How to photograph tricky spaces

Do you have a space in your home that you love but can’t seem to photograph right? This little [...]

Quirky shelfie suggestions

What’s the quirkiest object you display on your shelves?  When I buy anything beautiful, I automatically think about where [...]

Happy 1st birthday, Shelfie book!

A WHOLE YEAR! That’s how long it’s been since my book Shelfie came out. A whole year of getting [...]

The joy of colour coding your bookshelves

Sometimes all it takes is colour-organised books… I’ve done it for years (this was back in 2014), both for [...]

Shelfie tips: Buy colourful vintage books

Recently, @_lisa_dawson_ showed us some vintage Penguin books that she’d bought. I actually squealed with joy when I saw [...]

Design tip: The importance of white space

I took this #shelfie pic a while back but I wasn’t sure about sharing it Why? Because I felt [...]

Behind the scenes: a bit of insta-reality…

Here’s a tiny bit of Insta-reality: a bit of Colour File HQ that’s finished and a bit that’s most [...]

Pink and yellow shelfie

Hello, my colour-loving friends I adore pink and yellow together 🌸🌼💗💛 To me the combination conveys so much: softness [...]

My pink Art Deco inspired bathroom

I recently read that mint green is on its way back into our lives. I’ve been in love with [...]

Shelfie display with rainbow Penguin books

You loved these books so much yesterday, I thought I’d give you more…. They certainly do it for me: [...]

Shelfies and teenagers

Did you ever borrow clothes or make-up from your mum when you were a kid? I can’t recall ever [...]

The medicinal power of sweet peas

When I was a health writer at The Sun, I researched a piece about pharmaceutical remedies found deep beneath [...]

6 colour block shelf styling tips

Since arranging the pastels shelfie that you all seemed to love so much, it’s remained intact on my mint [...]

Shelfie with coloured candles

Don’t you just LOVE candles? I know I’ve said it before (and I’ll probably say it again – sorry-not-sorry) [...]

A small rainbow shelfie

Today I spotted this little aquatic beauty in @oxfamboutiquechiswick and just KNEW how beautifully she’d go with these vintage [...]

3 steps to creating a blue M&S shelfie

Hello and welcome to a new week Recently, I suggested a challenge to @marksandspencerhomepr – to show people how M&S [...]

Blue and yellow Easter shelfie

Happy Easter, folks. Today is forecast to be a day of uninterrupted, cloudless skies and dazzling sunshine, so naturally [...]

Peach and yellow M&S shelfie

Today has been a perfect day for creating shelfies. When I opened the blinds this morning and the spring [...]

Doing the shelfie shuffle

Does anyone else out there like doing the shelfie shuffle? Although it sounds like something you’d do on Strictly [...]

Why I love still life photography

Don’t you just LOVE still life? Whether paintings, drawings or photography, there’s something about the act of capturing objects [...]

Fluoro shelfie

Don’t you just LOVE a bit of fluoro? My first exposure to fluoro paint was as a kid in [...]

Farrow & Ball St Giles Blue shelfie

Hello from #shelfieSunday I’ve got celestial sky blue on my mind (remembering last week’s ‘false spring’ – false or [...]

27 February 19: ‘Shelfie’ in Grazia magazine

YAY!!! I’m sooo thrilled to be featured in @graziauk this week, chatting about shelfies and vignettes. Obviously I love [...]

Shelfie with world’s worst and world’s best colours

Welcome to Friday, and it’s a day of wall-to-wall blue skies. As such, I’ve very much got blue on [...]

Lisa James, design maven and first cousin

I’ve been thinking about whose design style inspires me. One of my earliest design influences was my cousin Lisa [...]

Pink and orange shelfie

Ah, pink and orange. You make me so happy when you work and play together. Pink and orange together [...]

Creating a shelfie with ‘hidden’ objects

Did you love hide and seek as a kid? As well as being great fun, it’s helps little ones [...]

Shelfie Sunday with Pascale Banks

For me, every day of the week is a shelfie kind of day (though the alliteration afforded by Saturday [...]

Shelfie tip: start with white props

Someone asked me the other day how to start a #shelfie styling project if you have no idea where [...]

Green shelfie

This green shelfie is one of a series I did to show how different shelfie colourways work on the [...]

