Book lovers know that books open up worlds of possibilities, including spaces and places they have never been before. Of course, it doesn’t matter where you go in a book, but it does matter how you display your favorite books at home. There’s no need to hide them away in a bookshelf—books can be more than just a pretty cover. They can also be stylish additions to your home decor. You can keep books on a shelf, coffee table, bedside table, or desk as long as they are organized and tidy. Here are some ways you can add style to your space with books.
Give them a designated space
Now that you’ve created your dream bookshelf, it’s time to put it to good use. This is the part where you’ll get to show off all your hard work.
Bookshelves come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small wall-mounted shelves for limited space, to some of the largest pieces of furniture in any home. Even if you don’t have a built-in bookshelf or living room full of them, don’t worry — there are lots of other creative options for housing your collection. Consider adding an occasional table or sideboard with several drawers for storing books near your favorite reading spot. You can also place several books on a coffee table or nightstand and position them in a visually appealing way by arranging them horizontally or vertically and stacking complementary objects on top (a vase of flowers, box filled with shells, etc.). If you don’t have enough shelf space but still want to display books both inside and outside cabinets (or even on top), consider hanging open shelving above kitchen counters—preferably not too high up so they’re easy access—or over bedside tables as an attractive alternative to traditional bedside lamps.
Decorate with bookends
You may be surprised to learn that the most common type of bookends are a type of sculpture, decorative objects used to prop up books. They’re generally made from metal or plastic and resemble small sculptures that support one end of a row of books. If you have an extensive collection of hardcover books, these can be a good choice for you.
If you’re shopping for bookends, start at your local thrift store or flea market. There are many types of bookends out there to choose from and they can add a lot of style to your space in an inexpensive way.
Remove the covers
There are a few different ways to make your space look more modern, but the one I recommend most is removing the covers from all of your books.
Whether you prefer leather-bound classics or hardcover bestsellers, taking the jacket off your books is an excellent way to show off the beauty of their cover material. It lends a more uniform look to a library, and can help accentuate other design elements in a room.
Group them by color
Grouping books by color is a very popular way to decorate with books. Grouping books by color can give your space a calm, organized look. When grouping books by color, keep in mind the color scheme of the room and choose colors that complement each other. Choose colors that are a variety of light and dark colors for best effect. Also keep in mind the size of your bookshelves and choose books that are close in size to create an organized look.
Use them to add height to your decor
You can use your books as pedestals for items you want to display—like pieces of art, candleholders or sculptures. “If you have a vase that’s really beautiful and you want it to be even more prominent, stack some books underneath,” Schoenholtz said. “It’s a trick that everyone uses.”
You can also use books as the centerpiece of your decor—and they’re perfect if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on accessories. For example, if you have an empty coffee table, place three large books in bright colors (reds, oranges and yellows look great) in the middle of the table with a tray on top. You can also place something simple but tasteful on the tray (like flowers) to give it some extra flair.
Adding style to your home decor with books is tricky if you don’t know what to use. The books can simply be placed on a shelf as decoration, but they won’t bring any meaning to the space. Instead, it’s often better to display the books using separate bookcases or even in a library. Another key tip for style with books involves keeping them organized and tidy. This is a challenge for many homeowners because the assortment of books can get too big for one shelf. If this happens, consider adding dividers within the shelves so you can separate your books and keep them organized.