I love it when you make simple changes to your house and the results are just exponential. I've seriously found excuses to place myself in front of the shelf the last few days so I can look at it as I am doing things.
The before pictures aren't great ... as I forgot to really take one, but you get the idea from the photos below.
I picked out the fabric to complement the colors directly across from this shelf, on the piano (you can see them here). Glueing seemed a little too permanent for me, so I just tacked the fabric up. Seriously, the best way to decorate if you are renting your home! You could wallpaper a whole wall with fabric! and then take it with you when you move! (!!!) I've don't it before! I should actually find and share a pic of it sometime. I used blank canvas and then had painting/drawing parties where friends could make art on my walls! ... oh the freedom of college days... *sigh