Easy Ways to Up Your #Shelfie Game

When considering a new space or home, I always think of the many #shelfie displays that I could create, what they might look like, and all the precious items that will be allocated to each one. For me, it’s not only about storage, but how each #shelfie can work as a style statement. They don’t replace art in a home, but are considered as living pieces of art in themselves, as a way of dressing an empty wall.

I hope that the themes I have created, from #raw to #shelvesofcuriosities, from #recycled to #pureandsimple trigger your imagination. If you are unsure about the look you would like to create, below are some principles I tend to adhere to as a starting point for shelf inspiration. However, as I always say: rules are meant to be broken, so have fun, experiment, and remember that the best thing about #shelfies is how easily they can be changed.


Tell a story

It is always wise to have a theme or a story in mind, be it nature, collectibles, or nostalgic memorabilia.

Varying Heights

Make sure you have a selection of objects of various heights, otherwise your display will simply look far too uniform.

Mixed Media

Mix up textures such as wood with glass or paper with handmade pottery. This approach always draws the eye as it looks so tactile. If you want to put up shelves, consider using recycled or reclaimed wood, which give lovely texture and individuality.

Use the Wall

I like to hang a photograph or painting behind the shelf to give extra height and a backdrop to a display.

Stay Off-Center

This is a very important principle: start with your largest item and place it off-center, arranging the other objects around it. Trust me, this works!

Layers, layers, layers

Start with the largest objects at the back and the smallest at the front, and slightly vary how you position things as you work along the shelf. Keep experimenting until your display looks balanced.

Curate a Gallery of Images

Create your very own gallery by displaying art or photographs in abundance on slender shelves with a ridge that helps to support them.

Get Creative with Colour

Colour can be added successfully to your home without taking the plunge and painting a wall. I’ve been collecting green objects for displaying in my otherwise monochrome kitchen and they really add interest.

Play with Proportions

Scale is something I feel strongly about and I am not afraid to put large or oversized shelves or units into a small space. It actually does the opposite of what you might expect, opening up the space and giving generous proportions.


Above all, have fun and enjoy your #shelfie journey.


This excerpt is from #Shelfie by Geraldine James. To get more great blog posts like this one - direct to your inbox – be sure to sign up to our mailing list here.