How to Style a Shelfie (video)

If I had a dollar every time I was asked for tips on how to style a shelfie, I’d have a much bigger house! All jokes aside, I absolutely love styling bookshelves. In fact, I am almost constantly rearranging all the books, decor pieces, ceramics, and vintage finds. It’s time for me to finally share all the shelfie styling tips and hacks that have worked for me over the years! I filmed a quick video so you can see me in action. But in case you’re not able to view it, I’ve listed my notes below, too. I hope you enjoy these tips & leave a comment if you have additional ones!

How to Style a Shelfie Like a Pro: My Best Tips for a Perfectly Styled Bookshelf

Tip #1: Start with bigger items so that your foundation is set.

Because our house is so old, I have to be careful with where the weight is distributed on our shelves. I love that our bookshelf has adjustable feet to compensate! But just in case, I always place larger items towards the bottom when I’m styling a bookshelf. To me, it’s all about placing the ‘visual weight’ at the bottom, where it feels more natural.

I also use this technique in order to hide our printer and make it less obvious. It would be weird if it was in the middle of the bookshelf, don’t you think?

How to Style a #Shelfie Like a Pro: My Best Tips for a Perfectly Styled Bookshelf! See more our small space living room makeover on  #smallspaces #livingroom #smalllivingroom #tinyhouse #livingroommakeover #shelfie #styling #decortips #decorhacks #howtostyleashelf #bookshelfstyling

Tip #2: Add in small storage.

This set of wooden drawers is from IKEA & holds all of the stuff you would normally keep in a junk drawer… but in a more organized way! Even just this small amount of storage adds a lot more functionality to my shelfie. I keep pens, video game controllers, cords, and stationery in there.

I also added simple white boxes to store magazine clippers and other office supplies that I need to keep on hand. The boxes are also from IKEA.

Tip #3: Add some lighting.

This tiny lamp illuminates the corner at night and helps to balance out the height of the wooden drawer set. When styling your shelfie, make sure the light isn’t too high or two low. Personally, I don’t like the lamp to be exactly at eye level because you might blind yourself! Play with the location until it illuminates the space how you like.

How to Style a #Shelfie Like a Pro: My Best Tips for a Perfectly Styled Bookshelf! See more our small space living room makeover on  #smallspaces #livingroom #smalllivingroom #tinyhouse #livingroommakeover #shelfie #styling #decortips #decorhacks #howtostyleashelf #bookshelfstyling

Tip #4: Stack your books.

Stacks of books are my favorite way to add height and color to a bookshelf. By simply changing the height of the stack, you can balance out the other items on the shelf. See how I have a few under the lamp? That gives the lamp a more grounded presence on the shelf and some height. I also suggest grouping the books in color stories that work with the rest of your decor. If you want a more monochromatic, neutral vibe, flip the books so the spines are against the wall. Sometimes I do this for a visual rest!

Tip #5: Always add plants!

Even if your shelf is in a darker location, I highly recommend adding plants. Faux plants are a good option and there are sooo many convincing ones on the market now (I shared tons of options in this post).

Also, if you have anything you need to cover up, like a light switch, outlet, or in my case a thermostat, a taller plant does the trick. If you take away one decor hack from this post, it should be this! I’ve hidden our thermostat behind my tree for years.

Looking for our white bookcase? Here’s the one we have + some other stylish options:

So those are my tips for how to style a #shelfie! do you have anything else to add? I’d love to know. And if you’re looking for any additional sources, check out my full list of living room sources!

Video, photography & styling by Jojotastic.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

Let's stay in touch:

Shop my picks on Amazon

Shop now

Please note that I use affiliate links at times here, as well as on my social media accounts. This means that if you click on a link to a product and purchase that product, I may receive a commission based on your purchase. I only feature products that truly inspire me. Any products that have been gifted to Jojotastic for review are noted at the bottom of the post. Sponsored posts are noted as such. All opinions are my own and always will be! Thanks for supporting content that keeps Jojotastic going.

Leave a Comment