Question: How do I style the perfect shelfie?
There are two types of people when it comes to shelfies: those who place objects on a shelf and leave them there to gather dust, and those who are constantly moving things around to give a new lease of life to their shelves. I have to admit that I’m one of the first – when I have a shelf looking ‘just right’, I tend to leave things where they are.
The obvious places to style shelfies are on shelves – wall mounted shelves, freestanding shelving units or built-in bookshelves are all great places to get creative. Shelfie styling isn’t exclusive to shelves, however; a shelfie can also be styled on a mantlepiece, on top of a cabinet or sideboard, or on a windowsill. The basic principles are the same across all surfaces – you are styling a group of objects (usually accessories) to look visually appealing. Here are the three simple rules I always adhere to:
- Style in groups of three
- Balance colours and materials diagonally
- Mix up heights and sizes
Style in groups of three
Odd numbers just look better to the eye. When you’re styling objects together, whether it’s accessories on a shelf, stems in a vase or prints on a wall, always use odd numbers for a better balance. For shelf styling, this often means grouping objects in threes or placing them individually on the shelf.
Balance colours and materials diagonally
When you’ve decided on your colour scheme for a shelf, place items of the same colour (or material, if you’re using a neutral palette) diagonally opposite each other. So if you have a three-tier shelf you could place one mustard object on the bottom left and another on the top right. This creates a sense of balance and groups the shelves together as one cohesive scheme.
Mix up heights and sizes
Your shelfie will look flat if all the objects are the same size. Alternate tall, medium, small, wide and thin items to create a more interesting display. You could try placing a smaller accessory on a pile of books to give it some height, adding tall grasses to a vase or leaning a print against the wall if you’re struggling to find taller objects.
Take some time to play around with creating shelfies around your home. I like to shop my home, gathering objects that are going unnoticed in other places to group together in one area to make more of an impact. Once you’ve gathered together a collection of objects and started playing around with styling them on a shelf, you will notice where your gaps are and can make a list of what you’re missing. Perhaps you need to add a colourful statement candle, a simple vase or a bold print to add interest.
Take a peek at our accessories collection to build up your collection of objects for shelfie styling perfection.