Books for Every Room: Living and Decorating with Books Books for Every Room: Living and Decorating with Books

Avid book-lovers may well live by the phrase, “so many books, so little time!” But after a while, the accumulation of books can understandably get out of hand without adequate places to store or display them. Books add character and appeal to any room not only for their decorative qualities, but for what the content may inspire for us and for our home’s guests.

When assessing your book collection it may be helpful to divide your books into piles: books you use on a regular basis, books that need storage, and books with decorative qualities or those that might appeal to company. People organize their personal libraries in many different ways - from similarly sized or colored books to similar subject matter, but when space is a concern, using the first method listed above will provide strategy a bit easier to live with.

As for books you probably use regularly - dictionaries, other reference books, cookbooks, or volumes that pertain to your occupation. Books that should be stored or shelved might include previously read novels, paperback books, anything you don’t use regularly. Decorative books are those with interesting or leather bound covers, oversized coffee-table books, and books that might spark interesting conversation.

Shelves and bookcases are the obvious places to store books. These can be utilitarian or highly decorative featuring both books and props like paperweights, pottery, picture frames, etc. An expensive, but certainly ideal option is to install built-in bookcases. If you can devote a whole room to a library, you can line it with built-ins or simply add any style bookcases to the room. If you do not have a room or large area to devote to your book collection, keep in mind that built-ins and stand-alone bookcases look great anywhere—the hallway, the bedroom, the den, the formal living room, the basement, attic, kitchen etc…

Additionally, single book shelves can also be installed throughout the house. Such units are ideal for small collections and lightweight books. A bedroom shelf might be the ideal place for Jane’s Austin’s major novels bound in decorative leather. You may want a shelf in your office for a dictionary, thesaurus and a vase of flowers. You may need to get creative with where you place your shelf if wall space becomes an issue. You can install shelves or open cubicles above doorways and beneath stairwells. Book shelves may be added underneath cabinets (think cookbooks) or above beds. They can even be mounted high close to the ceiling to ring the room.

Additional storage can be found in trunks, coffee tables, nightstands or cabinetry. A trunk is a great place to store your craft or decorating books - you can pull them out when you need them. Many coffee tables can be found that double as storage receptacles. Store you oversized travel books here. You can also leave decorative or interesting books out atop these. Antique books with vintage botanicals, books about castles, humorous books, local history - these might be a few types that you wish to remain out in the open for family and friends to enjoy.

Children’s books due to their odd sizes may require different types of kid-friendly bookcases. These can be adapted to any children’s décor. You might even mount or anchor painted crates to the wall and fill with stacks of books. If the closet is large enough, low-to-ground shelves may also serve to store youth books.

No matter how you choose to display them - from disorganized stacks piled on chairs to formal glass pained bookcases, books provide appeal that few other props can mimic. High tables, low tables, even the end of the settee can be ideal places to keep books. For character and warmth - no other ornaments come close!

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