Home library design ideas

4 Creative Ways to Decorate With Books – Home Library Design Ideas

March 31, 2020
decorate home with books

I absolutely love books – love to read them -love to own them – love to see them all over my house. I named my daughter Charlotte for Bronte, for heaven’s sake. So I am readily admitting to a bias when it comes to books. But books, believe it or not, are a real decorating staple, and can add so much personality to your decor. They look great on traditional shelves – and I’ve got tips for you there – but I also have some off the wall (and literally, no pun intended, on the wall ideas for you too). Read on for some of my thoughts on books and decor…

Book ‘Em, Danno…
How Books, Real Ones, Can Be Amp Up Your Decor:

  • Curating a Beautiful Bookcase: If you think of your bookcases as a visual timeline for your life -you will be half way there in your quest for a beautiful bookcase. Bookcases are a chance to show off your books but also your treasures from your travels and treasured art and photographs. Just follow these few simple rules:
  1. Vary your books – placing some vertically and some horizontally
  2. Ad art and accessories in odd numbers
  3. Group like books or like-color books together and stack or pile in descending order
  4. Try to incorporate at least one unexpected focal point in each unit
  5. Add organic elements like plants, shells for greater visual appeal
books decor
  • To Cover or Not To Cover? THAT is the question: With the preponderance of home decorating shows, it has become quite popular, when staging a bookcase to cover all the books in a neutral paper – and some even go so far as to turn the books around so pages are out and they are basically all a consistent color. Sorry Joanna Gaines, but I hate this look. The beauty of books are their words, but secondly it’s their covers – in all their beautiful colors. I say face them spine out, as is, for all the world to see!
Book cover designed
  • Books to Pop Up Other Items: Books and stacks of books act like little trays for your interesting objects. The books allow you to elevate these items – literally. And depending on the number of books, and their size, you can vary the heights of accessories on your mantel, coffee table or dresser top, to make your display even more interesting.
  • Books in Non-Traditional Spaces: My best friend made her traditional dining room into a not-so-traditional dining room/library by installing floor-to-ceiling bookcases on one and a half walls. This can be done by a professional carpenter, or by using one of the IKEA Bookcase Hacks that are all over the internet. What my friend did not only looks fantastic, but it makes the room much more usable. The bedroom is another unexpected place for bookcases. I have a strange little L shape to my master bedroom. I added a chair, a reading light and three, consignment-bought bookcases that I finished in the back with bead board to make them look more custom, and wallah: master bedroom reading nook is born.
Decorated Home library
  • Off-The-Wall Ideas: Books are beautiful in-and-of themselves and some inspiring artists and interior designers are coming up with some pretty fantastic ways to use books. that you can copy.:
  1. Use books in a grouping to form a large art installation. They can be open or closed. They can be on a theme or random. But arranged in odd numbers they can be a beautiful and quite inexpensive way to fill a large wall and create visual interest.
  2. Use coffee-table books to literally make a table. A stack of three or five books, glued together can make the table top, simply add legs and you have a winner.
  3. A book arch is not for everyone, but for the wedding of two book lovers, what could be better? Or in a child’s room for a bit of whimsy?
old books mounted on wall

What Else Is Good About Decorating with Books?

Did you know that Americans throw away 320 million books or 640,000 tons of books, every year, according to The National Wildlife Federation? So for every book you use in decor instead of throwing away, you save an average of 4 pounds of waste in the landfill. What’s better than that? Your home looks beautiful and you’re doing your part for the planet!

decorated bedroom with books

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