By Dani Deahl

Published on September 10, 2015

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Photography by JULIE COUCH

by Danielle Blundell

There’s something intimidating about sharing shelfies, probably because they put our design aesthetic, as well as our taste in books and favorite objects on display all at once. We went straight to the pros for advice on how to knock your next #shelfie out of the park. Use these tricks, and prepare for likes.

Get stacking

“Don’t forget that bookshelves need books!” says designer and shop owner Julie Couch  @juliecouchinteriors , who created this rustic yet refined shelfie in a Nashville show house. Keep it casual with a mix of horizontally and vertically-oriented stacks, displaying some books facing spine out and others pages out.

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Photography by SUZY LINDOW

Work that quirky collection

Instead of splitting similar pieces up, artist Suzy Lindow of  @winkwinkstudio  groups her globes and vintage cameras together for a pulled-together but playful look. “The more unique the item, the better — be it brass animals or even Pez dispensers,” Lindow says. Organize objects in loose rows, making sure to vary the heights of items placed right next to each other.

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Photography by KAYLEI MCGAW

Say goodbye to symmetry

Prop stylist and textile designer Kaylei McGaw (@kayleimcgaw) is all about a shelfie that’s in constant flux and full of the things you use everyday (as long as they’re easy on the eyes!). Go ahead and include a killer pair of heels or a fun desk calendar, as long as you switch things up and move them around from time to time. “Don’t be too precise about positioning because balance is great, but symmetry is a bore,” she says. 

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Photography by JENNY KIKER

Up your greenery game

Every shelfie needs a little bit of life, so reach for a plant or two to fill sparse spots. Here artist and founder of Living Pattern Jenny Kiker (@livingpattern) has peppered in a few potted plants and a couple loose leaves around her shelfie statement piece, one of her own framed cacti prints. Add diffused sunlight through a white curtain to the mix, and you’ve got a no-fail photo op.

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Photography by MEGAN BACHMANN

Color (coordinate) your world

Sometimes a well-appointed shelfie is as simple as organizing your books by color. All the better if you keep your backdrop neutral so the rainbow effect created by the spines will pop. That’s what interior designer Megan Bachmann (@meganbachmanninteriors) did by choosing warm gray paint for a client’s living room shelving unit.

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Photography by BECKY ABERNATHY

Minimalism works with meaningful mementoes

Becky Abernathy (@beckyabernathy) keeps her shelfies simple with a few key conversation-starting objects. “I usually just rotate in items that I truly love like the antler from a hunting trip my husband’s grandad went on, a small clay piece handmade in Romania where I was born and motherhood art by a local artist,” says Abernathy. Her secret to a foolproof selfie? Instead of pointing her phone upward to take a pic, she got on a stool to shoot this shelfie on its level.