The Perfect Shelfie


I've decided to start writing a weekly blog as I am asked so often on my Instagram feed where I source the items that I have in my home and how I get my ideas for my interior space.  My background is Head Office fashion retail and estate agency and I started my first online shop eight years ago on Not On The High Street.  I've always been obsessed with interiors and my taste is often described as eclectic!

I'm a total charity shop fiend and spend huge amounts of time on Gumtree and eBay looking for the perfect item.  I recently bought my first ever brand new sofa (although it did actually pain me to do so), every other sofa we've owned has been an eBay find.  The joy of finding a fabulous item and winning it for a bargain price (anyone who is an eBay fan will know where I'm coming from on that one!) is so satisfying!  My home is full to the brim with second hand bits and I'm always adding to them, something that also adds to my husband's stress levels! So for my first blog post, I thought I would start with my favourite subject - shelf styling.  

In the world of Instagram, everyone strives for the perfect shelfie.  My kids find it hilarious when I hashtag 'shelfie' on my feed, but I can tell you that I am always looking at other people's photos to see if there is anything I can do better to create the perfect vignette!   Yesterday I was at my friend's house and she was complaining that her main living room was never used as she just didn't like anything in it.  The space wasn't welcoming to her even though she had some fab pieces in it.  So I suggested that she take everything off the shelves and redo them, taking away everything that she didn't really like that much or was bored of.

Two hours later she messaged me with photos of her home in complete disarray, her poor husband was moving furniture, she had cleared both her living rooms and was rearranging!  Plus she'd managed to fit in an emergency trip to Homesense and Homebase and her bank balance had dwindled significantly.

It's easy to keep things in our living space for years without really even considering why they are still there or even if we actually like them.  So a good clear out every now and then is not only therapeutic but also means that you rediscover things that can look brill in a different setting.  


These are the five main points to stick to when trying to create the perfect shelf arrangement:

1.   Clear your shelves and work out what you like and what you don't like.  You'll find that you have lots of things on your shelves that have been there for years and that actually would look better in a different setting.

2.  Add things to the 'usable' pile.  Books are brilliant to break up space.  Go through your book collection and look for beautiful coffee table style books that would look good piled up.  I recently bought three teal coloured small bound classics in a charity shop for £3.   

3.  Use plants.  Homebase are brilliant at the small houseplant and they are super cheap.  Good shelfie plants are cacti and ferns, plus hanging ivy if you're looking at a higher space.  They add height to your arrangement.

4.  Try and create arrangements in threes.  So, three ornaments, for example, one taller ornament, one medium and one small.  Things in threes always look better than things in twos.

5.  There's no rule as to whether your shelves should be crowded or sparse, it's totally up to your own personal taste and style.  I definitely err on the crowded side, but there are some beautiful minimalist homes on Instagram of the 'less is more' variety that are gorgeous.


Your style is you and what you put on your shelves portrays your personality - even though in my case that might be what Joe, my husband, often very rudely describes as a load of old tat!  But I like it. I like it a lot! And if you like what goes on your shelves, then that's your style so stick with it!