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How to Style Books as Decor

Tips for showing off the books you love to look at and even for hiding the ones you don’t

Oct 23, 2020

As we indulge in audiobooks and e-readers more and more, highlighting your favorite books as props around your home can fill your space with personality and inspiration. So, whether your bookcase is overflowing or you’re just really into the “books as decor” vibe, there are plenty of ways to style your books so that they enhance a space rather than clutter it. 

On the coffee table
Perhaps the most obvious choice, displaying books on your coffee table is a perfect way to introduce a little entertainment and a little art into your space. For a more modern design, you can style a small stack off-center. Or give your space an eclectic feel with multiple small stacks accompanied by other trinkets, like plants, bowls, or candles. Either way, books on the coffee table is a design technique that is timeless and flexible to any style. 

Spontaneous stacks 
Adding random stacks around your space can be super effective in establishing a cohesive style throughout your space. You can play with different book sizes, binding colors, and combinations. Some places to add a spontaneous stack are on the bedside table, the entryway credenza, kitchen shelves, in the guest room, or on a window sill. 

As a pedestal 
We all have that one plant we love that doesn’t get as much visual appreciation as it deserves. Using books to add height to an existing design piece you love is not only effective but adds personal flare. This technique also works when setting tablescapes, or boosting up a bouquet of flowers.

If you’ve got some books you love but aren’t working with your home aesthetic, strip them naked! Removing book sleeves can open up a world of design opportunities. Bare book spines usually add a bit of a rustic, or vintage, feel which can add tons of warmth and dimension to a space that otherwise felt like an eyesore.

Page-side out
If you’re hesitant about ditching your book sleeve, that’s totally cool. Another remedy is to flip your books to display the page-side instead of the spine. Page-side first adds tons of texture and neutral warm tones to your space. It can also give off a cozy, warm feel in spaces with a more minimalist aesthetic. 

On the floor
Yes, the floor! If you’re loving your platform bed, have furniture that’s generally lower to the ground, or you’re just straight-up running out of the surface area on furniture and bookshelves, stacking books nice and tall on the floor can actually lift up your space. Adding a plant, ceramics, or other decor items can also make your floor stack look like an intentional use of space instead of a temporary mess. 

Written by Cybele Ramirez

Cybele is a freelance writer covering all things culture and lifestyle. She’s also a content strategist in the tech startup space and mastering Media Studies at The New School. You can find this native New Yorker canoodling her two dogs, trying out a new recipe, or on IG @cybelina.

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