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10 Creative Ways to Decorate with Books

How to decorate with books on and off bookshelves. Find creative decorating tips for your reading material as pretty storage and styling tips.
 I just love it when a reader has a decor or design question.  One of regulars asked for tips on how to decorate with books on bookshelves and other places.  If you’ve been here before you know that I LOVE using them in my decor and vignettes.   I put together some of my favorite examples and would love to hear if you have any more ideas!

How to Decorate with Books and Styling Tips

1.  Display books on your fireplace mantel.  When using them as accessories, remove dust jackets to reveal book bindings, then stick to 3 or 4 colors to keep it looking harmonious.  Try them stacked, upright, leaning, or a mix of all three. st-patricks-day-decor-black-white-goldDIY gold leaf shamrock and books on fireplace mantel

2. Display neutral hardbound books mixed with small vignettes to balance out decor.readers favorites bedroom desk decor and love your space challenge
add interest to a rental bedroom with art, plants, and texture
3.  Color code them! This is one of my favorite ways to display books.  If you are wanting to organize by type/topic, try organizing each shelf individually.  For instance, keep warm colors on the right, cool on the left, and neutral in the middle.  The end product will make the color coding vertical.fall foyer with large art
Wes Anderson style in a Japanese dining room
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4.  Use books to elevate a focal point or vignette.  They are great for acting as a “base” for a special decor item.

minimalist decor for mantle renter friendly

free printable greenery to add pantones color of the year to your home!

Japanese inspired artwork5.  Style your bookcase with accessories and books in the same color family.

Mix copper pots, terra cotta, plants, books for a global eclectic bookcase
6.  Turn them around for neutral decor.  This is good for paperback or unattractive books that need be kept around!
seaside inspired bookcase
7.  Large stacked books look great on bigger coffee tables, on tops of pianos, or unused formal dining room tables (use the space as a study/library).post-feature-washi-tape-wall

8.  Use them on your side tables and coffee tables 
to corral smaller decor accessories. 
9.  Display pretty books on a sofa table or buffet to add varying heights of decor. fall-decor-sofa-table
dollar store ideas
10.  Try stacking them on something more unconventional like a chair! display a stack of books on a chair with a plant
art ideas for a global inspired dining room
How do you use your books?  Have you thought of creative ways to display them?
Looking for gorgeous books to decorate with?  Here’s a list of my favorite decorating and DIY books!
I’m excited to be a contributor to Apartments.com.  Recently I shared Rental Friendly Ways to Display Artwork
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  1. These are all visually appealing ideas, but not for the serious reader. I’d spend hours looking for one book. I read my books too often to display them in a way that isn’t a logical way to find it on the shelf.

    1. You’re right, some of the ideas are definitely just for aesthetics. My favorite way to categorize books for avid readers is to color cold each individual category so it’s visually interesting and practical. Thanks for stopping by!

      1. How do you “color cold” each individual category? I’m confused. I separate non-fiction from fiction on wall shelving, with fiction on the right and non-fiction on the left so I can easily know where to start. Then I have the non-fiction grouped together i.e. medical together, astrology together, entertainment and decor grouped together etc. This works for me but I’d like to know more in detail how you’d shelve the same as I have. Tks!

        1. Hey Lynn! If you already have your books divided by category, you could organize each category or shelf by organizing the books from warm to cool colors or vice versa for a similar look! Good luck. 🙂

  2. I love the books, I love the ideas. But most of all: I love the cat! She makes all the photos perfect! 🙂

  3. Fun ideas and beautiful pictures! While I agree with the above commenter that for avid readers (and homeschoolers) some of these ideas aren’t practical, there are still books in almost every collection that can be pulled out and set up for display. These are fun ideas for keeping books in every room of your home. May I add that another way I’ve found to be aesthetic and practical is to keep a small collection in a basket. In our home I use a basket for some of the kids’ paperback picture books (makes it easier for them to flip through and find the one they are looking for); categories of books that we read in one location (evening read alouds by the sofa, a basket with my devotionals and a notebook near my bed); frequently used cookbooks out on a counter (can be moved easily to wipe underneath, while a stack of books can be a little more difficult to move for cleaning.)

  4. Great ideas! Nice to find someone who agrees to removing book jackets when using books for design display. I just did that & the coffee table looks much better now! I never thought to do this until my daughter visited & mentioned it!

    1. Very nice! Hardback books can be so pretty with the covers off. I tend to store the dust jackets just in case we sell or donate any. 🙂 Thanks for the nice comment.

  5. The little ads that repeat as a banner on each and every photo are extremely annoying. Each one has to be closed individually via a tiny X. Srsly?

    1. Oh they drive me crazy too. I recently added them to help with income loss bc of the pandemic. But I just removed them. Sorry for the annoyance.

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