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How to create the perfect shelfie

05 May 2017

While shelving is a simple, practical way to store your odds and ends, it also offers an opportunity for you to display your favourite literature and finishing touches, in a way that truly reflects your personality. Storage is often perceived as a boring necessity, but it can easily be transformed into an insta-worthy focal point with just a few simple styling tricks. In this post, we show you how to achieve a visually stunning display in just a few easy steps, for a “shelfie” that’s sure to be the envy of all who see it!

Let it breathe

It’s not just about what you put on your shelves, but how you arrange them, too! Floating wall shelves enable you to channel your inner creativity by putting together an arrangement that is truly unique and perfectly fits your home. Try to intentionally leave space between your shelving when putting your arrangement together – these gaps can be filled with a patterned wallpaper of your choice, which provides a beautiful backdrop to layer on to. Or, if you prefer something with a little more dimension, mount a selection of woven trays onto your wall, which create a naturally stunning art display while adding textural interest to your shelf décor.

Get the look: Sophisticated wall shelf | Handwoven wall art (see similar)

Green oasis

Every well-decorated shelfie needs something green to bring it to life! Indoor plants are a brilliant option to add to your shelf, and add a fresh and relaxed feel to your home.

Different styles and sizes of shelves will call for different types of flora. Cacti bear beautiful organic shapes that add dimension to your space, and come in petite sizes that fit perfectly with smaller shelves for a clean, minimalist look. For something with more of a homely touch, opt for plants with larger leaves, which create a more lush and layered appearance. Use vines on higher shelves – trailing, cascading vines create a naturally effortless statement, creating a little urban jungle right inside your home.

Monochrome moment

One of the simplest ways to create a cohesive shelf display is by curating a selection of finishing touches in varying tones of a single colourway. Whether you opt for calming shades of grey or a spectrum of vivid blues, using a monochromatic palette adds continuity to your shelf décor, providing a connection between each shelf that will make your style stand out.


Get the look: Shelfmate wall hanging shelves | Terracotta ceramics (browse our terracotta selection online)

While we love the look of symmetry, this year’s all about going slightly off-balance, as well as playing with proportions and an unconventional mix of décor pieces for a homely, effortlessly thrown-together look. This works especially well if working with a tonal theme or single colour, which avoids the display looking mismatched and cluttered. Try experimenting with arrangements to see which look you like best: we love the unexpected look of pairing the largest piece in the collection with the smallest, as well as placing a large stand-alone item next to a cluster of smaller finishing touches.

A well-read shelf

Books are anything but boring – there are plenty of ways to style your literature other than keeping them held upright between bookends. For a quick update, leave a little space between your books so they can lean on each other. While this creates a more laidback look and feel, it also shows that each of your books have been lovingly read, and weren’t just propped on the shelf simply for display.


Get the look: Atelier box with handles (see similar)

Another way to achieve a stylish bookshelf is by grouping your literature based on its height and colour for continuity. Compound this idea by visualising an imaginary grid in your bookcase, and fill up each space separately.

For the minimalists among us, draw attention to your shelving rather than the contents by turning some book spines to face inwards. This will achieve a neutral, organised look to your shelves, and keep them from making your room feel cluttered and busy.

Tailored to perfection

There are plenty of ways to style your finishing touches to achieve the perfect shelfie, but don’t forget you can also get creative with the shelves themselves too. Opt for unique, versatile designs so that your storage solution becomes more than just a functional backdrop, but also a striking focal point to your room.


Get the look: Utilitile keyed shelf, Utilitile mirror (in stores only)

Indulge your DIY side by selecting a bespoke arrangement of stand-alone boxes or racks for a truly individualised shelving solution. These can easily hang along the wall, fitting in between other furniture pieces where pre-made shelves might otherwise be too large. Working with modular storage will allow you to add more units over time, as well as rearrange the layout whenever your space (or taste!) changes.


Get the look: Out of the Box

So whether it’s rejigging your existing collection of literature, adding in a beautifully potted plant or embracing a totally new shelving display, we hope these tips have inspired you to create that insta-worthy shelfie!

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