When it comes to interior design, bookshelves are a must-have piece of furniture in any living room. Not only do they provide a place to store your favorite books, but they also offer the opportunity to display decorative items, cherished family photos, and art pieces that reflect your personal style. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect bookshelf that blends seamlessly with your interiors. But fear not, experts are here to help!
One popular way to arrange bookshelves in the living room is to place them on either side of a window, creating a focal point and framing the view outside. To add an artistic touch, you can hang a large painting or piece of art above the bookshelves. Another option is to stack your favorite books in different ways, creating an eye-catching display that will draw the attention of anyone who enters the room.
If you prefer a sleek and minimalistic look, a wall-mounted bookshelf is the perfect choice. It offers a contemporary and space-saving solution while still giving you plenty of storage space. Designer Suzy Crosland suggests incorporating modular bookshelves into the living room, which can be arranged in different configurations to suit your needs and preferences.
If you have a collection of decorative items that aren’t traditionally displayed on bookshelves, consider incorporating them into your living room bookshelf display. For example, you can store small succulents or begonias in glass jars and place them on the shelves. This combination of plants and books adds a touch of nature and brings life to the space.
When it comes to making the most of a small living room, experts recommend taking advantage of every available spot. This includes utilizing walls, corners, and even incorporating bookshelves into doorways and cabinets. This not only maximizes storage space but also adds a unique and creative element to your living room.
Whether your style is traditional or contemporary, bookshelves are a versatile option that can be customized to suit any space. The secret lies in finding the perfect bookshelf that blends seamlessly with your interiors, making it a true reflection of your soul and personality.
In conclusion, living room bookshelves offer a wide range of options for storage and display. From sleek and modern designs to traditional and antique pieces, there is a bookshelf for every style and taste. So go ahead and explore the latest trends in bookshelf design and find the perfect one for your living room!
Image source: homesandgardens.com
Living room bookshelf ideas
Living room bookshelves are not only functional but also a great way to add style and personality to your space. Whether you have a small corner or a large wall, there are plenty of creative ways to incorporate bookshelves into your living room.
1. Wall-mounted bookshelves
One of the most popular options is to install wall-mounted bookshelves. This not only saves space but also creates a sleek and modern look. You can choose from a variety of designs and colors to match your existing furniture.
2. Built-in bookshelves
If you have a fireplace or an unused wall, consider adding built-in bookshelves. These can be custom-made to fit your space and provide plenty of storage for your books and other decorative items. You can also incorporate a cozy reading nook or window seat into the design.
3. Bookshelf room dividers
A unique and functional idea is to use bookshelves as room dividers. This creates separate areas in your living room while still allowing the space to feel open and connected. You can choose bookshelves with open shelves or ones with cabinets and drawers for additional storage.
4. Colorful bookshelves
Don’t be afraid to add a pop of color to your living room with colorful bookshelves. Painting your bookshelf in a bold or vibrant color can make it a focal point of the room. You can also mix and match different colors for a playful and eclectic look.
5. Bookshelf displays
Instead of stacking your books in a traditional manner, try creating unique bookshelf displays. You can arrange your books by color, size, or genre to make it more visually appealing. Mixing in decorative objects like vases, picture frames, and small plants can also add interest.
6. Open bookshelves
If you prefer a more minimalist look, consider opting for open bookshelves with no backs or sides. This gives your living room a more airy and open feel while still providing storage for your books and other items. You can also use these bookshelves to showcase your favorite pieces of artwork or collectibles.
7. Bookshelves with hidden storage
If you have limited storage space, bookshelves with hidden storage compartments can be a great solution. These bookshelves often have doors or drawers that can be used to store items that you don’t want to display. This allows you to keep your living room organized and clutter-free.
8. Floating bookshelves
Floating bookshelves are a great option for small spaces or when you want to create a minimalist look. These shelves are mounted on the wall and appear to be floating, giving your books a unique and modern display. You can arrange them in different patterns and heights to add visual interest.
9. Bookshelves in unexpected places
Get creative with your bookshelf placement by considering unexpected areas in your living room. You can install bookshelves above doorways, around windows, or even in the corner of the room. These unique placements not only make use of otherwise wasted space but also add a touch of charm to your living room.