The secret lives of colourful pottery

Often happiness lies in the simplest things – like the unmatchy matchness of three little plants and the stories [...]

Shelfie tip: ‘same on same’ colour

One of my favourite interiors techniques is putting ‘same against same’ colours on  my shelfies. In fact, I talk [...]

How to ‘shelfie’ your way to mindfulness

Can creating ‘shelfies’ help as a form of mindful activity? Martha Roberts asks the experts… ‘You should try mindfulness [...]

Colourful boxes for shelf styling

Ok, so you know my penchant for buying books for their covers. But did you know about my ‘thing’ [...]

Shelfie tip: Buy books for their covers

Happiness is a pile of colourful books (well, a pile of colourful most things but ESPECIALLY books). When I [...]

Pastels shelfie on a nightstand

I’ve been thrilled by your love and enthusiasm for my pastel shelfie (it’s the idea I was telling you [...]

Pastels shelfie in colour order

Hello, my colour-loving friends. I’ve had pastels on my mind for some time. I hankered after them over Christmas [...]

Where the idea for Shelfie book came from

Hello my colourful friends. Aren’t you glad it’s the weekend? Another throwback, this time to the early days of [...]

The story of how the RA cups went missing…

When I was younger, I’d go to the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) with my mum, and (typical kid) [...]

Orange and lemon shelfie

Happy #shelfiessunday!  I don’t know about you (and I know I’ve said it before) but around these parts, Sunday is [...]

Shelf styling with a white wall

When I started doing Shelfies at Colour File HQ around 18 months ago, I began with what I playfully [...]

Sea blue and green shelfie

What’s on your mind today? No, don’t tell me: it’s ‘When does term start and can I drop them [...]

Where my shelfie inspo came from

Naturally, I’m faffing about with shelves today. Apart from realising that one of my shelves is bowing slightly and [...]

How do you organise your books?

I’m obsessed with how people organise their books. I ask pretty much everyone I come across, ‘What’s your system?’ [...]

Creating a Pure PR Shelfie

Yesterday, I spent the day what I love doing most: shelfies. As part of their Pure Academy, @purepr set me the [...]

Yellow shelfie – and yellow love

Ah, yellow! How I love you! But we both know it hasn’t always been that way. Let me explain: [...]

Shelfie book at the Tate! I am, officially, ridiculously excited. Yesterday, my super-lovely and super-talented Instachum @marydarchdesign (take a look at her gin [...]

Blue and white imperfect/wabi sabi shelfie

There’s something about imperfection that I profoundly love. It’s an aesthetic thing – there’s something that makes the world [...]

Cobalt blue shelfie

I remember the first time I saw a lapis lazuli gemstone. I was 16 and was Interrailing around Europe [...]

Playing with a rainbow shelfie

I keep thinking of the perfect book-lined room in Aberporth, mid Wales, where I’ve stayed several times in the [...]

What colour were your favourite childhood books?

As I seem to spend so much time declaring my unabashed ardour for arranging coloured books on shelves (just [...]

The shelfie props I take on holiday

What’s the strangest item you’ve ever taken on holiday with you? Whatever it is, I bet I can totally [...]

Shelfie with vintage blue glass bottles

When I see coloured glass medicine bottles, I remember those times when I was a kid and went to [...]

16 July 18: The ‘working’ shelf

Welcome to a new week, folks. What a top weekend: friends, fairs, festivals and all-round good fun. I’ve also [...]

14 July 18: Picture shelfie

It’s #shelfiesaturday folks. And in celebration of this, I’m bringing you a picture shelf shelfie from my book. I [...]

13 July 18: Shelfie is out!

See…I told you it’d only be a matter of time before I mentioned it again. Heaps of you have [...]

10 July 18: The power of yellow

Hello, folks 💛☀️📒☀️💛 I recently read that when they worked, both Maya Angelou and Robin Williams wrote on yellow [...]

6 July 18: Sweet pea shelfie

Ah, sweet peas! What’s not to love? When I bought these the other day, the first thing I did [...]

5 July 18: A week to go!

Hello, lovely friends. When I submitted the manuscript for Shelfie to @octopus_books_ back in January, it felt like absolutely [...]

