Time and social media trends wait for no man. But every once in a while, they yield some cool ideas.
Bookcase in point: the shelfie (aka, the shelf selfie). DIY and design junkies can’t get enough of them.
Outlets from The Wall Street Journal to Urban Dictionary credit the #shelfie movement with elevating the contents of our key bins and cluttered surfaces to hashtag-able high art.
Read on for a few of our favorite shelfie-packed, stylish Instagram accounts and tips for how to perfect your own.
The best part? It’s all about putting a design-forward spin on the stuff you already own.
The Shelves: Schoolhouse Electric
This design studio based in Portland, OR, turns out lighting fixtures that blend midcentury charm and industrial cool. They’re especially beloved for spins on Edison bulbs, blown-glass sconces, and electrical cords good-looking enough not to get shoved outta sight.
The Takeaway: Good lighting makes all the difference. Consider lamps part of your shelf vignette and not just the things that light it.
Don’t love your current lamp situation? Update shade or bases with paint, or ditch shades entirely and invest in eye-catching etched or vintage-style bare bulbs.
The Shelves: Trnk NYC
The style portal and online boutique bills itself as a destination for “masculine” design. In truth, anyone looking to upgrade his or her space should take note.
Cruise Trnk’s feed for daily doses of for-sale tabletop goods, wall prints, and more — all arranged with equal doses of cleverness and humor.
The Takeaway: Sentimental items can be shelf-worthy too.
To wit: This shot of a fashion designer’s home features a comic-book-and-sailboat combo that would delight kids and collectors alike.
The Shelves: Justina Blakeney
Nobody ties it all together — from Marrakech souk tchotchkes to one-of-a-kind New Mexican bone art — like Los Angeles–based textile designer and interiors stylist Justina Blakeney.
Have an eclectic eye? She’s proof that you can make it (almost) all work with enough time and care.
The Takeaway: Blakeney’s feed is a testament to investing thoughtful consideration and style in the “essential” goods (think sturdy floor rugs, pillows, and winter blankets) that most of us tuck away.
Don’t just blindly “stock up on” items you’d never want to see the light of day. Make an effort to revel in your home purchases — be they rummage sale or Bergdorf Goodman finds — to feel great about shooting when the mood strikes.
The Shelves: Spartan Shop
Wander this artful Austin, TX, shop’s feed for vignettes of practical household objects styled with an “objet d’art” vibe. True to name, owner Currie Person is anything but fussy. (And it shows.)
The Takeaway: Don’t cram it all in.
Everything Spartan snaps and shares, from in-store art prints to peeks at their own inspiration board, gives nod to the need to balance color, sentiment, and what just plain looks good. Just cut the rest.
The Shelves: Design Sponge
Grace Bonney’s Brooklyn, NY–based design blog chronicles and celebrates homes, projects, and the people behind them with so much warmth and quirk that the advice and tips she features actually feel attainable — from DIY vintage furniture touch-ups to wallpaper treatments that will make your beloved sun-yellow ceramic pineapple “pop.”
The Takeaway: No two styles — or shelves are built the same.
Part of the fun of styling your display space should be about showing off the items you prize the most. Identify pieces that make a strong statement (and could potentially compete with other, more basic goods) and customize your shelf contents to put them front and center.
The Shelves: The Sill
This downtown New York plant design, delivery, and maintenance studio specializes in “no-green-thumb-required” green living space consultations and installations.
Meanwhile, founder Eliza Blank and team devote The Sill’s Insta-feed to rainbow-leafed succulents, flowering cacti, and the cubicles, mantels, and tabletops that they brighten upon contact. You’ll feel less prickly about your own DIY projects after just one peek.
The Takeaway: There’s never been a more smile-inducing excuse to bring the outdoors in, pronto.
Happy plants have been proven to make people happier. They can (and will) do the same for your pics.