I didn't take any of it. I'm such a jerk. Not that I didn't completely respect your opinions, but once I got all the stuff on the shelf, I didn't feel like taking anything off of it, so the shelf stays. Also, where the bench sits in the picture, there is now a dining table there so the bookshelf separates the dining area from the living area. Eventually, I will get a buffet to go there that's lower and opens the whole room up but that will probably be awhile. So, I hope ya'll don't think it's terrible!