Start with the bottom most shelf. The largest and heaviest items should go here. Do you have some large heavy books? Or a collection of large books? Or you could slide some really nice woven baskets onto the bottom shelf and have them hold your paperback stash. The point here is that the bottom shelf should have the weight.. both the visual weight and the actual weight. The items you place on this shelf don't necessarily have to be books. Maybe a large vase or urn... or a large globe.
The flat surface on the top of table-height shelving allows you to create seasonal displays or use the space to show off favorite photos or mementos. Shelving with baskets of this height can easily be converted to a changing table for a new baby: just add a changing pad to the top and use the baskets for storing essentials like diapers and wipes. As your baby grows, you can remove the changing pad and use the baskets to store toddler toys, clothing and pull-ups.
Go bigger and keep it simple: Some people feel the need to fill up the entire space. But often all those little knick-knacks and bric-a-brac turn out looking cluttered and collect dust. Not having to dust each little piece is a reward in itself. Go bigger and more simple with larger vases, bigger candles, and simple designs. The simplistic look will avoid clutter and make dusting easier.
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