How to Style a Feature Wall with Studio Melissa Louise | Flank Shelving System

April 27, 2022

Combining a contemporary aesthetic with timeless classicism, Melissa Louise is an interior designer and founder of Studio Melissa Louise, an interior design and creative consultancy. With our Flank Shelving System featuring prominently in her most recent home revamp, we asked her to show + tell us a little more about her design process, as well as share some of her best advice for styling our own homes. . .


Studio Melissa Louise-Interior Designer and Pedersen + Lennard

Find the Focal Point

“The flank shelves are the focal point of our main living space, really making use of the double volume space. A focal point is the area of the room where your eye first lands when you enter. Styling your focal point gives you the most value, after all, it’s the first impression your guests will have. 

For this reason, we felt it was important to invest in Pedersen + Lennard’s Flank shelves which so beautifully bring in warm hues. The flexibility of the shelving system also allows for us to change it up as the space changes over the years. 

If you’re not sure how to identify the focal point in your space, keep in mind that it’s usually something obvious... an architectural detail - like exposed trusses, ornate windows or a fireplace. Alternatively, it can be the most dominant wall - this is where it’s a good idea to hang a large mirror, a striking artwork or position your bed/headboard.” 

Flank Shelving Two Ways

“Through the use of colour, you can change the whole mood of a space. Both of the looks below create entirely different feelings, simply by using different colours.”


A monochrome minimalist approach creates a peaceful space. To achieve this look, opt for neutral shades and style the space using different tones of the same colour.

Pedersen + Lennard Flank Shelving Feature Wall - Studio Melissa Louise

Flank Shelving System - Pedersen + Lennard

Design trend alert: turning the spines of your books inward allows the pages themselves to create a subtle depth of colour.

Pedersen + Lennard - wooden shelves


Maximising the use of bright colours creates a fun, energetic space.

Flank Shelving - Pedersen + Lennard

Design trend alert: Consider organising your book collection by colour, just remember to balance the colours at the top with vignettes lower down.

Flank Shelving - Pedersen + Lennard

Pedersen + Lennard X Studio Melissa Louise

Timber Flank Shelving - Pedersen + Lennard


Styling a Vignette

“When styling your shelving area, remember the rule of 3: find something vertical, something horizontal, and something sculptural (an organic shape) to tie the two together. This creates a layered vignette - presenting things in threes makes a grouping more memorable.

Vignette - Pedersen + Lennard

Layering involves placing items in front of or behind another to create a collected look. It can apply to vignettes or the whole room. This can be seen throughout the shelves, as well as the soft furnishings on the couch.  

To add real soul to your space, invest in a few heirloom pieces. These could be thrifted, or hand-me-downs, or items collected on your travels—style them alongside newly purchased pieces that reflect your current style.”

Flank Shelving System - Pedersen + Lennard


What is your favourite Pedersen + Lennard piece?

To be honest, I would just love to live in the Pedersen + Lennard showroom! But if I had to choose my ultimate favourites, it would be:

What is your go-to comfort

Indian curry, with pillowy white rice and garlic naan! Don’t forget the sambals!


Your biggest interior tip for those on a budget or just starting out?

Embrace pre-loved furniture pieces, whether it’s hand-me-downs or thrifted pieces. You can breathe new life into these items by adding contemporary touches, like Pedersen + Lennard’s Montreal Cabinet Handles, or a paint technique! A lick of paint can change your world. 


What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Creating and growing my brand, which is closely linked to designing a life I love. As demanding as being a business owner can be, it has been so rewarding. I do not take for granted the trust my clients put in me to bring to life the homes and spaces they dream of. These spaces are where they create memories with the people they love most - this work brings me great joy and fulfilment.


Any advice you'd give your younger self?

You will be swimming through the depths of what it means to be human, fighting the tides of life, just remember you can float to rest - surrender to the rise and fall of each swell. You’ll be surprised by your resilience — there’s a beautiful sunrise day after day. Just keep swimming. 


How to stay connected with Melissa Louise





Installing Flank Shelves - Pedersen + Lennard

Flank Shelving - Pedersen + Lennard

Modular Shelving System - Pedersen + Lennard

Mason Stone Side Table - Pedersen + Lennard

Interior Designer: Studio Melissa Louise

Styling: Melissa Louise + Jen Pedersen

Photography: Mimi Louw

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