We have a dread of excessive knick-knacks that dates back to our least favorite childhood chore: dusting. In fact, for years our favorite way of describing decorative objects with no function was ... dust-collectors.
Our advancing years are not only expanding our vocabulary but mellowing our curmudgeonly convictions. We've recently decided that a limited number of tchotchkes is home- and life-enhancing, so long as they're well-chosen (i.e., they have signifigance to you and you like looking at them all the time), and they're confined to areas where they're not easily knocked about.
We like the open back. If your bibelots are fairly monochromatic, we'd try painting the wall behind the unit an eye-catching color to set them off. If not, your whatnots will be most striking against a neutral wall color.
(The cube shelf unit is also just deep enough (5") to hold small books.)
Available online at The Company Store.