Friday

All the Pretty Books

If, like me, books are a big part of your life, you've probably struggled with how to display them. Because books are both decorative objects AND something you use, displaying them can be a balancing act between accessing and preserving them, and not letting them take over your home. 

For instance, you should not do this (books as coffee ring and dust collectors):

One of the best guides out there on how to care for your home (and tomes) is Home Comforts, by Cheryl Mendelson. Mendelson has written the modern bible for home and fabric care, and she advises several basics for book care:  keep them away from sun, if possible. Shelve upright instead of stacking when you can (and never put them on the floor), and hang onto book jackets - they protect the book and increase its value.

Here's one of my favorite book display techniques:  color splash!  Arranging by color makes a statement, and depending on what colors you choose to display, and how you combine them, it can be a very original look - and very modern.


Or, you can avoid color altogether and go monochrome, for a more elegant look.

Great SHELVES are also a key for displaying your books. Shelves are to books like frames are to pictures:  they define the look and give it unity. And, they keep your books in good condition.

Good choice for the magazine collector:

For mixing books and display items:

Incorporating art with shelves (just keep in mind those are books you can't access):

Built-ins are perfect for small spaces:

Great for any space:  personalize the most banal bookshelf with color:

CURTAINED bookcases. This is a great idea. Why?  You protect your books from the light and dust, and you can completely change the look of your room - library by day, luxe living room by night. Genius! 

Using wall coverings, instead of shelves, to define the look:

Get more milage out of book storage by using books with other pieces of furniture, like a hall table. The combination of wallpaper, frames, and color is creative and sophisticated.
What are your favorite book display tricks?

pic 1, http://lovinglivingsmall.blogspot.com/2008/08/coffee-table-made-out-of-books.html. pic 2, http://www.instructables.com/community/Anyone-interested-in-table-legs-made-from-books/, pic 3, http://ffffound.com/home/lillylovesyou/found/?offset=25&, pic 4, http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewcoulterenright/507549974/in/photostream, pic 5, http://www.flickr.com/photos/22876714@N03/3667157718/, pic 6, West Elm, pic 7 - 11, Domino, pic 12, http://paloma81.blogspot.com/2008_12_01_archive.html.

10 comments:

Kitty said...

a helpful and inspiring post! i liked the honeycomb wall for magazines! going to show it to Hubbs and see if he can't build one out for me! thanks! xo

Sanity Fair said...

Kitty - I actually meant to mention that idea in the post. The angular bookcase would not be that difficult to build!

Style Redux 2 said...

I use many of these-built in bookcases, painting the backs of the shelves in a different color, incorporating art, stacking books on tables with objets d'art. I love the idea of the curtains-fabulous!

ticklishfromadistance said...

Great post. I don't have any great tips. I just have more than can be imagined and will never stop!

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

Love my books but hate the dust, so the curtain idea is brillant! It really, really looks good too, especially that green velvet.

Averill said...

I suppose I'm too anal to do anything other than organize my books my subject matter (though I don't go so far as to alphabetize by author!). ...That said though, I like incorporating a few smaller knick-knacks, preferably items that hold a lot of meaning for me.

I've been dying to try papering or painting the backs of bookshelves, but don't have the right opportunity just yet. I'm thinking of building built-ins into the niches on either side of my fireplace. If/when that happens, I'm definitely having the backs painted out boldly!

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