The Secret Behind the #Shelfie

Welcome to the home decor world, where #Shelfies are the new #selfies! If you haven’t stumbled upon this fun hashtag on social media yet, it’s about time you checked it out. #Shelfies are the home of styled shelves that reflect personality and decor styles perfectly. They can easily be rearranged with changing seasons and moods, just like your wardrobe! As you might expect, the perfect styled shelf is not an easy thing to come by. It requires patience and time to compile an artful collection of items and yet more time to create a new home for them on your shelf. But don’t worry, if you can remember these five simple rules, you can easily up your shelfie game and get that beautifully styled bookshelf every time.


Any perfect styled shelf should start with books of course! Your collection of books, magazines, or even notebooks should act as the base for styling your shelf. Instead of just lining them up on the shelf, try to vary the way you place them. Place one stack in a normal horizontal row and then contrast that with a vertical stack of books. If your goal is to create a shelf with less variation in color, consider flipping the books so you are viewing the pages instead of the spine, like the above image. This will create a more uniform color scheme all around.

2. USE THE 1:1 AND 1:3 RATIO

When styling your shelf you want to remember to place one object for every stack of books placed on the shelf. For shelves that are separated into compartments, treat every compartment as its own entity (like the above image). The objects you choose to mix into your shelves can be anything from candles, pictures, or plants. Use these objects to express your style! If that’s a nautical theme try a rope ball, fishing mementos, and sea-colored objects. These objects bring to life what would be just a typical bookshelf otherwise.  For areas without books, use the 1:3 ratio. For example, three magazine files or one large object and three smaller objects, etc. If you really want to use more than three, just try to keep groupings in odd numbers for visual appeal.


The next step is to focus on your color choices. This can be bright colors like pink and yellow, muted colors like seafoam green and grey, or any other colors you love. For me, that’s lots of grey, black and natural tones. Just make sure to give yourself enough colors to play with. My rule of thumb would be at least 2-3 colors. You can also vary the shades of those colors to add even more depth to your shelf.


Metallic tones like gold, silver, and even the use of mirrors add another dimension to your shelf. Especially when placed near a window or light fixture, these metallic objects pick up the color placed elsewhere on the shelf and reflect it. It provides a sense of three-dimensionality for your eyes when placed next to a flat, two-dimensional object like books.


Mix in pictures of you and your family members to make the shelfie feel more personal and less like a shelf full of merchandise at the store. If you are a collector of items that have a deeper meaning to you, find a way to mix them into your shelf design! Adding in pieces that are specific to you, gives your shelfie character and meaning!

So what are you waiting for? Go get that shelf styled and post your #shelfie today! I’d love to see what you come up with so tag me on Instagram with the final product.

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  1. January 27, 2016 / 11:46 PM

    Great advice! I always struggle with styling shelves.

    • monique
      February 2, 2016 / 2:19 AM

      Thanks Jessi! Glad it was helpful 🙂

      • April 30, 2016 / 2:23 AM

        Thanks for shnairg. What a pleasure to read!

  2. January 27, 2016 / 11:48 PM

    Ok this is awesome and I have a feeling I will no be sucked into scolling the #shelfie hashtag!! I have a bookcase that I tried to make pretty but definitely did not follow the approriate ratios! Thanks for the tip, totally going to make it pretty now 🙂

    • monique
      February 2, 2016 / 2:18 AM

      Send me a picture afterward! I would love to see it 🙂

  3. Jenn
    January 27, 2016 / 11:50 PM

    ? this! I always struggle with decor in general and shelves especially. My mantle currently has 2 things on it, oops!

    • monique
      February 2, 2016 / 2:18 AM

      Thanks Jenn! Add one more thing to balance it out <3

  4. January 28, 2016 / 12:11 AM

    I’m obsessed with shelves but never quite knew the art to styling them. Thanks for such an informative, beautiful post!

    • monique
      February 2, 2016 / 2:18 AM

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  5. January 28, 2016 / 12:24 AM

    I’m such a visual person . . . and this is why I love Instagram. I will most likely be spending my evening looking at the shelfie hashtag and will have screenshots of everything I love! But in my defense I move in about 6 months so I’m planning ahead LOL!

    • monique
      February 2, 2016 / 2:17 AM

      Trust me, you will not regret it! The hashtag is filled with such great inspiration.

  6. Courtney
    October 30, 2016 / 10:23 PM

    Hey! Where did you get those gold kitty figurines!? Soooo cute!

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