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Perhaps it’s my retail background that makes me appreciate unique store displays and want to use them in my home. I’ve always paid attention to the way products are presented in commercial venues to make them more enticing and pleasing to the eye.

Now that the cooler weather has arrived, I’ve been doing more reading and dreaming up new ways to display my books.

Standard shelves that only show the spines aren’t the best method for showcasing my favorite coffee table titles that I’ve kept through the years. I prefer to feature their lovely covers in order to enjoy their beauty on a regular basis.

Luckily, I still have two store display stands that I found years ago for $5 each at a garage sale. Though I’m not sure what they held originally, I’ve decided to fill one of them with decorating books again after it’s been in limbo for too long.

Just because these pieces were created for commercial settings doesn’t mean they can’t work just as well in a residential environment. In fact, as an unexpected element, they can be even more appealing.

During an online search for book display racks I came across Clear Solutions Inc. (cleardisplays.com) and found what I was looking for and more in the form of jewelry stands, CD and DVD holders, risers and cubes, and other items that highlight store merchandise.

What I like most about them is their simplicity. With materials like acrylic and plywood and straightforward designs, they don’t compete for attention with the objects that are being featured.

Bookstands and easels were among the other categories that caught my eye. These pieces can be placed on a nightstand to hold the book you’re reading at the moment or they can give a pretty cover pride of place in a more prominent spot in the home.

Finding the right type of storage for magazines can be a challenge since the average rack doesn’t allow them to stay flat. Retail display pieces solve this dilemma while allowing their inspirational covers to become the focus.

Though some of the larger display pieces that are available can get costly, many of the smaller styles intended for countertops can be found for $20 or less.

Holders and stands for music, movies, journals and notecards were some of the other options I discovered during my search. I particularly like the wire floor racks for greeting cards given the fact that I can never seem to find the right one when I need it. Having a vertical display that doesn’t take up a lot of floor space lets you see them and separate them by subject.

This concept could even provide a unique way to display your holiday cards.

Visiting retailers for more ideas can provide further inspiration for the home. Check out specialty shops that show creative displays for different items, including everything from jewelry to collectibles. When you use these pieces to draw attention to everyday objects like books, whatever you decide to feature becomes a work of art.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at jeaninematlow@earthlink.net.

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