Combine books and objects. Books can be neatly arranged horizontally or vertically. Top stacks with small objects, and then throw in larger items, such as vases, for variety.
Keep shelves relatable. Take cues from the room's palette to connect your display to the overall space. Try painting the backs of shelves with an accent color, and always select objects that color coordinate.
Express your personality. Phoebe says, "Shelves are a living decoration. Fill them with books that you want to look at again and again and items that reflect your interests."
Edit, edit, edit! Every so often, strip shelves down and start over. "Keep only the items you love." she says, "and give objects plenty of breathing room."