Books can be a great accessory for your home because they give a feeling of warmth, history, and interest, and there are many ways to display them.
The most avid reader I know is my partner and co-host, Matt Fox. He reads every new and talked about book in the bookstore. I, on the other hand enjoy books but don’t seem to get to reading them as often as I want. So I can’t tell you much about the stories, but I CAN talk about how books are a very important part of decorating a home!
Just think about it. We use them in nearly every room in our homes. Let’s start with the family room. You are bound (no pun intended) to have shelving of some sort in your family room or den. Yes, they are great for accessories, but books are the décor of choice.
How about the kitchen? We all have those cookbooks either displayed or stacked on the refrigerator for those holiday cookie recipes or just to use as weight to hold down glued school projects.
I have a dictionary near the computer in my office, not to mention two bookcases filled with research books for project ideas and proper terminology.
I know in Matt’s bedroom, there is always a book on the night stand, and several lined up on the dresser just waiting to be read. And, although I never seem to get to them, I have two or three in my night stand that try to entice me to stay up way too late just to get through a couple pages!
My children’s rooms are filled with books, and I spend quite a bit of my time keeping the ratio of video tapes to books weighted on the book side if you know what I mean! Also, I’m sure I don’t have to go into too much detail about the reading material available in the bathroom of some homes, and we can’t forget the basic “coffee table book”! You know, they’re set out on the coffee table and they’re filled will lovely pictures depicting places or things we enjoy. So there, I don’t think I left out a single room in the home where books aren’t a part of our lives.
And books are for more than just reading. I’ve used them in several locations of my home to prop things up. This computer screen was too low so a couple of heavy volumes become the perfect “leg up” to help eliminate back pain from slumping!
I also have a couple of lamps that I adore, so couldn’t get rid of, but they just aren’t quite the right height for….anywhere! So, I place them where I want them and go to the bookshelf for just the right number of books to bring them up to the right height!
Another decorative use for books is for color. As you know, book spines can be quite colorful and the perfect bright accessory in some rooms and in others, quite distracting to a decorative color scheme. If this is the case in your home, there is an option. Simply turn the books around and show off the cream colored pages. Color problem – solved! Specific book location – a total mystery!
But, back to decorating with books! Here’s something really interesting that Matt and I discovered while working on a home for Room by Room. Several manufacturers of decorative products have made it possible to display books in your home without having to by a hard bound copy of anything. Blue Mountain Wall Coverings are the perfect example. They have a wallpaper border that looks like one shelf from a very nice bookcase. There are a couple of accessory items on the shelf, including a globe, but the rest of the shelf is filled with books. The idea behind the border is to stack it on top of each other until you’ve created a “faux” library wall. Matt and I have used this very successfully at the top of the stairs in one of those open lofts over looking a downstairs room, and also in a half bath. The look is refreshing and rich and can be quite the conversation piece.
A fabric designer has used scattered books as the design element for an upholstery fabric. This makes up well on very straight lined pieces like sofas and simple chairs. It infuses the room with color, pattern and a touch of sophistication that the library feel invokes.
If you are looking for a way to add a bit of history to your home, try purchasing a collection of antique books from a local antique shop. If world travel is your desire, spark interest in the rest of your family with gorgeous coffee table books that beckon you to the far corners of the globe. If your kitchen counters look bare or you’d like to impress your next dinner guests, layout a couple of gourmet cookbooks or line them up with appropriate bookends. Books on humor are great in the “throne” room, and a simple prayer or sentiment of the day might be all you have time for on the night stand in your bedroom.
So the next time you are out shopping for just the right accessory, try your local bookstore. Books are more than doorways to our imagination…they are the perfect accessory for every room in your home!