Go & visit home decorating stores - even if you can't afford to shop at the best stores, go there to see what it's all about. Don't slavishly follow everything, but develop your sense of what looks good.
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Mix & match some harmony & some contrast – some upright, some horizontal. Keep some shelf spaces exclusively as center pieces for displaying special loved & meaningful items. Signature items that speak about you & your history. Perhaps a pen, a journal, a picture, or pictures, or your favorite collectibles. The things you love & enjoy to have around you.