. This allows the eye to move from item to item on the shelf, creating visual interest.

The white pitcher filled with eucalyptus was a little stout for the shelf, so I simply placed the pitcher on a stack of dishes. It instantly made the pitcher appear taller, and added the right amount of height to the center of our shelf.

How to Style Shelves

Don’t forget to make sure the items on your shelves look balanced! For instance, don’t place all of your tall items on one side of the shelf. Mix items of varying heights throughout your shelf for a cohesive, balanced look.

How to Style Shelves

Add Layers for Depth on Shelves

Layers add personality and coziness to your shelves!

One of the ways I like to add layers to a kitchen shelf is by stacking plates, bowls, and mugs.

How to Style Shelves

Layers can also be created by placing items in groups of odd numbers. I created a group of three objects on either end of the shelf using the ceramic houses, a faux potted evergreen, candle, and a stack of bowls.

Kitchen Shelf

Adding layers to your shelf will prevent it from looking flat, dull, and boring.

How to Style Shelves in the Kitchen

Final Thoughts on How To Style Style Shelves for Thanksgiving & Christmas

With a few pieces you most likely have in your home you can style your kitchen shelves for not just Thanksgiving but Christmas too!

  • Use neutral colors such as varying shades of white, cream, green, and tan.
  • Display your holiday china that may be sitting in a pantry or hutch.
  • Decorate your shelf with items that have special meaning to you.
  • Bring in the outdoors with natural elements.
  • Add height and layer items for depth and visual interest.
Kitchen Shelf Décor
White Ceramic House

For more on the basics of shelf styling and tips & tricks, download your free copy of my eBook, How to Style Shelves Like a Pro!

Shop Our Home

Links to products featured in this post can be found in our “Shop Our Home” page. I hope this page makes shopping our home a little easier for you! I earn a small commission when you make a purchase from one of our LTK links. Your support helps me continue to create meaningful content for you!


I look forward to sharing more of my home with you and inspiring you to have a well loved home! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and

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How to Style Shelves in the Kitchen
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  1. Great tips! Shelves have always been a struggle for me. I’m going to be applying theses tips. Thank you!

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