Lauren Conrad's Instagram Shelfie
Credit: Lauren Conrad Instagram

We taught you how to master the perfect #selfie, now we're setting our sights on perfecting your #shelfie game.

As you may have already suspected, a shelfie shows off an beautiful shelf. And the best, like Lauren Conrad's above snap, feature a coordinated palette, an artful arrangement of objects and a distinct lack of clutter.

So how do you arrange a double-tap worthy #shelfie? We went to the experts at Joss & Main to get some quick tips for arranging a set-up every bit as beautiful as Lauren Conrad's. Below, Joss & Main's Style Director Donna Garlough gave us her top 7 tips for arranging the perfect shelfie.

1. Use Books as Your Base.

Your collection of novels and coffee table books is an obvious starting place for a bookcase display. But a great arrangement involves more than just a neat row of book spines. Experiment with groups of similarly sized books flanked by bookends, and small piles of books stacked horizontally.

If your assortment is particularly hodgepodge, try grouping books by color, re-covering mismatched books with decorative paper in a coordinated palette, or even turning a stack of books on its side so only the pages are visible. (Of course this will make it hard to search for specific titles, so use this trick only on books you’re unlikely to reference often.) If you have a book that’s always been a favorite, consider placing it front and center with the cover facing into the room. Arrange and rearrange until you find a combo that you like.

2. Layer in the Unexpected.

Don't take the term "bookshelf" so literally. Consider incorporating candles, decorative accents, small live plants, and flowers into your arrangement for texture, color and visual interest.

If you’re living in a small space and lack a space to set out a full bar, consider using part of your bookshelf to display a few cocktail glasses and bottles (as Conrad 'grammed above).

3. Make it Your Own.

While it's tempting to recreate others' styling ideas from Pinterest and Instagram, personalize your shelf by adding pieces that evoke memories. Add photos of friends, a piece of vintage jewelry your grandmother once owned, or a souvenir you picked up on a recent trip.

In Lauren Conrad's shelfie above, she shows off her apple collection—a tongue-in-cheek reference to her new husband, William Tell.

4. Strike a Balance.

The key to a stylish shelf is a great mix of shapes and textures. Create contrast by pairing up a small candle and a large vase, or by mixing rounded and angular shapes together. A wood-framed photo is a nice counterpart to a decorative metal object and vice versa; natural materials like seashells, geodes and driftwood can break up a sea of glossy books. Avoid filling one shelf with all small items, and another shelf with bigger pieces—the goal is to guide the eye from large item to small, and from one side to another.

5. Embrace Empty Space.

When there's too much stuff on one surface, it can be hard to focus attention on any one thing. One spectacular item in the middle of a shelf commands attention, and leaving a bit of breathing room between groupings lets the smaller items shine.

6. Take Decorating Breaks.

When you're arranging objects for any length of time, it can be difficult to see the big picture. When you think you’ve got the arrangement right—or can’t look at it anymore—take a coffee break. When you return, take note of which items draw your attention first, what looks bare, and where you might remove an item or two, and get back to work.

7. Keep Things Fresh.

A great bookshelf arrangement should be a constant work in progress, not a dust-gathering diorama! Don’t be afraid to add, remove, and reorganize at the start of each season.

After all, every new setup is an opportunity for a fun new #shelfie!