3 July 18: Shelfie books for looks

Happy Tuesday, folks. Recently, I had a conversation with someone who was shocked that I sometimes (errr, often) buy [...]

27 June 18: Shelfie is on her way!!!

I have a question for you: is a book masculine or feminine? Ships are shes and so, I believe, [...]

24 June 18: Shelfie Sunday

Happy Sunday, folks. It turns out it’s a shelfie kind of Sunday. I don’t often do a pure, unadulterated [...]

15 May 18: Quirk & Rescue shelfie

Good morning, folks. Firstly I wanted to say thank you all SO much for all your lovely responses to [...]

28 May 18: S is for ‘shelfie’

Hello colourpeeps. How’s your Bank Holiday weekend turning out? Ours has been a combination of spray-painting and socialising, storm-spotting [...]

23 May 18: Birthday shelfie motivation

Hello my colour-loving friends. When I do shelfies, it’s often a combination of factors that come together to inform [...]

21 May 18: Shelfies to de-stress

Hello, folks, and welcome to a new week. Tell me something – what do you do to relax and [...]

20 May 18: Garden weed shelfie

Hands up who’s gardening today? I recently read a survey about gardening habits in the UK and learned that [...]

14 May 18: ‘Shelfie’ is on its way!

BOOK NEWS!!!!!! OK, so I’m seriously excited. Some of you know (because you’ve been an intrinsic part of it [...]

Ice cream shelfie

What’s in this shelfie? Ice cream square vessel (top left); Ice cream tiny vessel (middle right); Ice cream geo [...]

4 May 18: Are shelfies in the genes?

…So, second-in-command has been off school this week and has not been his usual chirrupy, chirpy self. He’s still [...]

31 March 18: Whose deskie is this?…

Who works at a desk like this? The clue is in the letter…and the style. I couldn’t resist snapping [...]

1 April 18: Osterbaum tree shelfie

Happy Easter, colourpeeps. Here’s an ‘osterbaum’ (Easter tree) for you. Well, in truth it’s a kind of ‘best of [...]

14 March 18: Yellow shelfie

Hello from Wednesday 🐣🐥🐤 I love this time of year: for someone who adores pastels and sorbet colours, Spring [...]

8 March 18: Green shelfie

Hello folks 🌱🌿🍀🍃🍏💚 The other day I asked for your suggestions on what shelfie to do next. One of [...]

6 March 18: Neon fluoro shelfie

Good morning, folks. If you’ve been following my feed, you’ll know I’ve been doing a series of shelfies with [...]

1 March 18: Black on black shelfie

Hello folks. On Tuesday I showed you how the Moss shelf from @madedotcom looked against a pale pink wall with muted [...]

27 February 18: Shelfie love

Ah, shelfies. How I love them. I style them when I’m happy, I style them when I’m feeling a [...]

13 February 18: Purple and orange power

Ah, purple and orange, what an unorthodox and devil-may-care duo you are. They’re not for the feint-hearted but I [...]

10 February 18: Shelfie-shaped happiness

Hello, folks. Happiness is shelfie-shaped. Today’s shelfie is probably one of my favourite types: a simple run of rainbow-coloured [...]

29 January 18: Spring flower shelfie

Happy Monday, folks. What’s your favourite aroma? According to a 2015 UK survey, top of the list is freshly [...]

31st March ’17: Asymmetry rules

Happy, happy Friday from The Colour File. Friday means flowers (don’t EVER wait for someone to treat you – [...]

27th March ’17: Purple & orange

Happy Monday, fellow colour-lovers. What a life-affirming weekend of friends, family and, of course, colour. 🌈☀️ I’ve gathered so many [...]

25th March ’17: Yellow on yellow

Happy sunny Saturday, lovely people 🌼🌸☀️ Something simple and Spring-like for you today. I started to put more with [...]

® Shelfie is a registered trademark of Martha Roberts, The Colour File

© Martha Roberts, The Colour File™

Hi, I’m Martha Roberts, journalist, mum, ardent second-hand rose and avid collector of colourful objects and images. I’m something of a colour magpie (or maybe a Satin Bowerbird, that quirky bird that collects blue objects to decorate its nest, only in my case a rainbow version…). This colour-craziness is why I started The Colour File.