10. Designer bookshelves
For a more high-end look, consider investing in designer bookshelves. These bookshelves are often made with unique materials and have stylish designs that can elevate the look of your living room. They are perfect for showcasing your favorite books and collectibles.
No matter which bookshelf idea you choose, remember to keep the overall style and color scheme of your living room in mind. Bookshelves should not only be functional but also blend seamlessly with the rest of your furniture and decor. Ultimately, the goal is to create a space that is not only filled with books but also reflects your personal style and taste.
1 Opt for bespoke built-ins
If you’re a book lover, a bespoke built-in bookshelf could be the perfect addition to your living room. Not only does it provide ample storage space for your beloved books, but it can also act as a centerpiece and an opportunity to showcase your personal style.
When it comes to choosing a bookshelf, it’s important to consult the experts. Suzy Crosland, a designer at Interiors by Crosland, says, “Bookshelves should always be designed with the space in mind. Consider the layout of the room, the size and shape of the walls, and the location of windows and doors. This will help determine the perfect spot for your bookshelf.”
One of the biggest advantages of a bespoke built-in bookshelf is that it can be customized to fit your specific needs. You can choose the height, width, and depth of the shelves to accommodate different sizes of books and decorative items. This way, you can make the most of the available space and avoid wasted areas.
Another benefit of a bespoke built-in bookshelf is that it offers a seamless and integrated look. By combining the bookshelf with the rest of the wall, you can create a sleek and cohesive design. Whether you prefer a traditional or contemporary style, a bespoke built-in bookshelf can blend in seamlessly with your existing furniture and decor.
Furthermore, a bespoke built-in bookshelf provides a dedicated space for your books. Instead of stacking them on the floor or on random shelves, you can have a designated area to keep your collection organized and easily accessible. This can also help to keep your living room clutter-free and create a more streamlined and inviting space.
When it comes to color, you have endless options with a bespoke built-in bookshelf. You can paint it to match the walls for a subtle and harmonious look, or you can choose a different color to make it stand out and become a statement piece. The choice is yours, and it depends on the overall look and feel you want to achieve in your living room.
In conclusion, opting for a bespoke built-in bookshelf is a wonderful way to bring both functionality and style to your living room. It allows you to showcase your book collection, personalize the shelves to fit your needs, and create a cohesive and organized space. Whether you have a small family library or a large collection of books, a bespoke built-in bookshelf is the perfect option for any book lover.
2 Frame a doorway with shelves
When it comes to living room bookshelf ideas, incorporating shelves around a doorway can be a stylish and practical option. Not only does it make use of often wasted space, but it also adds a unique and eye-catching feature to your room.
Designer Lisa from “The Latest Home” suggests combining bespoke shelving with a sleek double doorway to create a stunning focal point. The shelves can be designed to match the style of the rest of the room, whether that’s modern, traditional, or somewhere in between.
One of the advantages of framing a doorway with shelves is that it provides extra storage space for books, decor, or even storage jars. This makes it a great option for smaller living rooms that need to maximize every inch of space.
In terms of the color scheme, expert designer Charlotte advises incorporating different colors on the shelves to bring a pop of color to the room. This not only makes the shelves stand out but also adds visual interest to the overall decor.
Furthermore, framing a doorway with shelves can also be a clever way to keep books close at hand. You can use the shelves above the doorway to store frequently read books or create a “reading nook” with a comfortable chair. This makes it easier to grab a book and enjoy a cozy reading spot without having to search through your entire bookshelf.
Whether you choose to paint the shelves the same color as the wall or a contrasting color, the incorporating shelves around a doorway is a smart and stylish way to make the most of your living room space. So, next time you’re considering bookshelf ideas, don’t overlook the opportunity to frame a doorway with shelves!
3 Create continuity with sleek built-in shelving
When it comes to living room bookshelf ideas, built-in shelving is a popular choice for creating a seamless and stylish look. By integrating bookshelves into the design of your living room, you can achieve a cohesive and streamlined appearance.
One option for incorporating built-in shelving is to install floor-to-ceiling cabinets with open shelves above. This allows you to showcase your favorite books and decorative items on the top shelves while keeping less visually appealing items hidden away in the cabinets below.
Another option is to have bespoke shelves built into the walls around your living room. This can be done in different configurations, such as creating a full wall of bookshelves or installing a series of shelves above a doorway or window. The modular nature of built-in shelving offers endless options for creating a custom look that fits your space perfectly.
