With a little design savvy, great reads can double as polished decor, adding depth and character to any space. I routinely use books to create a polished, finished look in my interiors and in my own home. For those coveting this look, I’ve outlined some of my favorite techniques for styling with books:
1. Color blocking on bookshelves
I love to group art books on shelves by color and in graduated horizontal piles. Add picture frames or other items intermittently to style bookshelves that are not completely filled with books. In the above example, the interior of the shelves were painted chocolate brown, which visually fills out the shelves.
Simply organize hardcover books by color to transform a bookshelf into a statement itself. Here, each shelf has a different color scheme, adding a modern element to this otherwise traditional office.
Create contrast with colors and lines. In the example above, books were placed in both vertical and horizontal directions. Alternate shelves were decorated with white pottery, creating a unified white and blue palette.
2. Stacking decorative books
To fill expansive table surfaces, I like to stack decorative books in graduated low piles either in the center or around the perimeter. The trick is to pay attention to height relationships. Create dynamic interest by establishing one tall focus or adding accessories on top of books. Above are variations on this technique – a sculpture, vase of flowers, urn or hurricane lamp balance the low stack to look ordered and curated.
3. Grounding flowers and objects with books
Books can serve as a transition between two objects; they can create a foundation and sense of order, similar to a tray; or, they can change the height of a displayed object to give it a more pronounced showcase. Use flowers or plants in conjunction with books to add height to a group of accessories.
Images from S. B. Long Interiors