The shelves throughout your home are brimming with design opportunities, it just takes a little styling. Shelfies, aka artfully styled open surface areas, are currently all the rage in the décor world, so much in fact that Swasti Sarna, Insights Manager at Pinterest, just declared them the “new gallery wall”.
Along with creating visual interest in an otherwise underutilized area, a thoughtfully designed shelfie can double as a focal point in just about any room of your home. From statement book-shelfies to window sill shelfies and more, here’s how to forge an eye-catching shelfie in various spaces throughout your home.
A well-styled bookshelf can make a major statement in a room. Whether you organize your books in an aesthetically appealing way or integrate a few interesting décor objects into your bookcase scheme, a good-looking book-shelfie can transform your home library into an artful display in no time.
To create a colorful book-shelfie that will instantly brighten up a room, consider organizing your books by spine color for a color-block-style effect. For a sophisticated bookcase display that’s not as practical but still super chic, try turning the spines of all your books around — so that the pages are exposed and not the spine — to turn your bookshelves into a neutral, streamlined vignette — no additional materials necessary!
If you’re not into the idea of organizing your books for an artful display, you can always incorporate a handful of sleek décor objects onto your bookcase to create a stylish book-shelfie. Whether it’s a pair of leafy green houseplants in sculptural planters or a strategically placed art object or shapely candle, interesting décor items add depth and dimension to bookshelves by creating a cool, layered effect.
If you aren’t already hip to floating shelfies, then now’s the time to smarten up. A beautifully styled floating shelf mounted on an empty wall is a design-savvy way to take advantage of vertical space.
To make a statement with a floating shelfie in a high-traffic area of your home, like your living room or entryway, simply style a wall-mounted shelf with your favorite books, art objects, and plants. Or, for a floating shelfie that moonlights as a bedroom focal piece, style a wall shelf above your bed with plants or eye-catching artwork, in lieu of a traditional headboard.
Don’t forget that a strategically placed floating shelf can provide storage opportunities, too. When mounted to a bedside wall, or above a desk or kitchen countertop, a floating shelfie styled with attractive essentials, such as lamps, office supplies, or coffee mugs, can streamline a cramped space without sacrificing an inch of style (or floor space).
Window Sill Shelfies
Never underestimate the impact of a well-styled window sill in any area of your home. Something as simple as a candle placed on top of a short stack of books, or houseplants potted in sculptural planters, can transform an underutilized window ledge into a stunning interior vignette in seconds.
For a slim window sill shelfie that doesn’t skimp on functionality or style, consider placing a row of direct-light thriving succulents in colorful planters along the ledge. You can also layer a few pieces of framed artwork to create an eclectic window sill display — no hammer and nails required.
If you’re lucky enough to have a window with deep sills, you can use the space to style a small assortment of treasured books with the help of some artful bookends. Either way, you’ll be creating visual interest in a previously overlooked area with décor items you might already be sitting on.
Picture Ledge Shelfies
If you thought wall-mounted picture ledges were only good for displaying framed photos and art, then you’d be mistaken. Affordable and easy-to-install, picture ledges, such as the MALMBÄCK at IKEA or the Fat Lippie Picture Ledge at Shelfology, are the perfect size for forging a small-space-savvy shelfie filled with your favorite knickknacks or tea cups.
For a thoughtfully styled shelfie that will free up coveted storage space, use a slim picture ledge to corral small but stylish essentials, such as nail polish bottles, purses, and sunglasses, in your bedroom or entryway. Or, if you prefer to keep your shelfies strictly decorative, use a picture ledge to show off interesting art and décor objects, including vases, sculptures, and candles, that might not get the same spotlight treatment in other areas of your home.
If you don’t have room for a big bookcase to create a book shelfie at home, you can also use picture ledges to design a gallery wall-inspired shelfie display. Style a picture ledge with the front covers of your favorite books (or vinyl records or magazines) facing outwards, and you’ll score a salon-style scene that you can add small décor items and planters to.
Make no mistake about it: With the right décor items, a beautifully styled tabletop can also moonlight as a bona fide shelfie. Whether it’s a living room coffee table setup or a simple end table scheme, a thoughtfully styled surface shelfie can create visual interest in a room while providing extra storage opportunity.
For a commanding coffee table shelfie that’s every bit as functional as it is stylish, use a cute catchall tray, like the glossy Large Accessory Tray at Poppin, to stash your sofa-side essentials – think remote controls and reading glasses — and then layer in sophisticated décor items such as candles, flora-filled vases, and art objects. To forge a statement coffee tabletop shelfie, integrate small stacks of coffee table books with eye-catching covers into the scheme and place decorative objects on top of each pile to create a sense of symmetry.
To style an end table shelfie that doesn’t create too much visual clutter, use a tall decorative item, such as a lamp, candlesticks, or vase, to offset a couple of smaller objects, like a candle or trinket tray, by drawing the eye up. For a more maximalist-minded surface shelfie arrangement, lean an interesting piece of art against the wall above your end table to create a bold backdrop for the tabletop décor scheme.
We only recommend products we have independently researched, tested, and loved. If you purchase a product found through our links, Sunday Edit may earn an affiliate commission.