One of the benefits of sleek built-in shelving is that it allows you to maximize the use of space in your living room. Instead of having standalone bookshelves taking up valuable floor space, built-in shelving utilizes the vertical space of your walls. This is especially useful in smaller rooms where every inch counts.
In addition to providing storage for books, built-in shelving can also serve as a display area for decorative objects and personal mementos. Whether you have stacks of books, beautiful bookends, or potted plants like heat-loving begonias, the shelves can be filled with items that reflect your personal style and interests.
Furthermore, built-in shelving can help to create a sense of continuity and flow in your living room. When the shelving is seamlessly integrated into the design of the room, it gives the impression that the whole space was carefully considered and designed by a professional. The sleek lines and clean finish of built-in shelving blend in with other furniture and architectural elements, creating a harmonious and polished look.
Another benefit of built-in shelving is that it offers a designated location for books. It’s no secret that book lovers often have a large collection of books, and without a proper place to store them, they can easily take over a room. With built-in bookshelves, you can keep your books organized and easily accessible, without them overpowering the space.
In conclusion, sleek built-in shelving is a great option for creating a stylish and functional living room. It allows you to make the most of your wall space, keeps your books organized, and offers a seamless and sophisticated look for your home. So whether you choose floor-to-ceiling cabinets or bespoke wall shelves, incorporating built-in shelving into your living room design is a smart choice.
4 Consider storage in unexpected places
If you’re looking to maximize storage space in your living room, think beyond traditional bookshelves. Consider utilizing unconventional areas and furniture pieces to create additional storage without sacrificing style.
One option is to use sleek bookcases that can be placed against walls or even in unused corners. These modular bookcases can blend seamlessly into your living room’s interiors while providing ample storage space for books, decorative items, and more.
Another unexpected storage option is utilizing the space above doorways. Installing a shelf above a doorway can create a unique focal point while making use of otherwise wasted space. This shelf can be the perfect spot to display artwork, plants, or even books.
In addition to traditional bookshelves, consider combining storage with other pieces of furniture. For example, a bookshelf can be built into a media console or TV stand to create a functional and stylish storage solution. This allows you to keep your books and other items organized while keeping your living room clutter-free.
Don’t forget about the nooks and crannies of your living room. Often, these areas are underutilized and can be the perfect spot for a small bookcase or storage unit. By arranging books and decorative items in these spaces, you can add visual interest and personality to your living room.
For those who want to showcase their book collection, consider a bespoke bookshelf. These custom-designed bookcases can be created to fit any space and can be a true statement piece in your living room. Whether they are built into the walls or freestanding, bespoke bookshelves give you the opportunity to create a unique and personalized storage solution.
When it comes to storage in your living room, thinking outside the box can lead to innovative solutions that add both style and function. So, before submitting to the idea of traditional bookshelves, consider the unexpected places and furniture pieces that can help you make the most of your space.
5 Make a bookcase the focal point
One of the best ways to create a statement in your living room is to make a bookcase the focal point. Whether you have a hoodless bookcase or one that stretches from floor to ceiling, you can transform your living room by arranging it in a way that draws attention.
If you have a doorway, you can place the bookcase on one side of it to create a striking frame. Stacks of books and decorative items can be arranged on the shelves to add visual interest.
Like Lisa Crosland, the designer behind the wonderful bookshelves in this living room, you can use a bookcase as a perfect nook to keep your favorite reads. The bookshelf can be designed in a way that it fits snugly against a wall or directly under a window, making it a functional and stylish addition to your living room.
If you have a double-height wall, a tall bookshelf can be used to fill the space and give it a grand look. You can arrange the shelves with different items, such as books, decorative jars, or plants, to create a personalized look.
When arranging your bookcase, think about the color scheme of your living room. You can choose a bookcase that blends in with the rest of the furniture or one that stands out as a statement piece. Combining colors and textures can give your bookcase a unique and eclectic look.
One of the latest trends in bookshelf design is to paint the back wall of the shelves in a different color. This gives the bookcase a pop of color and makes it stand out even more. You can choose a color that complements the rest of your living room or go for a bold and contrasting shade.
