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Doable Decorating: The Art of Arranging

Gorgeous tables, shelves, and mantels are not just the province of professional stylists. Here’s how to stage stunning displays yourself, using stuff you have at home—without spending a cent.

Wooden bookshelf with assorted books, photo, drawings, shells and white trinkets
David Prince
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Bookshelf

Break up a sea of books with interesting objects and friendly art (faces, animals) and you turn the space into a sort of shadow box—an intimate little world that draws people in.

A careful edit of books (favorites, compatible colors) and items—here mostly white, black, and brown—guarantees cohesive results.

Horizontal and vertical stacks move the eye around, create more surfaces for tchotchkes, and showcase titles to add spirit and meaning.

Ample space around objects makes each piece look comfortable, relaxed, and happy, as if it belongs there. Think of how you set a teddy bear on a bed.

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