Creating the Perfect Bathroom Shelfie

image of an open box bathroom shelf with bottles included and hanging towels underneath
Author: Mark Fullilove
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With nearly three and a half million #shelfie posts on Instagram and a huge 282 million views for the trend on Tiktok, it’s no doubt that the shelfie trend is working its way into homes across the nation.

With shelfie searches on the rise, we’re here to share top tips for the perfect ‘shelfie’ to fit your own personal sanctuaries. Whether your bathroom is more neutral or full of bright colours and patterns, our tips will show you how to style a bathroom shelfie to fit your own style!

What is a Shelfie?

A shelfie is a picture of a shelf that showcases your favourite products and items in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible. A much-loved feature on home decor and interior social media accounts, shelfies can offer inspiration on storage solutions, and bathroom shelf design.

Sheflies aren’t just a display of random items. They are meticulously arranged to highlight the essence of your bathroom. Whether it's used to suit your step-by-step daily routine or a spa-themed shelfie to create a space to unwind, there's a perfect shelfie style for everyone.

What Bathroom Do You Have?

To create the perfect bathroom shelf design, understanding the style of your bathroom is critical. Each bathroom has its own unique style, so aligning your shelfie layout to fit your own personal aesthetic is key to getting the most out of this trend.

We’ve rounded up some of the biggest bathroom trends for 2024 and how to style the perfect shelfie around them.

Hotel and Spa-Inspired Bathrooms

image of a spa like bathroom including freestanding bath and riobel gs overhead shower kit in black

In 2024, hotel and spa-like bathrooms are set to rise in popularity. Focusing on soothing, neutral colours, simplistic decor, and luxury materials, this trend is all about creating your own slice of paradise. And as at-home spa nights gain popularity and self-care takes centre stage, there’s a growing desire for bathrooms that allow us to relax and transport us to our very own hotel spa at home.

When it comes to bathroom shelf design for that perfect spa-like shelfie, these are the top tips:

  1. Choose a soft colour scheme: selecting calming colours such as light blues, greens, or neutrals to establish a soothing ambience. 
  2. Display high-end skincare and bath products on a shelf or vanity unit to elevate the bathroom’s aesthetic.
  3. Add-rolled up towels and candles to exude that spa feel.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly

image of a sustainable bathroom using wood panelling including Crosswater Artist 1000mm Vanity Unit

The ongoing sustainability trend in home improvement and interior design is expanding to encompass environmentally conscious choices in bathroom design. We’re seeing homeowners increasingly incorporate eco-friendly materials such as glass, metal, bamboo, cork, and porcelain into their bathroom designs.

Embracing a shelfie style that resonates with the sustainability and eco-friendly ethos of these bathrooms means choosing products that excel both aesthetically and in their positive impact on the environment. This could include:

  1. Adding chic bathroom storage solutions and storage boxes: organising your cotton buds and pads in repurposed bamboo containers.
  2. Use different textures: think of all the eco-friendly materials and play with those textures so nothing is completely uniform yet still works with everything else on the shelf.
  3. Vary positionings: although the colours within this bathroom may sit on the more neutral end of the spectrum, adding a range of positions and angles can add something extra to the shelfie.


image of a plant on a vanity unit with countertop basins on oak worktop - Heritage Caversham Vanity and Chiswick basins

Biophilic interiors are all about bringing the outside in and are set to be a big trend in 2024. To achieve the look, incorporate natural materials like stone and wood, along with greenery, to create a serene and relaxing environment. The hot and humid conditions mean bathrooms are a great place to keep houseplants.

Here’s how to create a shelf fit for the most calming and serene biophilic bathrooms:

  • Add plants and greenery. Never underestimate the impact of well-placed plants on a shelf, and use them as a standout feature.
  • Less is more. Use neutral colours and touches of wood or stone in your shelf accessories, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor.


image of retro bathroom with wall mounted towel rails and copper freestanding boat bath - photographer Darren Chung

Similar to your favourite bottle of red wine, often older is better, which sums up the return in popularity of the retro bathroom. Retro bathrooms replicate trends from the past, incorporating old styles like coloured toilets into modern spaces through colour, furniture, patterns, and geometric shapes. Not only do retro interiors spark nostalgia, but they also add personality, uniqueness, and a classic style to your home.

To capture a perfect retro bathroom shelfie, follow these steps:

  1. Incorporate accent features: adding a standout colour piece instantly sparks conversation and encapsulates the bathroom theme.
  2. Add in some artwork: opt for retro art pieces featuring vibrant colours and bold shapes to flawlessly capture the essence of a retro bathroom.

Contrasting Colours

image showing bathroom with contrasting colours vertical brick tiles in beige with grey unit and walk in shower

Contrasting colours in home decor is not a new trend; it has been seen in feature walls with wallpaper or paint, and in vibrant furnishing all around the home. However, we’re now witnessing an increasing prevalence of bold, contrasting colours in bathrooms.

Diverging from the neutral tones that have dominated in recent years, contrasting colours are poised to make a big impact. Combining hues like pink and green or blue and yellow can create a bold and distinctive bathroom.

Here’s how to stylishly integrate vibrant colours into your bathroom shelf design:

  1. Paint your shelf a colour that is different from the wall it sits on. Keeping the rest of the walls a neutral colour will create a standout piece.
  2. Create a lively display on your shelf by mixing colour products and incorporating flowers, plants, and accessories for a vibrant and eclectic arrangement.
  3. Leave out the junk. It may be tempting to add in lots of items to your shelf, but the key is to choose artful and well-curated items to portray your desired aesthetic.

For more helpful tips and advice on bathroom layouts and style, read more on our The Journal section or our useful bathroom guides.