Another way to make your bookcase the focal point is to arrange the shelves in a way that creates a sense of balance. You can place larger items on the bottom shelves and gradually decrease the size towards the top. This will draw the eye up and make the bookcase look more dynamic.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different arrangements and styles. Your bookcase should reflect your personality and the overall feel of your living room. Whether you prefer a sleek and modern look or a cozy and traditional feel, there are endless possibilities when it comes to designing your bookshelf.
So instead of hiding your books away, make them the center of attention in your living room. A well-designed bookcase can add depth, character, and soul to your space, giving it a unique and personalized touch.
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6 Paint shelves to complement wall color
One of the best ways to make your living room bookshelves blend seamlessly with the rest of your decor is to paint the shelves to complement the color of your walls. This simple yet effective technique can create a cohesive and polished look in your space. Here are six ideas for painting your shelves to complement your wall color:
1. Matching colors
If you want a cohesive and seamless look, consider painting your shelves in the exact same color as your walls. This will give the illusion that your shelves are an extension of the wall itself, creating a clean and streamlined appearance.
2. Contrasting colors
To create a bold and eye-catching statement, paint your shelves in a contrasting color to your walls. This technique can add visual interest and make your bookshelves stand out as a focal point in the room. Choose colors that complement each other to achieve a cohesive and harmonious look.
3. Gradation of hues
Create a dynamic and harmonious look by painting your shelves in a gradation of hues that complement your wall color. For example, if your walls are painted in a light blue shade, consider painting your shelves in shades of blue that range from light to dark. This technique adds depth and dimension to your bookshelves and creates a visually pleasing display.
4. Accent color
Add a pop of color to your living room by painting your shelves in an accent color that complements your wall color. This can create a focal point and draw attention to your bookshelves, making them a statement piece in the room.
5. Two-tone look
Create a modern and stylish look by painting the backs of your shelves in a different color than the rest of the shelving unit. This two-tone effect adds visual interest and depth to your bookshelves, making them look more dynamic and unique.
6. Ombré effect
Incorporate the popular ombré trend into your living room by painting your shelves in an ombré effect that complements your wall color. This technique involves blending different shades of the same color from top to bottom or from left to right, creating a gradual transition of color. The ombré effect adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your bookshelves.
Remember, when painting your shelves, always make sure to prepare the surface properly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the paint. With these paint ideas, you can transform your living room bookshelves into a stunning and stylish feature in your space.
7 Conceal a secret door in a bookcase
If you’re looking for a unique and stylish way to incorporate a secret door into your living room, why not conceal it within a bookcase? This option not only adds a touch of mystery and intrigue to your space but also maximizes the functionality of your bookshelves.
Many homeowners are now opting to blend their bookcases seamlessly with the rest of their living room furniture. By incorporating a hidden door, you can create a cohesive and seamless look that feels both stylish and functional.
One of the latest trends in bookcase design is to have them painted in the same color as the surrounding walls. This creates a subtle and sophisticated look that allows the books and the surrounding areas to take center stage. It also offers a direct nod to designer Lisa Crosland, who often showcases this option in her interiors.
When it comes to concealing a secret door, one of the most popular options is to arrange your books in a way that creates a hidden entrance. By making stacks of books that act as a disguise, you can create a seamless transition from bookshelf to secret door.
Another popular option is to incorporate a modular bookcase system that allows you to easily move and rearrange the shelves to create different configurations. This allows you to customize the bookcase to suit your needs and easily conceal a secret door when desired.
Experts like Suzy Begonias and Charlotte Hoodless suggest incorporating a bookcase with a hidden door is a perfect addition to any home. Not only does it provide a functional and space-saving solution, but it also adds a bit of excitement and intrigue to your living room.
8 Go semi-bespoke for a sleek look
If you want a living room bookshelf that truly reflects your style and personality, consider going semi-bespoke. This means having a custom-designed bookcase or shelving unit that is tailored to your specific needs and preferences.
Semi-bespoke bookshelves are a great option if you have an awkward or unique space to work with. They can be designed to fit perfectly into alcoves, corners, or any other spot in your living room that would otherwise go unused or wasted.
When going semi-bespoke, you can choose the materials, colors, and finishes that you like. This gives you the freedom to create a bookshelf that complements the rest of your living room’s furniture and decor.
