We sat down with podcast extraordinaire and founder of Inside Stylists, Emma-Morton Turner, to see if she could give us any tips on how to create the perfect ‘shelfie’.

For those of us not in the know, ‘shelfie’ is defined as follows: “a picture which is taken, usually by a smartphone or a similar device, of a bookshelf or bookshelves”. The word first became prominent in 2014 when the shelf-obsessed took to Instagram to share photos of their (near art-form) shelving units. The obsession spread, with the hashtag accumulating over 1.4m posts on Instagram alone.

Even after four years, the word continues to dominate the social interior sphere - Martha Robert’s book ‘Shelfie: Clutter-clearing ideas for stylish shelf art’ was released in 2018 and has seen huge success.


With this in mind, we asked Emma to run through her five quick steps to transform your shelving unit into an Instagram-worthy shelfie.

How to create the perfect Shelfie


1. Height

Use items with different heights to show interest and versatility. For example, two items that are identical in every way but height, is the perfect way to create abstract symmetry.

2. Odd numbers

Odd numbers are key. Three items always work well – place the items in a row so it gives the eye something look at and focal point. Five items is good, but seven is far too much – remember there’s a balance – don’t overdo it.

3. Colour balance

Use different sized trays, images or artwork as background pieces. Prop them up against the wall and dot them around the shelf - it adds a balance of colour which means the shelf is more appealing to the eye.

4. Books

Lie the books flat. You often see books standing up right, but if you lie them flat you can add beautiful accessories – paper weights, picture frames, and vases – to give the shelf more interest.

5. Greenery

Bring the outside in! This is a theme we have seen gain interest over the past couple of years. Plants are essential to any home - they should be pride of place on/ in your shelving unit. Small plants with little elements work well, but Ivy is the key. Ivy can be placed on the top shelf and hang low, covering huge areas of the shelving unit, creating a homely and cosy look. Plants are a must for 2019.

If you want more styling tips from Emma or would like to listen to her podcast, please head over to her website.

Alternatively, if you’re ready to get creative in your very own shelfie, click here to explore our shelving and storage units.