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Give Your Bookshelves a Growth Spurt
A store-bought bookshelf can end up looking a bit stumpy because, invariably, there are a few inches (or a couple feet) of empty space between its top and your ceiling. That gap can make your living room seem punier than it actually is, Olson says, because your eyes stop where the shelves stop, which makes your ceiling seem lower than it is. She suggests adding a piece of crown molding to the top of your bookcase to fill the gap, or a custom-built shelf or two to go on top, if it's a larger space (either option will be cheaper than getting the entire thing made to order). Another space-expander is to attach a mirror to the back wall of the bookcase to make each shelf appear deeper and reflect the room's light.