How to Style Shelves in 2022

Monday, 31 January 2022  |  Faryal

How to Style Shelves in 2022

If you are even remotely interested in interior design, you will have noticed the ‘shelfie’ décor craze. Photos capturing beautiful pieces folk have collected for their shelves. 

The days of shelves just being for books has gone, perhaps brought about from us reading more on digital devices, therefore freeing up space on those shelves for gorgeousness.

So here is my round up of how to achieve a great ‘shelfie’!


White shelves decorated with baskets, vases, plant pots and art pieces


Resist the temptation to buy all art pieces from high street stores like IKEA. They are cheap but if you would like something unique or even personalised, buy from small craft and art businesses.

The fan on this shelf is sustainably made with Elephant grass and proudly handmade by a Ghanian female artisan. And it isn't expensive art at under £30.

Take a trip out to a craft market, or head online to marketplaces like ETSY, Folksy, and Not On the Highstreet, where you will find lots of one-of-a-kind art. And many artists would take requests for personalised colour options if you wanted to match it to a theme.

But not all small craft businesses have an online store. FABLY is also listed on some great small business directories, Shop Small Love Indie and Support Small UK, where you can find the locations of physical shops or direct contact details.


Monochrome decorative fan as art work on white shelf



Are you a minimalist or maximalist interior lover? If you are a maximalist then you are likely to collect LOTS of pieces for those shelves, therefore mix up sizes and shapes to help break-up all the bold colours you will probably collect too.

For the minimalists, be brave and select a couple of large pieces. Neutral colour items are fine, but they need impact in size or shape, a small neutral object will fade into the background.

The Line Art Face vase on its own would have been invisible on these shelves if it wasn’t for the addition of the dried flowers.


White Line Art Face vase on white shelves



Soften up those shelves by neatly piling on a blanket and cushion, and so handy to have close by for a cool evening snuggling on the sofa. Check out this soft organic cotton throw.

The dried flowers in the white line art vase provide a soft flow in contrast to the straight lines of the shelves.

The seagrass baskets here add a rustic textured element. The square basket on the middle shelf has the perfect ‘imperfect’ shape to add a little natural, handmade element and fluid movement.


Brown round seagrass basket with green organic cotton throw



The Terracotta Milkmaid Vase is the most colourful item on the shelves, and is a contrast to all the other colours, but do you think it looks odd? No, right? It doesn’t look out of place because, like many of the other pieces, it’s an earthy colour. And whilst it is too tall to have any flowers placed within it, I have strategically placed some green foliage next to the vase to pair with the other greens, and the magazine features an orange sand coloured building on the front .

There are about eight different colours on the shelves - beige, brown, grey, green, terracotta, white, a little of black and blue - but they complement each other perfectly because they are all earthy shades. If I was to add some pastel or primary colours, then it would instantly look unbalanced. So if you add colour make sure the tone is balanced. The same goes for the maximalists! Go all jewel shades, or dark earthy shades for an eclectic but classy vibe.


Terracotta milkmaid vase on white shelf with basket and green blanket



Whether you like organic shapes or geometric lines, pattern is a great way to add a little personality into your home.

Minimalists should not be afraid of pattern. The decorative fan is a great example of how you can tie in something with a monochrome palette. But it also ticks off geometric and organic shapes in one.

The baskets too have some pattern in them in the form of the weaving style.


Eclectic & Abstract

Go eclectic and mix it up with new, second hand, and handmade.

Adding a quirky unique piece like the Line art face vase, which will add a little bit of personality and fun to the home.

The small plant pot on a pedestal features a marbled gold paint effect and just adds another distinctive sculptural piece, alongside the rustic concrete candle holders.



Add some greenery to those shelves. Make sure to adopt some real plants, the health benefits of a real plant are too good to miss out on, they clean the air, and improve your well-being. Go for something low maintenance like a succulent which requires little watering if you are afraid of neglecting them!

The green leaves laid next to the terracotta vase are dried eucalyptus. I purchased them fresh and then after a couple of weeks I hung them up, upside down, and left them to dry. And, voila, I have dried eucalyptus which should last another 12 months and has a really dramatic look in a vase as a bunch too.


Concrete & recycled paper plant pot with gold detailing next to wabi-sabi book


One thing that I have missed from this shelfie is scents! Every home needs to have a scented candle or aromatherapy oils. They are fantastic for the senses and well-being and come in an array of gorgeous designs now too. Check out this reed diffuser which smells great and looks oh so pretty.


You think of baskets as practical storage, right? But decorative baskets have been a HUGE trend. Practical storage doesn’t need to be boring. Which has been great for our home. Having two young kids and lots of toys, puzzles, books - we need storage! This tall bookshelf has been perfect as I have a few decorative pieces on the top shelf (away from little fingers!) and then decorative (but practical) baskets on the bottom shelves within easy reach for the kids. So what looks like quite a grown-up corner of the room actually contains a whole bunch of toy vehicles and figures!

So, whether you have little people in your home or not, add some pretty baskets that double as shelf décor plus hide away all those TV remotes, game console controllers, batteries, etc you get the idea! Trust me on this one, your home will feel transformed, will always look tidy, and you know the saying ‘tidy home, tidy mind’ - so true. You know how great it feels when a room is dressed well.

Oh and don’t forget that a shelf can still be used for storing books! Plus, books too can be used for decoration. If you have some interesting subject books or pretty books, make them centre stage and guests will love flicking through them.


Interior design and travel books on white shelves with terracotta vase and seagrass basket


Here’s a roundup of some of my favourite shelfies from other homes.

Arch shelves with terracotta and brown colour palette

Image courtesy of Lauray W. GLenn

Arch shelves in a terracotta and brown colour palette, with assortment of storage baskets and trinket boxes.


White lounge with wide shelves, trailing green foliage, drawers and books in a rainbow of colours.

Image courtesy of Render Taxi

Fitted drawers all the way along the wall and cascading green foliage down both ends creating a column effect.

The books are providing a rainbow of colours amongst an otherwise very white room.


Pastel coloured kitchen shelves

Image courtesy of PMQ For Two

Beautiful example of using pastel colours on practical kitchen shelves.


I hope you found this article useful and it has given you some ideas of how to dress your shelves.

If you do use any of these tips or have purchased a FABLY product, make sure to take a photo, share on Facebook or Instagram, and tag @fablyhomedecor so I can come and take a look!

And make sure to sign up for the newsletter for more interior inspiration and special offers.

Faryal x




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