I think all of us who write houzz ideabooks on a regular basis can't help but write a shelf arrangement
ideabook every so often. The thing is, talented members of the houzz community are constantly adding new pictures that give more great examples, so why not collect some new favorites as they start to stack up, right?
I find the number one rule for arranging shelves is to arrange and re-arrange, then step back, and arrange again until you are happy. Other than that, there really are no rules. If you are O.C.D. about color, arrange books
by color. If you are a slave to the Dewey Decimal system, arrange them by subject and then in alphabetical order by author. If you're a collector, mix in your favorite objects. It's all about what is functional and what makes you happy aesthetically. Personally, I have a lot of books stacked on their sides for aesthetic purposes - the trade off is that I know I have to drag out the stepladder and remove all the books above them in order to access the big heavy ones on the bottom without tipping the shelf and breaking all the pottery I have mixed in (this was learned the hard way).
If you aren't satisfied with the look of your shelves, take everything down and start fresh. This is a great opportunity to complete a much-needed dusting job! It may be time to donate or rotate out some items, and/or to introduce some new ones. Here are some more tips we can glean from the images below. Keep in mind that these are merely suggestions, and are not hard-and-fast rules!