7 Ways to Style the Ultimate "Shelfie"

Everyone on Instagram is obsessed — here's how you can take your bookshelf to the next level.

The shelfie trend has gained momentum once again as we style our bookshelves to become focal points of our homes.

While the norm is to stack books vertically, the rise of the #Shelfie has meant a mix of upright and horizontal arrangements are turning the traditional into the more dynamic. This also includes grouping your classic novels by color, which will add interest to your shelf. You can style this is in a spectrum of shades, from red through to violet or create little plinths in similar but graduated tones.

The type of shelf you have is also key. For flexibility, modular units are great for styling as they have multiple compartments to help you organize and order your items.


If you're in need of some expert styling advice on how to get your bookshelf Instagram-ready, then look no further, as Nadia McCowan Hill — Wayfair's resident style expert — s her tips on how to style the ultimate shelf:

1. Layer up

Be mindful of height and size when styling in accents. Place bigger pictures and vases towards the back then layer forward with photo frames and smaller accents at the front. Try arranging treasured keepsakes on top of your horizontally stacked books to add dimension to your shelf.

View this post on Instagram

Cute little nook by @houseofjadeinteriors! Great design, great styling! • #interior #interiordesign #house #home #homedecor #homedesign #homeinspo #homeinspiration #interiorinspo #interiorinspiration #homestyle #interiorstyle #readingnook #bookshelf #bookshelves #windowseat #shelfie #bench #contemporaryhome #shelfstyling #notjustahouse

A post d by Rochie Krinsky (@notjustahouse) on

2. Quality over quantity

Beware of over-styling. The most engaging vignettes offer a balance of interest and space, allowing each piece to pack its own punch, so try to only incorporate truly loved pieces, so your shelf doesn't feel cluttered.

View this post on Instagram

Happy Friday folks! There's a new post linked in bio to get you through the bank holiday weekend... or 5 more minutes in bed! #THLhome

A post d by Danny & Laura (@twohumansliving) on

3. Light up

Adding lighting to your shelf is a great way to draw the eye, and you don't need hidden electrical sources to power a little illumination. Try styling in battery operated LED letter lights in the initials of family members for a personal yet affordable touch!

View this post on Instagram

LETTER LIGHTS 🌟How cute are these letter lights?! I love them for displaying in a kid's room (decor + night light ✔️) or they'd also be perfect for weddings 👰🏼 Featured alongside our letter light in this pic is our 'Stay Wild' print and 'Scandi Swan' toy. Pic taken by @revisededitionstyle

A post d by Pika & Pookie (@pika_and_pookie) on

4. The quirk factor

It's always good to add something unexpected or amusing to the mix, so look out for humorous touches that make visitors want to linger longer. The juxtaposition between the funny and the serious will add instant interest.


5. Au natural

To make a harmonious feature of your shelves, you could try adopting a specific theme. The tropical trend is a great place to start. Try wallpapering the back panel of your shelves in a vibrant leaf design, then add additional natural elements such as potted plants and interesting pebbles. For a totally natural look you could try including book spines in neutral tones.

View this post on Instagram

This living room is designed by Lauren Nelson. A subtle print wallpaper in the built-ins gives pattern and texture the perfect back drop to the simple accessories. This pattern is picked up in the chair tying it all together. #interior #interiordesign #interiorinspiration #interiordesigner #photography #interiors #style #interiorstyling #inspiration #decor #interiorinspo #interiorstyle #interiorstylist #homedecor #homedesign #shelfie #wallpaper #shelving #neutralinterior #interiordetails #livingroom #livingroomdesign #livingroomdecor #homedecor #homestyle #furniture #livingroomideas #livingroominspo #chairs #cushions

A post d by Amba Hoodless Interiors (@ambahoodless) on

6. Art attack

Get creative and include a few homemade pieces of art to add that all important stamp of a life well-lived. From children's paintings to beautifully framed "five minute sketches," authentic touches will take your shelfie from bland to beautiful in a flash.

View this post on Instagram

Treat yourSHELF better! 😉 // Today I challenge you to... 1. Write 10 things you are grateful for 2. Write 5 things you love about yourself 3. Write 1 activity that makes you happy & do it!!! Happy Wednesday!

A post d by Charlene Wong (@allstylelife) on

7. Ladder up

If you live in a small space, a big bookshelf is an obvious no-go, but a slim ladder shelf will enable you to create a fun shelfie without encroaching on too much precious square footage. You could also try floating shelves to make use of vertical space instead.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Home Makeovers