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Q: We recently had built-in shelving installed on both sides of our living room fireplace. It looked fantastic…until we actually put stuff on them. Any tips?

Tamara says....
Group similar items (pictures, vases, books and knick-knacks), and try to keep both sides of the unit visually balanced. Be careful not to overstuff the shelves, and try to keep weightier items on the bottom. Also, try displaying books in interesting ways, such as stacking larger books in the centre of the shelf or using bookends to stand groups of books alone or to break up a run of books. Be sure that books have some type of order (large to small), and purge and recycle once in a while to keep the shelves from getting too busy.

Tamara Chiarello's interior design company, In Vision, does both residential and commercial work. Send her your decorating questions here.