Living room design

Photo: Courtesy of Vern Yip

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They Turn Books on Their Sides
It's tempting to maximize every free space, bookshelves included—that's what they're for, isn't it? But if you look at most professionally designed living rooms, the shelves are at least 20 percent bare. One way to keep yourself from overstuffing the shelves is to try piling all your books horizontally. "Stack them from largest to smallest, and not more than five to six books high, otherwise you'll never bother pulling them out and using them," Yip says. Suddenly, your bookshelf is its own design statement.