Thanks for stopping by! I’m Grace van Meurer, a graphic designer and illustrator with a passion for interior spaces. This is where I share my DIY home improvement projects and insights. Cheers!

A minimalist approach to shelf styling with beautiful, functional, and sentimental objects

A minimalist approach to shelf styling with beautiful, functional, and sentimental objects

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

— William Morris

This is the quote that I always come back to when it comes to home decor. I find that having only useful and beautiful things in your house is especially important for spaces that need to work as functional storage, and are out in the open.

The one area of our house that I’ve been struggling with for a while has been our open shelving linen closet in the guest bathroom. But after thinking about the essentials, and adding in some items that I absolutely adore, I am finally happy with how it is looking!

I broke down my decor process to three simple steps that can help you think about organizing a space with a more intentional purpose, and how to carefully integrate those sentimental objects that you want to display!


Step One: Think about the function first.

The main intention of this space is to have all of the bathroom essentials on display for guests to easily find what they are looking for.

The essentials that I always have out for guests include basic first aid items, cotton swabs, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, hand towels and bath towels.

I keep soap and all of those other goodies in the shower or on the sink.

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Step Two: Corral the little things.

This is my number one tip for reducing visual clutter. It does wonders especially for small spaces! And this is also an area where I love to add sentiment and style.

I use a vintage brass duck container I thrifted a while ago to store first aid items, hair ties, and bobby pins. A repurposed candle container makes for a great storage jar for cotton swabs. A terrazzo tray from Target is my mini hub for dental hygiene. A handmade wicker basket that I picked up on a vacation to Spain holds spare toilet paper. A simple wire basket holds fresh hand towels.


Step Three: Layer in the beauty

This is where it really gets fun! I don’t add a whole lot, but it’s enough to bring in warmth and truly personal touches.

A small stack of my favorite books go under the duck, a sketchy drawing I made of my pup gets tucked behind. A cherished painting hangs above the plant hanger that now holds my cotton swabs. A handmade decorative vase that I got on vacation is just there because I love it, and it’s all rounded out with a framed family photo.


I’m so happy to finally have functional bathroom storage that I love looking at. I never used to consider myself a sentimental decorator, but I suppose I really am because everything that really sparks joy means more to me than just the way it looks.

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