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The Shelfie

A few days ago I introduced you to my home office update, well my new DIY desk to be precise. I absolutely loved working in here last week but there were some bits that still needed sorting. Some of which involved a drill. So I smiled sweetly at my OH and thankfully, he took the hint.


As you can see above, a new radiator has been fitted which i’m a little too excited about. Radiators are always so damn ugly, but I adore the look of column radiators. So every time we get around to updating a radiator, I get lil butterflies. (Weirdo). I keep sticking my head under my desk for a peek and temp test.



We’ve also finally fitted the shelf that has been waiting in its packet all week. I wanted something slimline, minimal, unobtrusive and just big enough to keep all of the gubbins I need close by without it crowding up my desktop. After all, my desktop is far too sexy to be covered with all my shizzle.



Now down to the nitty gritty. Putting things on a shelf. Believe it or not, there is an art to this ya know!? “Shelfies” are like super mini interior design projects, but in minuscule form.

“Shelfies” – Some tips on how to.

  • Make your OH leave the room. Mine just takes the mick out of me anytime he sees me “styling”. Moving pieces two inches sideways or lugging plants around the house. I keep telling him he’ll be laughing on the other side of his face when Making Spaces is a multimillion pound business. Yeah. Yeah he will.


  • Choose the items you actually need handy (if any) and others that just make you smile. Pick items with similar colour palettes. Obviously here i’ve gone for calm monochrome tones.


  • Consider pattern and texture. I’ve added a rather gorgeous vintage bulb and small white ceramic planter. The smooth glossy surfaces reflect the light beautifully in complete contrast to the flat black walls. The artwork, “Faces” by Lucy Mclaughlan adds a real pattern contrast to the otherwise minimal detail on the wall and the sheer size of the piece draws your eye upwards.
  • Use the negative spaces around your shelf to add extra details. I added a couple of bulldog clips underneath the shelf which to hold a handful of my fave photos and bits and bobs. And a photo of me and tiddles widens the “shelfie zone”.


  • I’d already mentioned in my desk reveal, i’d placed plants all along my window sill, but every shelf needs at least one plant too. Green is a must in every “shelfie”, whether you go real or faux. It just adds a real sense of freshness to any space. The photo of me and my little ‘un out on a forest walk, adds a touch more of the green accent colour used on this monochrome wall.
  • Add layers to your shelfie, placing smaller items in the foreground and larger items in the background overlapping the two. The trick is to make it look organic and random. Oh the irony.


I love how the black shelf just melts into the wall, it’s got a pretty matt finish on the paintwork and feels solid enough. They’re obviously not designed to take a lot of weight, but it’s certainly capable of managing my plant, radio, art, calendars combo. Apparently, this lil shelf can hold up to 5kg, so great for displaying books with beautiful covers too.


Display shelves are perfect for those of us (me included) who are constantly updating art, plants, photos, everything. You don’t need to keep filling old holes in your walls to hang different sized pieces of art. Just add, take away or rearrange and you’ve refreshed your space in just a few minutes.

Hope you like it peeps!? Let me know if i’ve missed any of your top “shelfie” styling tips.


This post was written in collaboration with Homebase, but all opinions are my own. Always. I only ever work with companies and brands that I actually like and think you will like too.



  1. Another triumph Karen. Looks fab. I really love the clipboard calendar idea too! Keep those good ideas coming! And if it makes you feel better, I also get mocked by my hubby when I style anything. He thinks its hilarious (but is starting to get more into some my ideas! Win!). Have a fab day x

    • Yay! Thank you Jill. Really glad you like it. I really enjoy styling but I do find myself smirking sometimes 🙂 Have a lovely day too!x

  2. Jen Stanbrook says

    Going to bookmark your shelfie tips for my own home office makeover later this month!

  3. I love this Karen. It’s so important to have an office that you actually want to sit and work in, it should be a space that inspires and encourages creativity – just like yours 🙂

  4. Oh Wayne laughs every time I am styling anything as well. He calls it faffing as in, “Are you faffing AGAIN?” Even when I’m just standing there looking at it, pondering what else it needs and what room I can steal said thing from. Your shelf is super cute (I love how it blends in but still adds interest to that wall) and your whole office is coming along so nicely! Where do you get those gorgeous radiators from? I have looked into them before but they are so pricey (!!) so if you have a decent source, would you mind sharing? xxx

    • Haha. One of the many differences between men and women eh? We’ve been updating our radiators slowly over the past three years and now the downstairs is done and our office is the first to take the plunge upstairs. This one was £100 from amazon. But I’ve used Best Heating for design projects and some of our downstairs ones. B&Q also have some really good value ones too. Can’t wait to get the rest done. Radiators are FUGLY!xx

  5. What a lovely space to work in! I can see the wall is matt black and not grey as I thought when I commented in an earlier post (oops!). It looks great.

    Love the bull dog clip idea.

    • Thanks Jane. I keep finding bulldog clips all over the house. I’ve never even bought one so I have no idea how they’ve got here?? 🙂

  6. katy615 says

    I would be overly excited by that radiator too – very jealous as we have ugly radiators in our house! It all looks great and the shelf is perfect x

  7. Congratulations on your radiator! I love your little shelfie, it’s making me want to put one near my desk (I miss the ones I used to have in our previous house).

  8. Some great tips here Karen. I’ll be sure to refer back to the when I get around to styling the shelf in my bedroom. The shelf you chose is just perfect for that space too.

  9. I love the black version! It looks so smart on that wall and makes the accessories on it pop out. Now I wish I’d got a black one! X

    • I think you chose the perfect colour for your room Cate. Black would have been too harsh in your lovely light bedroom!x

  10. carolepoirot says

    Aw, it’s so nice to have a room all to yourself to work in and this one looks so lovely. The shelf is perfect in that spot and works really well with the overall calm design of the room. And I like how it “disappears” against the black wall. xo

  11. Aah you have the bulb by V&BP! That’s been on my wishlist for about a year but I’ll need to wait until I have a little workspace of my own before I can get it. Your shelfie is supercute, I love your tips. It makes all the difference to have shelves that look pretty as well as serving a function, but my OH doesn’t seem to grasp the pretty bit at all either :(.
    That radiator is darling and your OSB desk is looking rather lovely in the sunlight! xx

    • Yes!! Good spot. I’m currently in the process of making a lamp for it. It’s only half done so far as you can see, but it’s too pretty to not be out on show. Thanks for the shelfie love too 🙂 x

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