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Q.We have a wall of books - all shapes and sizes and colors - in the living room. My husband thinks this is fine whereas I think it makes the room look like a storage room. What do you think?

A. These are the kind of questions I enjoy answering because both of you can be happy with the solution.

I suspect that part of the problem for you is that the books could be placed in a haphazard way. Try rearranging them in an orderly fashion. Use some books stacked on their side acting as bookends. Leave the stack low enough to display small, framed family snapshots or collectables.

In some areas place larger pictures or accessories on the shelves between the books to add interest. If you use "interruptions" in a zigzag pattern from top to bottom of the shelf unit, it creates a pleasing rhythm.

One last important suggestion: Pull your books forward so they are flush with the front of the shelf. You will be amazed at the visual results. The shelves will instantly appear less cluttered.

I feel that books and magazines in a living room give the room a purpose and that creates an invitation to use the space.

Have fun arranging your shelves.

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Reita Bayman

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