Expert Contribution

Elements of the Perfect “Shelfie”

Styling a shelf can go from gorgeous to a cluttered mess with a few wrong moves. Things often go awry when there are too many items, or when the objects are too similar in size and shape. We have two rules when it comes to shelf styling: variety is the spice of life, and less is most-definitely more. Apply these rules to a mix of the following elements and you’ll be on your way to creating the perfect “Shelfie”. 


Our shelves and bookcases are meant to be interactive and functional in addition to displaying special items in an attractive way. Along with favorite and classic novels, we love incorporating great art books for a light read and gathering inspiration. 


Funky bookends, vintage boxes, small sculptures, and artisanal ceramics are items that make shelf styling personal and special, especially when these items have been collected through travels and experiences. 


Memories of life’s best moments add joy to a shelf, so a framed photograph or two are a meaningful element. Small scale artwork is a wonderful way to build a quality collection without large walls or a large budget, and they’re right at home on a shelf. Not to mention, artwork is a great way to add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral palette. 


A touch of greenery adds texture and life to a shelf moment. Nature has the unique ability to make even a stack of paperbacks feel more alive and interesting. Sometimes our clients’ lifestyles call for faux greenery, which offers a close substitute. Dried florals and branches are also a wonderful low-maintenance option. 


We love incorporating a touch of the unexpected into every space. A little bit of whimsy, edginess, or playfulness is a wonderful way to remember not to take a shelfie, or oneself, too seriously. Whether it’s a brass hand throwing a peace sign, or a bowl with edgy spikes, pick an item that makes you smile. 

Contact us to take your shelves, and entire space, to the next level.

By Casey Howard, Casey Howard Interior Design // photography by Thomas Kuoh, Kuoh Photography