Shelfie Style: A Designer's Guide to Creating a Picture Perfect Shelf

Shelfie Style: A Designer's Guide to Creating a Picture Perfect Shelf

Discover the enchanting art of shelfie styling!  As interior designers, creating beautiful spaces is our passion AND our art, one that we love to share. One of the most important, and yet overlooked aspects of interior design are the finishing touches. These small details have a significant impact on the overall design and aesthetic of your room and add personality, depth and character. Elements such as candles, vessels, books and objects are the final layers that tie everything together. With that in mind, let's dive in to one of easiest and highly visible areas to style; your shelves!

Designer tips for styling shelves comes down to these six simple design principles.

Choose a Palette

Developing a curated palette is the crucial first step in designing a shelf layout. To create coherence and harmony in the space, we recommend maintaining a tight palette. This doesn't mean avoiding color or patterns! An energetic and lively palette can be so much fun and even a small pop of color can completely change the look and feel of the design.  

Play with Layers & Textures

Remember, finishing touches are meant to enhance the existing elements of the room. By grouping items in stacks or side by side, you can add depth and visual interest. Including items with interesting textures is one key way to add interest and elevate your "shelfie". One tip is to include different shaped items in groupings, to break the plane. For example, a wood chain, or link of large beads can be casually strewn across a book stake to complete the grouping. 


Showcase Special Moments

Cherished memories are always an instrumental element in shelf styling. Embrace the opportunity to showcase travel mementos and cherished collections.  Not only are these pieces "one of a kind" but they are also great conversation starters. Examples of this are vinyl records, drawings or sketches, fishing memorabilia, or even a collection of vintage cameras. 

Include a Touch Of Nature

We love including elements of the outdoors in our projects. Nature is grounding and adds life to the space. While house plants have certainly been a trend in recent years, these items don't have to be alive to feel "outdoorsy". Play with using crystals, driftwood, topiaries or stone objects to breathe life into your shelves. 

Include Elements of Spontaneity

Have fun with it! The key to a captivating shelfie is an element of discovery and surprise. If there is quirky decor piece you've fallen in love with, it might just be the piece that brings the whole look together and makes the space more engaging. 


Let a Light Shine

Lighting makes such a difference, creating shadows and warmth. Yes, candles are the obvious choice and we love a good hand-poured candle. However, Kathleen Glynn, from our Design Team recommends adding small lamps, puck lights on a top shelf, or even LED bar lights that can be tucked under the shelf or at the sides to illuminate the inside or lower shelves. Lighting also elevates the functionality, acting as a subtle nightlight if left on in the evening.

Remarkable spaces are thoughtfully designed, from the large pieces to flooring and wall coverings, to the tiniest of accessories. If your room does not feel complete, take a look at your smaller spaces. It might be time for a refresh.

Happy designing! Our boutique in Barrington is bursting with items to make your home shine and complete your spaces. Shop in our boutique or online for accessories and accents such as candles, decorative objects, coffee table books and so many interesting and personally curated items discovered by the KED Interiors team. 



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