Tips and Guides

3 Ways to Maximize Your Shelves

A well kept shelf can add height and style to your room

Photography: Dairy Darilag Styling: Tala Singson

The key to having an organized home is having ample storage. Shelves, cabinets, and storage essentials like plastic bins, trays, woven baskets help us keep our things in place. However, these must-haves aren't just simply for storing our things. These pieces can also moonlight as decor pieces with proper styling! Make the most of your shelves with these tips and ideas:

Sittings Editor: Dagny Madamba. Shot on location at Kubular.

Arrange your books in a studied way

Your reading materials can be arranged in a visually appealing manner. House your references, coffee table books, and even a few magazines at different levels on your shelf. Stack them on different piles and let them lean against each other in a random yet organized manner. You can color-coordinate them or sort them by genre, too.

RL Tip: Try an all-horizontal arrangement of books on one level and an all-vertical one on another.

Add storage spots

Create storage within your shelving unit to stow everyday objects. This especially ideal if you live in a condo unit. If your bookshelf is in your living room and you love to lounge on the sofa, you can stash blankets or extra throw pillows in baskets at the bottom of the shelf. You can also store loose cords, gadget chargers, or a collection of your favorite magazines. 

Inject display items

Include artwork and several decorative elements in your bookshelf. Think sculptural—using objects with substance is a great way to catch the eye and fill up an empty space. All these décor items will add a lot of character to your shelf, so make sure they’re interesting, color-coordinated or reflective of your personality.

This snippet originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Real Living Magazine. Minor edits have been made by the editors. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

More on

4 Ways to Work with Shelves

10 Ways to Organize Your Bookshelf

Choosing the Right Shelves: Free-standing vs Built-ins


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