decorating with books

Decorating With Books

January 16, 2024
Decorating with books
Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels

I absolutely love books. I love to read them and own them and use them all over my house. One of my daughters is named 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. Decorating with books is easy and fun. Just consider…

decorate with books
Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels

Decorating with Books: Curating A Beautiful Bookcase

Here’s the trick: 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 your favorite 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 or shells for greater visual appeal
Book cover designed

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. 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!

decorating with books

Decorate With Books on Your Coffee Table

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.

For more on coffee table decor, check out my previous blog: Curating Your Coffee Table.

decorate with books

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. You can copy these ideas, including…

Place 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. If you want to try this, you can have them built 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.

Use Books To Create An Art Installation

Use books that are opened or closed. They can be on a theme or random. But arranged in odd numbers books can be a beautiful and inexpensive way to fill a large wall and create visual interest. (See the examples above.)

Make A Table From Coffee Table Books

A stack of three or five books, glued together can make the table top, simply add legs and you have a winner.

Insider Tip: Consignment and thrift stores, like Consignments Ltd. are great place to score books that you can use to decorate. What makes this even better is 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 buy on thrift and 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!

And Now For A Little Music Before We Go…

Enjoy the day, my friends. Marianne

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