Sunday, March 29, 2009

Decorate By the Book

Homes without books are icky soulless spaces. I only hope these people have worn out library cards. "Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house," said Henry Ward Beecher. I agree. Whether you're a big reader or not, books are a must-have decorating accessory to create coziness. Pick up bargains at thrift stores and garage sales.

Turn the page on how you store your books. Ditch the dust covers and let the beautiful bindings and covers show. The metallic ink against matte-colored covers offers an elegant library look to your collection. Vary stacks horizontally and vertically by subject matter to create visual interest and organization. Stash those Harlequin romances and other paperbacks in decorative boxes on lower shelves.

Displaying books in unexpected places adds panache to your home.

"Let books be your dining table,
And you shall be full of delights
Let them be your mattress
And you shall sleep restful nights."
~Author Unknown

That quote inspires a few design options. Consider adding built-ins to your dining room to create a warm library lounge atmosphere. Pass the brandy, please. If that's a budget buster, the same look can be achieved by lining a wall with freestanding bookcases.

Don't just stick to shelves. Let your books be free. Stacking a few larger ones on a short side table can elevate a lamp to the right height for reading all the other books. They can even be piled high to create a table.

My books seem to be giving birth faster than the bunnies out back. Too much of anything creates clutter. Edit your collection and donate the overflow to your local library.

A good book has no ending. - R.D. Cumming
Good decorating has no ending. - Me

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