With so many prints on our wish list, we are always looking for creative ways to display our art and decorative baubles—and subsequently snap the perfect photo to share all our hard work! However, taking the perfect “shelfie” can be easier said than done.
Luckily, our newest design contributor, Kate Lester, entered the scene just in the nick of time to show us how it’s done, and we can’t wait to introduce her to you all! With over 12 years of experience in the industry, to say that Kate knows how to create a beautiful space would be an understatement. We have long admired Kate’s aesthetic and her design company, Kate Lester Interiors, and we are thrilled to welcome her as a contributor here on the blog. (Keep your eyes peeled, because this won’t be the last you’ll hear from her!) So without further ado, keep scrolling to read all about Kate’s best tips for taking the perfect shelfie…
Before you even start thinking about snapping a #shelfie, makes sure the shelves themselves are ready for a close-up. Add a coat of paint if you need a pop of color, or if you are feeling (really) brave, you can apply wallpaper or antique mirror to the back. This is a great way to make your accessories pop, and give the whole bookcase a more custom, curated feel. #shelfieprep
Let’s face it, old college textbooks are hardly going to take your #shelfie from a 1 to a 10, so here’s my solution. If you have a ton of books that are less than exciting, turn them around so that the spines are facing the back. This way, you get a more tonal, uniform look from the pages. You can also cover them in white butcher paper or linen scrapbook paper if you are patient and up for a crafting day. The all-white/off-white curated look adds interest, and no one will ever know that all of those books once doubled as a side table in your dorm room. #winning
Shells, beads, plants, baskets, OH MY! Take a gander around your house and grab anything with texture to give your #shelfie a little depth. Boxes and books can feel so staged and expected. I like to break up the monotony by adding things that are round or odd-shaped. Air plants, faux ferns (keep the faux plants on higher shelves), vintage pottery and baskets are some of my favorites because they add a bit of color and texture and break up the linear edges created by all of the books. #mixitup
“So, where’s our one WEIRD thing?” I swear this is an actual statement I make every time we style a bookcase for our clients. Please, please, have fun with your décor!! Add that random pop of bright orange or those vintage chinoiserie bookends even though they may not be totally on point with the rest of your overall decor. Adding vintage or unexpected pieces keeps the design from feeling too stale, and is a great conversation starter when entertaining. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me about that rad old rope I have rolled up in a bowl on my bookcase… little do they know it used to sit on the floor of my grandfather’s garage. All things can be treasures if you give a little thought to the display. #getweird
Smaller art pieces often get lost on walls if they are not arranged in a larger grouping. If you don’t have the space or enough pieces to create a proper gallery wall, try adding these pieces into your bookshelves. I love leaning one or two art pieces vertically or horizontally in a bookcase, because it immediately adds height, depth, and elevates the look of the whole space. Frame your kids artwork, old family photos, Etsy finds, or that KILLER Gray Malin print you just ordered, and shelf it ASAP! #artiseverywhere
It may seem overwhelming trying to style your shelves all at once. The key is to take a breath, grab a cocktail, turn on some music, and take it step by step. Start with books. Then add in the artwork, and then the accessories and plants. Doing the whole thing at once allows you to allocate all of your items in a balanced way, rather than styling one shelf at a time and then running out of items.
Lastly, be sure to take some before and after shots—or try a time-lapse of the styling process to share on social media with your followers. Before you know it your top-notch #shelfies will be the talk of the town, and friends will be asking for all of your styling secrets!
Genius, right? We couldn’t agree with these tips more! A big thanks again to Kate for sharing her sage design advice with us, and we can’t wait to see what she cooks up here on the blog in the weeks and months to come… Stay tuned to see what tips & tricks she’ll be sharing next time! Now, go snap that perfect shelfie… And don’t forget to follow Kate on Instagram!
Xx Team GM