The Ultimate Shelfie with Designstuff + Zak
One of my biggest decorating struggles I seem to find myself in is deciding what to do with the humble shelf. I'm always flipping through magazines and find myself drooling over the immaculately styled minimalist bookshelf or the bohemian-esque desk space covered in a variety of sprawling plants and mismatched objects that work together perfectly. Then I look at the set of 3 built-in shelves that came with the apartment and I sigh.
I sigh because I could never seem to get that space quite right (major first world problems, I know). Despite spending hours trawling through Pinterest boards of inspiration and stockpiling books for hints and advice, I could never put my finger on exactly what I needed to do to get things looking right. So I did the only thing someone can do in such a circumstance, I decided to collaborate. I mean, two heads are better than one, right? Well, in this case, two heads and the ultimate stockist of beautiful Scandinavian homewares. Zak & Designstuff, to the rescue!
What I was really looking forward to with this collab' was mixing a whole different set of styles and ideas together to come up with something that worked. Zak's aesthetic is very relaxed, cool and chilled, whereas I'm virtually the opposite, preferring structure, symmetry and predictability. Two worlds collide, with a result I really think worked well. Like, so well. Anywho, enough rabble. I'm sure most of you are here to see the pictures, so let's get to it! Hope you enjoy.
Layout is probably one of the most daunting parts of working with a shelf. To me it seemed like a random act of putting random things in random places to get random results. Random, random, random... so random. In the end, in all honesty, it kind of is. I remember reading a dozen books, each promoting various rules and hints about how to create vignettes and cluster objects together to create amazing results, which I'm sure work. However, to me, these rules just caused confusion and stifled creativity. My advice: go with the flow and have fun. We experimented with a range of different ideas and setups before stumbling on something that appeared to work, none of which were based on strict rules or guides. As I mentioned earlier, I'm one for predictability, however learning to be a little more flexible when styling led to some really nice organic results.
Selecting pieces to include on the shelves was a challenge in itself. For starters, Designstuff has so many beautiful things to choose from. Secondly, ensuring everything would work together was a bit of a guessing game. In the end, it all came downing to picking instinctually and not worrying to much. Things we liked went on the list, things we didn't like, didn't. Simple. I think we all put too much pressure on making sure everything matches, or looks 'right' together. MEH AT THAT. I liked shiny things, on to the shelf went shiny things. Zak liked marbley things, on to the shelf they went too. Basically, if ya like it, get it on that shelf.
One thing Zak was incredibly insistent on was having something green and alive on the shelves. I was kinda like... eh... but he was totally right. Without the plants, the shelves looked dead, and who wants dead shelves? In the words of Delta Goodrem, "Not me, not I." As a result, I now have a small selection of exotic plants I'm not exactly sure how to care for properly... #helpmeplz #nosrslyhelpme
Since the shelves were chilling over the top of a desk/workspace, it made sense to include a lamp. The very obvious choice for this space was the JDWA concrete & brass lamp from Menu *cue heavy breathing*. I'll take this chance to mention, the new season version now comes with... get this... a polished brass base. Staaaaaaaahhhp it! Get those preorders going now guys. Seriously. P.S - the little dial is actually a dimmer switch. Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!
As with any workspace, you definitely need your little bits and bobs to not only provide useful features, but to look hella pretty too. My absolute favourite item here was the grey marble salt dish. But Matt & Zak, why would you want salt on your desk...? IKR? Who would want salt on their desk. Instead, we used it to house paperclips. Aren't we clever? Cheers. I also want to touch on using books and magazines as art. You can actually do it, don't let others judge. I can only afford the odd print here and there, so magazines with beautiful covers (Kinfolk usually delivers, evidently) work an absolute treat, especially when your budget is so-so.
Well there we go. What do you think? Did we nail it? Let us know in the comments below.
Mega thanks go to: Zak for all the styling know-how & expertise | IG | & Designstuff for all the amazingly beautiful bits and pieces we used for the collab' | IG + FB + Pinterest + Website | You guys rock my socks.