We always like to create little clusters of objects. So that might be a set of four tumblers, a stack of plates, or a trio of decorative bottles. They don’t have to be the exact same designs, but some similarity works best (those three bottles, for instance, might be different heights and shapes, but be united by the same material). Arranging them in this way means that you won’t have lone – and rather lost-looking – objects floating around, or a disparate display of many individual but unconnected pieces.
That said, we’d also suggest not grouping all your like-items together in one spot. So, say you have six wine glasses and six champagne flutes, break these two sets up and place six on one shelf and six on another (or in different spots of the same shelf). Then do the same with stacks of stoneware bowls and plates in between.
Don’t forget to think about the way you vary heights, as well as types, of things across your display too. Place a horizontal stack of plates beside a vertical group of glasses, or give them more height by adding a bowl or two on top.
Finally, consider how you mix things up along the depth of the shelf as well by slipping in paintings and stood-up plates behind smaller objects.
Spreading materials, shapes and orientations around your shelves will, again, make things more interesting and visually balanced.