Decorating with Books

I love books.  I love reading them, I love collecting them, and I love decorating with them. 

In general, I really like to decorate my home with things of substance, not just things that are pretty to look at.  My favorite things are ones that tell a story or reveal something about the people who live there, and books are one of the best accessories for doing just that.   I'm pretty much always on the hunt for more books to add to my collection, and my goal is basically to be surrounded by them {in a stylish way} without making my house look like a library. 

Even if you don't enjoy reading all that much, you can still decorate with books like a pro, and no one would ever know the difference.  Today, I want to share with you some of my favorite ways to use books as décor, tips for selecting books, as well as highlight some of my favorite books to use when decorating. 

Ways to decorate with books:

1.  Shelves {Vary the direction for interest - stand some upright, lean some, stack some}

{Image via Style Caster}

2.  Stacks {Stack groups of books just about anywhere to add a "lived-in" quality to a room - on tables, under tables, next to the fireplace, even next to an arm chair as a place to set your coffee!}

{Image via Lonny}

3.  Behind a Sofa {I don't see this being done too often, but I love the look of it, and I'm doing it in our living room currently.  We happen to have a shelf already at the perfect height right behind our sofa, but if you don't have one, you can always install one there or add a thin sofa table}

{Image via Etsy}

4.  Baskets and/or Wooden Crates {Need I say more?  I'm a huge fan of organizing around the house with all sorts of baskets and rustic-looking crates.  Stylish + functional!}

{Image via Etsy}

5.  Coffee Table {A very versatile area to decorate using books - and a place where many guests will sit + leaf through them as well.  Group stacks underneath or on top in trays}

{Image via The Every Girl}

6.  Kid's Rooms {I love this idea for a nursery, kid's bedroom or playroom - again, it has that great mix of being a functional way to store books so they don't get trampled on by the kiddos, and it also displays them beautifully - almost like artwork}

{Image via Apartment Therapy}

7.  Guest Room {Books can be a nice touch to add to a guest room, especially if they are about the area you live in.  If guests come in from out of town, a little stack of travel books would be fun for them to leaf through and learn more about your city.  On a nightstand is a great spot - or even hanging on a ladder - an adorable idea from my friend Amanda}

{Image via Marshalls Abroad}

Tips for selecting books:

1.  Think about the color-scheme your are going for.  The books shouldn't all match, but they should all coordinate well with that color-scheme.  For instance, if you are going for a beachy theme in the room, the books you select might all be pale colors - blues, greens, with maybe a tan, gray or white one thrown in there to ground it. 

2.  Buy pretty books.  This might go without saying, but I'm saying it anyway.  Attractive book covers make attractive décor.  I love the eclectic feel of varying colors, patterns + sizes.

3.  Mix old with new.  I love when I see newer books paired with some vintage classics with their old covers!

4.  Think about the topic.  As with anything in design, I believe that decorating with books is a combination of beauty + functionality.  So, select books that are about something you enjoy.  If the book about gardening has a gorgeous cover, but you absolutely hate horticulture, then you need to put it back on the shelf.  Why?  Because {and this is just my design opinion} what you fill your home with shouldn't just be generic stuff, but things that tell a story about who you are.  Also, if you have books about topics that you actually enjoy, you might even end up reading them one day, which, ultimately, is the true reason to own a book, no?

And, lastly, some of my personal favorite books to decorate with:

1. Domino: The Book of Decorating by: Deborah Needleman
2. I Married Adventure by: Osa Johnson
3. Remix: Decorating with Culture, Objects + Soul by: Jeanine Hays + Bryan Mason
4. Harper's Bazaar: Greatest Hits by: Glenda Bailey
5. Design in the Hamptons by: Anthony Iannacci
6. Gypsy: A World of Colour + Interiors by: Sibella Court
7. Allegra Hicks: An Eye for Design by: Allegra Hicks
8. Elements of Style: Designing a Home + a Life by: Erin Gates
9. In with the Old: Classic Décor from A to Z by: Jennifer Boles
10. Tom Ford by: Tom Ford
11. HUE by: Kelly Wearstler
12. Little Women {Rifle Paper Co. Edition} by: Louisa May Alcott

I hope you've been inspired today!  Thank you for reading!

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