If you have a collection of items that you would like to display alongside your books, semi-bespoke shelving can incorporate spaces for them too. Whether you like to showcase plants, jars, photos, or any other objects, a customized bookshelf can provide the perfect spot to bring them together.
One of the key advantages of going semi-bespoke is that it gives you the opportunity to create a sleek and seamless look in your living room. By incorporating the bookshelf directly into the walls or as a built-in cabinet, you can achieve a sleek and minimalist aesthetic.
If you opt for a semi-bespoke bookshelf, you can also choose to paint it in the colors that you like, making it a standout feature in your living room. Whether you prefer a bold and vibrant color or a more subtle and neutral tone, painting your bookshelf can add depth and character to your space.
Designers like Lisa Crosland and Suzy Bringol are well known for their expertise in creating semi-bespoke bookshelves that are both functional and beautiful. Whether you prefer a traditional library-style bookshelf or a modern modular design, they can help bring your vision to life.
By going semi-bespoke, you can create a living room bookshelf that is truly unique and tailored to your taste. So, why settle for a standard, off-the-shelf option, when you can have a custom-designed bookshelf that will be the soul of your living room?
9 Make it your own with a mix of media
One of the best things about living room bookshelves is that they offer a blank canvas for you to bring in your own personal touch. Whether you have a collection of art prints, photographs, or decorative objects, incorporating them into your bookshelf display can add a unique and personal touch to your space.
If you have a large wall space above your bookshelves, it’s a great option to hang artwork or a gallery wall. This might include paintings, framed photographs, or even a collection of mirrors. By using the wall space above your bookshelves, you can create an interesting visual display that draws the eye up and adds depth to your living room.
Another option is to mix different types of media within your bookshelves themselves. For example, you might have a mix of books, decorative objects, framed photographs, and even plants on your bookshelves. This creates a dynamic and visually appealing display that showcases your personal style and interests.
If you’re not sure what to include on your bookshelves, a great starting point is to use books as the main focus. Bookshelves should be filled with books that you love and enjoy reading. You can organize them by genre, color, or even stack them on top of each other to create visual interest. Don’t be afraid to mix books with other decorative objects, such as vases, jars, or small sculptures.
Color is another important factor when it comes to creating a personalized bookshelf display. You can choose a color theme and incorporate it throughout your bookshelves by using books or decorative objects in that color. This can help create a cohesive and visually pleasing display.
Another popular option is to create a cozy reading nook or seating area near your bookshelves. This can be achieved by placing a comfortable chair or two near a window or doorway, where you can curl up with a good book. Adding a side table and a reading lamp can create the perfect spot for enjoying your favorite novels.
Don’t forget to utilize all the different shelving areas of your bookcase. From the top to the bottom, each shelf offers a great opportunity to showcase different pieces and create a visually interesting display. Modular bookcases are especially versatile, allowing you to adjust the shelves and create unique configurations that best suit your style and needs.
When it comes to creating a personalized bookshelf display, the most important thing is to make it your own. Choose pieces that you love and that reflect your personality and interests. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. The options are endless, and the only secret is to have fun and enjoy the process.
10 Try a freestanding bookcase
If you have a large living room or just want to make a bold statement, a freestanding bookcase is a great option. It offers both functionality and style, allowing you to showcase your books, decor pieces, and more.
A freestanding bookcase can be placed against a wall or in a corner, making it a versatile piece of furniture that can fit into any room. It also gives you the option to rearrange your space without having to worry about drilling holes into the walls.
When choosing a freestanding bookcase, consider the size and style that will best fit your living room. You should also keep in mind the color and finish of the bookcase, as it should complement the other furniture and decor in the room.
A freestanding bookcase can also be used as a room divider, creating a separate nook or space within your living room. This can be especially useful if you have an open floor plan and want to create some privacy or define different areas.
One of the most popular options for freestanding bookcases is to use them as a backdrop for a window or a wall. This allows you to bring in natural light and create a focal point in your living room.
To make your freestanding bookcase even more stylish, you can paint it in a bold color or choose one that complements the other colors in the room. This will not only make it stand out but also add a pop of color to your living space.
Freestanding bookcases can also be a wonderful addition to family rooms or playrooms. They can be used to store children’s books, toys, and other items, keeping the room organized and clutter-free.
