I love books. I read them to learn, to get inspired, and sometimes to escape. It's been said that reading a good book feels like the picture below, and I think I agree.
With a large collection of books -- fiction (love detective mysteries the most), interior design and entertaining books, and a new growing genre of "how to blog" books -- I'm always looking for ways to house them attractively.
We have an office that also functions as a library, but the books outgrew those shelves a long time ago so now only the favorite fiction novels are kept there. I keep the books that I use for blogging tips near my desk, but most of the interior design and entertaining books have to find places elsewhere around the house.
The "library" shelves in the office
The shelves closest to my desk below
Whenever it's time to change the decor in the house (usually seasonally), I'll sit down with a cup of tea and open up interior design books to get some inspiration. Current favorites are Patina Style (Brooke and Steve Giannetti), Vintage by Nina (Nina Hartman), Black and White (Celerie Kemble), and Hers (Jacqueline deMontravel). Most of these books feature wonderful vignettes using books as design tools to create interest, color, and height. I find that as soon as I clear a table of Christmas decor, I want to create something new using the books who need a home and any other found objects. Heaven forbid there are any unadorned surfaces in this house.
On the dining room table, I used small concrete books (found at On the Veranda in Phoenix, AZ) to help raise the small boxwood topiaries under the screen cloches. The concrete books are wonderful to use outside because they can withstand any weather, but I'm using them inside while it's too chilly to be outdoors. I know, it's Phoenix and not THAT cold, but we're spoiled when it comes to weather.
Check out the detail in these books! The pages look almost real.
The living room side table gets outfitted with stacks of design books used to add height and interest.
Drawing design inspiration from Patina Style:
Love the clean simple display of books of a similar color
I've never been able to tear apart a book to use in craft projects (I'd rather donate old books to the local school library or give them to a friend), but I have to admit I'm intrigued by how others are creating delightful decorative items out of books.
I found this lovely little red book in Boston several years ago and was captivated by the crisp, clean folds that made the book an objet d'art.
How cute are these little goblins floating up from the pages?
What a perfect present for your favorite teacher! Just make sure it's not a school textbook that you're using :)
Don't you love the simplicity of this heart made from the pages of a book? If the text was about love, it would be perfect.
I'd love to make this page table runner for a Book Club dinner.
One little project I did take on was creating my own stacks of vintage books (they were technically vintage already but I helped them along by dyeing the pages with tea) tied together with twine. At Christmas I dusted the spines with gold glitter. To use them now, I just turn them around so the spines aren't on view.
With all of the decorative ways to use books, it's good to remember that...
sometimes it's just best to read them aloud to your favorite little people!