A personal collection of books defines who a person is. But how easy is it to incorporate books into the modern design and décor of a home?
Thomas Jefferson once said, “I can’t live without books,” which meant his collection (of thousands of books) literally became an element of his home.
Books are treasures, sources of education, bits of style, and mementos of the past. Books also serve, literally, as home décor. Consider the books you already have on hand the most affordable home accent pieces you can find.
From educating encyclopedias to coffee table art books, books are an exclusive way to turn your home into an amped-up space of style and inspiration with a dose of high-level intelligence.
Outgrow the Classic Bookshelf
Bookshelves used exclusively for books is a trend of the past. Now, bookshelves are considered shelf space ample with possibility. Within modern contemporary design, you’ll find bookshelves alive with small succulents, tiny trinkets, and personal collectibles among the books.
Take, for instance, this Qolture bookshelf. The “x”-shaped design, which completely breaks the mold of traditional bookcases, along with its cappuccino finish, will complement your collection of fiction and non-fiction.
Don’t Confine Books to a Room of Their Own
Sprinkle books throughout your home to dial up the contemporary design. Cookbooks belong in the kitchen as a chef’s best friend. A simple and welcoming stack of books in the foyer and front hall can warmly greet your dinner guests. Artfully arrange books on the grand piano. Keep titles on the side table leading into the laundry room.
Set the Living Room
How fun is it to venture into someone's living room and see a selection of hard-covered books on their coffee table that you’ve never seen before?
These heavy coffee table books reveal who a person is — where they’ve been, what they’ve studied, and the overall life they’ve lived.
Classic coffee table books not only emphasize your style and interests but also set the tone for the décor surrounding the space. Thick, themed art books offer a bold statement. Zen-related works offer a touch of minimalism. Black and white American portraits set a contrast.
If your glass-topped coffee table, like this Geranium Coffee Table in Rose Gold, sits in the middle of your living room, consider alternating which coffee table book is most visible. This will keep style ever-changing and quite fresh.
If you’re entertaining, consider which books might appeal to your houseguests. Place these books on top.
Books in the Bedroom
If you’re someone who turns a few pages before you turn out the lights at night, placing books nearby in your bedroom may keep you reading more often.
If you don’t have to venture downstairs for a title, don’t. In search of something to read in the nighttime hours? The foot of your bed is a great bookcase option. Have a half bookcase? Great. Use that. Don’t have one? Stack books neatly.
Once you finish what’s on your bedside table, you can switch out those titles with the books at the foot of your bed.
Place Me on a Pedestal
A rule of thumb within home décor and contemporary decorating is that height adds dimension. Dimension offers depth, which not only draws people in, but also creates a comforting, encompassing effect.
Finding the right home décor accoutrement that offers the right height can be a challenge. Especially when color, shape, style, and price also come into play. Not to mention the time spent searching for the decorative item itself.
Any home design novice or expert can achieve the height they’re after with a simple collection of books.
For a lamp to truly shine where you want it, bump the lamp up with a thin stack of poetry chapbooks.
Or, place collectibles atop a stack of books on a mantle, offering a contemporary, at-home curated feel.
Have a farm-fresh bouquet of flowers that isn’t as on display as it could be? Include books beneath the vase for an enlivened and eye-catching look.
Take note. Book spines don’t always need to be facing forward. Try this out-of-the-box idea: have the pages face out towards the viewer’s eye.
Books aren’t required to stand straight up. The way you peruse books in a library, with the books all stacked in the aisles and ordered by the Dewey Decimal system, isn’t required at home.
Explore funky and contemporary ways to store your books.
Stack books horizontally. Try keeping your books at an angle.
No matter the color scheme, books add warmth to a room. Consider the “color” of the book with the dust-jacket both off and on.
Design magazines and social media channels on Pinterest and Instagram are awash in literary libraries ranging in color. Spectrums of organized colors contrast with an all-white room. Rooms of red books, pink books, blue books, or white books. Rooms where books are grouped and gathered by color.
The effect? Striking. The cost? An afternoon of organization.
Room décor doesn’t need to include art on the wall, either. Books can happily take over!
In a child’s room, let books cover an entire wall. A wall rack can be a simple way to encourage reading. As your child’s interests and reading level advances, so can the books.
Modern wall shelving is interesting and wide-ranging today. Mounted, DIY, floating, contemporary, sculptural, sturdy, invisible, and clustered shelves proudly display books. No matter your style, material preference and color options are endless.
Modern home décor doesn’t come with a manual or a book of rules. Discovering the space of your home and inhabiting your home in a way that feels authentic makes all the difference. Utilizing and incorporating your personal literary library throughout your house will make your house your home.
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