When styling your freestanding bookcase, think beyond just stacks of books. You can use decorative jars, vases, and begonias to add a touch of nature and color. You can also combine books with other decor pieces, like picture frames or small sculptures, to create a more personal and curated look.
Experts like Lisa from The Spruce and Charlotte from Homedit suggest that you should always keep the latest books or ones you’re currently reading on your freestanding bookcase. This not only makes it easier to find them but also adds a personal touch to the space.
So, don’t let the wasted walls in your living room go unnoticed. Try a freestanding bookcase and bring soul to your home with curated bookshelves and decor pieces that make your living room feel like a cozy retreat.
How do you organize shelves in a living room
Organizing shelves in a living room can be a fun and creative task. Whether you have a small bookcase or a large built-in shelving unit, there are many ways to arrange your shelves to showcase your books and decorative items. Here are some tips from experts on how to organize shelves in a living room:
1. Start with a clean slate
Before organizing your shelves, take everything off and give them a good dusting. This will give you a clean and fresh start to work with.
2. Sort your books
Sort your books by genre, color, or size, whichever you prefer. This will make it easier to find specific books and create a visually pleasing arrangement.
3. Consider different areas
Divide your shelves into different areas or sections. This can help you create a more organized and visually appealing look. For example, you can have a section for your favorite novels, a section for travel books, and a section for decorative items.
4. Mix books with decorative items
Don’t be afraid to mix your books with decorative items like photo frames, artwork, or small plants. This will add visual interest and make your shelves look more curated.
5. Make use of vertical space
If you have tall shelves, consider using the vertical space by stacking books vertically instead of horizontally. This can create a more visually interesting look and also save space.
6. Consider the location of your shelves
The location of your shelves can also affect how you organize them. If your shelves are near a window, you can use this area to display plants or other items that thrive in natural light. If your shelves are near a doorway, you might want to keep them more minimal and clutter-free.
7. Use modular shelving
If you have the option, consider using modular shelving. This allows you to easily rearrange and reconfigure your shelves as needed, making it easier to organize them.
8. Don’t overcrowd your shelves
While it might be tempting to fill every inch of your shelves, it’s important to leave some empty space. This will give your shelves a more airy and balanced look.
9. Consider the “one-third” rule
When arranging items on your shelves, consider the “one-third” rule. This means that one-third of your shelf space should be taken up by books, one-third by decorative items, and one-third should be left empty. This creates a visually pleasing balance.
10. Have fun and experiment
Organizing shelves in a living room is a creative task, so don’t be afraid to have fun and experiment. Play around with different arrangements and see what works best for your space and personal style.
By following these tips, you can create a stylish and organized living room bookshelf that not only showcases your books but also adds personality to your space. Happy organizing!
What can I put on my shelves in my living room
When it comes to decorating your living room bookshelves, the options are endless. Whether you have a small bookshelf or a large built-in cabinet, there are plenty of ways to style them and make them a focal point in your space. Here are some ideas for what you can put on your shelves:
- Books: The most obvious choice for your bookshelf is, of course, books. Whether you have a collection of novels, art books, or travel guides, arranging them on your shelves can add color and personality to your living room.
- Window: If your shelves are located near a window, consider incorporating plants or flowers to bring a touch of nature into your space.
- Homes: Designer Charlotte Moss suggests arranging small-scale models of homes on your shelves to create a charming and whimsical display.
- Unique pieces: Consider adding unique pieces like jars, vases, or sculptures to your shelves for a touch of personality.
- Artwork: Displaying small pieces of artwork on your shelves can add visual interest and showcase your favorite pieces.
- Photos: Incorporating framed photos of loved ones or travel memories is a great way to personalize your living room shelves.
- Plants: Adding potted plants to your shelves can bring a touch of nature indoors and add freshness to your space.
- Storage boxes: If you have items that you need to store but don’t want to display, consider using stylish storage boxes or baskets on your shelves to keep them hidden away.
- Collectibles: If you have a collection of items, like vintage toys, figurines, or sports memorabilia, displaying them on your shelves can be a great way to showcase your interests.
Remember, when arranging items on your shelves, think about creating balance and varying heights. Mixing and matching different sizes and shapes will add visual interest. Also, don’t be afraid to change things up and rearrange your shelves from time to time to keep your space feeling fresh and new.