Personalizing a bookshelf is one way to begin decorating it. Personalized items to place on the shelves can include artwork created by loved ones, favorite books, old plates, photos, and items from personal collections such as baseball cards. A person's home should express his personality visually.
To create a unified look, each shelf can represent a different theme by grouping together items of similar themes, materials, colors, textures or shapes. Light-colored objects look good contrasted against dark or brightly-colored wood. Changing shelf height to create asymmetry can also be appealing to the eye and allow room for larger decorative pieces.