Don't just fill your shelves. Color them, arrange them, decorate them, dress them, personalize them. The books you store on your shelves are just the beginning.
Empty your shelves. Back them with colored paper, or paint the backs a contrasting color. This will help make the objects pop.
Sort books by size and subject. Remove and discard any ripped dust jackets (unless you think they might have value). Line books, some vertically, some horizontally, in a rhythmic pattern. This will relieve the monotony of rows.
Fill unused spaces with attractive boxes. These will help you (neatly) store everything from photos to computer manuals. The blocks of color will break up the rows of books.
Add ceramics and other objects. Place family photos or small works of art against the books to bring the shelves to life.
Be daring. Hang a framed picture from the bookcase molding.
Voilà! The finished bookcase — a much more interesting addition to your room.
Watch Elizabeth on NBC's
Today show. And don't forget to check out her book, which will be published this spring.