How to use your books to enhance your home décor

Posted on Sept. 21, 2015 by in smartmoves

How to use your books to enhance your home décor

From the front hall to the family room, your personal library can make for stylish home decoration. A well-styled bookcase can contribute to the overall design of your space. And reorganizing your bookshelf is just the beginning. Whether you’re moving into a new home or refreshing the look of one room, these tips will help you turn your home library into a decorative statement.

Turn cluttered bookshelves into a stylish statement

What’s the difference between a cluttered bookshelf and one that adds to a room’s décor? It’s all in how the books are arranged. Organizing and grouping books not only creates a sense of order, it can make the books visually appealing too. In fact, Stylist magazine says even a pile of books on the floor won’t look like clutter if it’s arranged decoratively.

This doesn’t mean applying the Dewey Decimal System that your local library uses. Decoration is all about visual appeal, so organize your books by how they look. Stylist says there are many ways to arrange books, such as by:

  • Colour: Group books of the same colour together, or line them up according to the colours of the rainbow.
  • Height: Organize books from largest to smallest, or put the tallest in the middle and taper outward.
  • Shade: Collect all dark coloured books together on one shelf or end of a shelf and all light books on another.

Feeling bold? Try this tip from the magazine: Turn most books around so the page-ends show and only face the spines of a few select books outward. Choose the books that show according to your favourite reads, the books’ colours, sizes or any other theme you can dream up.

Add variety, space and colour for maximum impact

Don’t assume you have to place all your books in a row and fill up a shelf. TheArtOfDoingStuff.com showcases 7 different ways to stack books, such as leaving space on both sides of a small row of books, with or without bookends. Or stack some books on their sides, combined with some standing upright or even leaning on an angle.

Decoist.com suggests inserting decorative objects here and there on your bookshelves to add visual appeal. Choosing objects all-in-one colour can add a sense of unity to a large bookcase. Leaving some space on the shelves enhances the clean, uncluttered look. Houzz.com says anything goes: mix vases, sculptures, knick-knacks and plants in with your books. Choose the colours of the books and other items to coordinate well together.

Think outside the bookcase

Struggling with a design dilemma in one of your rooms? Good Housekeeping says you can often solve them cheaply by decorating with books you already have.

  • Do you have an empty table or mantelpiece? Perk it up with a colourful stack of books, perhaps accompanied by a vase, candle or other knick-knacks.
  • Does your decorative group of objects look bland? Try a stack of books under a lamp, sculpture or other piece. Variation in height adds visual interest, and raising an object can put it within eyesight.
  • Is your non-working fireplace empty? Fill it with a stack of books or a custom-built bookcase.
  • Are you missing an end table? Use a stack of large books instead.

Or take a page from Homedit.com. The architecture and design website suggests using pages from books as framed art—especially illustrations, but dictionary or encyclopedia pages and book covers can be interesting too. They also say pages from books can be used as wallpaper.

Are you the DIY-type? Get crafty with your books

If you’re feeling crafty or creative, you can upcycle old books you no longer read into new decorative objects for your home. With the right hardware and a little know-how you can turn a book into a lamp or clock. Use pages from a book to make origami (folded paper art). Or try cutting an opening in the front or back cover of a book and inserting a family photo for an instant frame. Cut a deep hole in a book and insert a container to create a pencil holder or even a planter. Brit+Co has inspiring ideas like these and many more.

If you’re up for a little more serious DIY, you can turn an old ladder into a bookshelf, build your own bookcase or free-standing bookshelf or create floating, invisible shelves.

There are so many ways to make use of books in your home décor. From simply reorganizing your bookshelves decoratively to placing strategic stacks around a room and even repurposing old books into objets d’art, your creativity is your only limit.

Have you used books in your home decorating? Tell us your creative ideas in the comments below.

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