Some of my most treasured possessions are books. I love to escape into a great story, learn from experts, and get inspired by visionaries. My bookshelves are frequently bowing under the weight of all the books I’ve acquired over the years, but decorating with books has helped some with that problem along with a few others.
Decorating with books has a lot of great benefits. They help bring a lot of charm and character to all kinds of surfaces, from shelving and bookcases to coffee tables and vignettes. They also fill in awkward spaces, help create height and balance, and add style to just about any spot in your home.
Not sure how to make your book styling look as good as the gorgeous rooms on Pinterest and Instagram? No worries, we’ve got you covered! We’ve put together some of our favorite book styling tips and ideas to make your vignettes magazine-ready.
Chic Ideas for Decorating with Books
One stylish option (especially for color lovers) is to color code your books. Instead of categorizing your books in a traditional way, such as alphabetically or by genre, you organize them by the color of their spine. This creates a visually organized look that is fun and creative.
Of course, this isn’t the perfect system for everyone. You may find it frustrating to have your books organized this way. Series will sometimes have to be split up, for example, and it may be difficult for you to find what you’re looking for. Also, from an aesthetic standpoint, you may not want so many different colors on display if you prefer a more minimalist look or have a different color scheme in the room to what’s available on most of your books. One alternative to the latter is to only color code books that suit your color scheme (all neutrals or all pink, for example) and hide the rest behind doors, in magazine files, etc.
Pages in Bloom
Here’s a really easy way to make art out of any book you own. Open up a hardcover book to the middle, then fold in two pages on either side (or three on either side, overlapping the second set) so that they create the look of petals. You can then place the book on a coffee table, end table, bookshelf or vignette for a little flair. It’s so cute!
Place a small knick-knack between a vertical stack of books so that there are now two stacks and angle the books on one side to lean against the other over the top of the knick-knack. It’s a relaxed, charming look that is also unexpected.
Vertical vs Horizontal
Switch up your display by mixing vertical stacks of books with horizontal stacks and add character with pieces of decor in between.
For a very geometric, streamlined look, create a grid on a table using coffee table books and an optional tray.
Baskets & Trays
Baskets and trays can be used in a variety of ways with books. What’s great about using these items is that they help create a less cluttered look while still displaying books and other decor. They work anywhere: coffee tables, end tables, bookshelves or even kitchen countertops.
Create Your Own Covers
Another option for streamlining your books is to change out the book jackets so they all match. To DIY this, you can use kraft paper, construction paper or even wrapping paper depending on your style, then customize them as you see fit. You can even add the titles back to the spine with stencils, printed labels or your own handwriting.
The Other Side
Turn your books around so you only see the white pages. It might get frustrating to do a lot of books this way if you frequently use them, but small clusters can look darling and rustic.
ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR DECORATING WITH BOOKS
Choose Books with Stylish Covers
If you are going to display your books as decor (such as on a coffee table or in a vignette), aesthetic is key. You want to choose books that complement the rest of your decor and add some style. You may already have some that would be perfect for this.
Here are some guidelines:
- You can never go wrong with black, white and neutral covers
- Simple cover designs look the most chic
- Make sure the books you put out complement each other in color and style
If you don’t have any books that will work for this purpose or you just want some more, we’ve got a list of some of our favorite coffee table books:
1. The Fashion Book 2. Vanity Fair 100 Years 3. Tom Ford 4. Louis Vuitton Marc Jacobs 5. Cupcakes and Cashmere At Home 6. Elements of Style 7. Chanel: Collections and Creations 8. A Third Decade of Guess Images 9. Chanel: Fashion/Fine Jewelry/Perfume 10. Fashion Drawing in Vogue 11. Love Style Life 12. kate spade ny: all in good taste
Play with Height & Balance
Books are a great way to add height to a spot that needs it by stacking them and then popping a stylish piece of decor on top. Varying the height of your decor creates a more dynamic look. If you have a large piece of decor on one side of a vignette and need to balance it out, books can also help with that.
Go Minimalist or Maximalist
Book styling can take on minimalist or maximalist appeal depending on your style. For a more minimalist appeal, choose book covers that are simple and streamlined and keep the decor around them to a minimum, such as one substantial object beside or on top of a stack of books. For more maximalist look, choose books that have more color and busier designs, then surround them with plenty of other decorative elements, like mixing them in with your collections.
Try one of these ideas for decorating with books, then post a picture of it on Instagram and tag us (@thecasacollective)! We’d love to see it!
For more book styling inspiration and some examples of the ideas in this post, check out our Pinterest board.