March 8, 2016

Let’s cut the crap and get straight down to business – the perfect flatlay is more than just a white background and a bunch of random items thrown together. Like any publication today, it’s a strategic curation of the right elements working together in balance. Flatlays are modern day civilian art, and to nail it, you’ll need one item from each element – Lifestyle, Fashion, Food, etc. – so the end result doesn’t look unprofessionally lopsided. Ready? We’re diving in.


Base: White Sheets

Image from muji.com

First and foremost, your base! Nothing says ‘flatlay’ like a clean white background to lay all your elements against, so the products will pop while maintaining a sophisticated elegance. And have you ever seen Instagrammers wake up to bright pink sheets? Didn’t think so. Doesn’t matter if you spill food or product on them; you’ll only be needing a square of it anyway.


Tech: Some form of technology, preferably Apple

Image from apple.com

Irrefutably, Apple has completely monopolised “tech aesthetic”. The subtle shimmer of the back of an iPhone or iPad usually does the trick, but if you’re really serious, break out your Macbook (Air > Pro, sorry budding videographers) for that edge of sleek futurism. +10 points if you can literally bring a wireless Apple keyboard to the table.


Lifestyle: Flowers/Vegetation

Image from johnlewis.com

Like it or not, you are a delicate creature with a soft spot for nature, so chuck that into the pic as well. Baby’s breath and other similar cream or neutral coloured blooms are a good choice; leave the blood-red roses to your partner to gift you on Valentine’s.


Beauty: Cosmetics

sephora tarte
Image from tartecosmetics.com

The odd YSL lipstick or pretty eye shadow palette will add the right amount of femininity to your flatlay, but remember to keep things polished and minimal – no gunky sponges or neon-cased lip products, please. Mirrors are a good alternative too; just be sure not to get caught in the reflection, because nobody likes seeing the human effort that goes into a pretty flatlay.


Food: Food

Image from amazon.com

Only beautiful food allowed. That means avocado toast, tea in pristine porcelain crockery, pressed juices, quinoa, cereal, and everything else that’s pretty on the eyes but not always so on the taste buds. In your flatlay universe, tableware should only ever exist in creams, white, or subtle metallics.


Fashion: Magazine

Since you can’t feature an entire item of clothing in your flatlay, a magazine will do. (Just a peek of it at the corner will suffice.) Ironically, Kinfolk seems to be a popular choice even though it’s a lifestyle magazine – must be the watered down pastel hues – we recommend flipping to one of NYLON’s chic fashion spreads to show that you’ve actually read the magazine and not just photographed the cover. Obviously.



Featured image from instagram.com/meohmygirl.