Bookshelves are a great way to decorate: They don't take up much floor space�and they provide an area on which to store various items. Here are some tips for creating an aesthetically pleasing bookcase.�

Make it functional
Turn your bookshelf into a usable space by arranging a bar set on it. You can also use the space as an area on which to display your collections. HGTV notes that collections are particularly visually appealing because the items are usually similar, but vary enough to keep it interesting. Mix the collection in with your novels to make it eclectic.�However, if you choose to install a minibar on the shelves, keep it separate from your hardcovers to avoid exposing them to water damage.�

Put like with like
HGTV also suggests grouping items together based on their color, size or function. For example, arrange a group of white vases of different sizes together on one end of the shelf, and stack a few antique books on the other side. Experiment with odd numbers and asymmetrical design to make it seem as though you put it together off the cuff. Who knows - by arranging your shelves sporadically, you may find a set up that you enjoy more than any organized design.�

Turn it into a stage
One of the simplest ways to turn your bookshelf into something dramatic is by hanging a set of custom window treatments in front of the books and keeping them partially drawn. This gives it the effect of a curtain being pulled onstage, lending a unique feel to the room. This also allows more attention to fall on your books.�

Real Simple also recommends putting empty frames on bookshelves and mantles to obtain a stark geometry - but putting empty picture frames in front of books will also draw more attention to the binding and titles.