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How to Style Your Shelfie

Feature: Long Read
Word by Letitia Fitzgibbon

Move over selfie. The new way to reveal your true self is with a ‘shelfie’ – your personal style depicted through the design choices in your home. But if you're going to show a little window into your world, you’ll want to put your best foot forward.

Shelves with ornaments, books, candles and plants displayed on them
Tip 1: Learn to Layer

Creating contrast adds interest. Try pairing glass with leather or metallic with matte to create texture and depth. Then there’s height; our eyes automatically group similar-sized pieces together, so varying height will create a more arresting display. Position your larger items first, then add and mix from there. Keep stepping back to see the shelf as a whole – and remember, empty space is also a decorative decision. Don’t overcrowd!


"What’s a shelf without books? Magazines, novels, cookbooks – they all speak to your personality. Worry less about what they look like and more about what they mean. And don’t be afraid to include a mix of upright and horizontal arrangements. Travel books are my personal favourite – the images are beautiful and they conjure happy memories of holidays in the sun."

A collage showing Baobab candles and swatches of colour
Tip 3: Play With Colour

You have two choices: opt for a multicoloured shelf, which is great for displaying pieces acquired over time or through travel – call it a treasure trove shelf! Or go for a more seamless look with a colour palette. I love to layer blue shades, which I find brightening and energising. Either way, incorporate a few metallic accents. It adds instant polish.


"Word to the wise, don’t overdo it. A curation of considered products will always outweigh a large selection of meaningless objects. Plus, who says you can’t swap in a few new pieces from time to time? It’s your shelfie, after all."

A collage of products including a Bottega Veneta fragrance, a Fornasetti ornament and a Baccarat Frame
Tip 5: Express Your Shelf

A shelf is at its most striking when it shows the things you love. Add photo frames, art, postcards, perfume, treasured trinkets – things that create a picture of who you are, and make you smile. Of all my home accessories, the Monster line by L’Objet and the Hass Brothers is one of my favourites; delicately crafted and otherworldly, they’re super fun and make for an instant talking point.

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Pens and books on a table


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