Monday, May 6, 2013

Decorating with Books

A book lover is not someone who enjoys a good read, but can go without cracking open a cover on a regular basis.  A book lover or a bibliophile:  someone who loves (and usually collects) books.  I'm a card carrying bibliophile and to be honest I think I was born that way.  I've always loved to read, since I was a little kid I could be found with my nose in a book, or one being dragged behind me.  I loved when my dad would pick up an old classic and let me sit on his lap while he read from it for a while before my bedtime.

Not a whole lot has changed as far as my love of books goes...I'll admit that while I was in college, being an English major tested my dedication.  Having to read A LOT of work that wasn't really in my wheelhouse took some getting used to, but I refused to let literature classes squash my love of words.  Whether it's borrowing one from a library or a good friend, spending hard earned money at the bookstore to get those recently released titles I've been counting down, or being unable to resist adding to my coffee table anything that's would make for good all boils down to the fact that it will never change.  Once I had moved into my own place and had free reign to decorate as I saw fit and surround myself with things that I love, you can guess how large a part books play in my own safe haven.  So here are a few ways that I've found to be head over heels in love with....I'm constantly finding inspiration everywhere!

Who needs a fancy end table for the living room or family room when you can create your own with magazines and books that you already own and want the chance to display and see every chance you can get.  By taking a bunch of your favorite reads, you can craft yourself an end table as high as you need and with a few hard cover classics, glasses, remotes, you name it....they can all be balanced on this new and beautiful piece you've added to your space.

For me, coffee table books are something I don't think I'm ever going to be able to give up.  I started buying them up like crazy about a year ago and I can't seem to stop.  It doesn't matter what the material, whether it's fashion, photography, famous people, architecture, places I want to travel to, it doesn't matter.  And to be honest, not only do I find myself picking them up and enjoying them on a daily basis, but every time someone comes over to visit or stay, they're picking them up to leaf through or ask about.  They're instant conversation starters, and the envy of many.  Any time someone asks me for gift ideas, or what I want for whatever holiday or special occasion is coming up, books can be tricky to ask for unless you give them specific titles on your TBR, but NOT so with coffee table books.  I say anything goes and I've been gifted with some truly wonderful additions!

While it might seem to odd to some, I was recently on the hunt for a bar cart of some type this past year.  I finally found one that fit perfectly within my apartment and I wouldn't trade it for the world, but check out what this creativity got someone.  Had I not been able to finally find the one I wanted, I might have resorted to this idea featured in HouseBeautiful.  While I'm an avid fan of keeping books on a bookcase and not necessarily using it to put decorations....sometimes space is an issue depending on where you live, and these shelves are the perfect solution for someone that has to work with what they've got.  I've managed to pick up a few cocktail making books to display on my bar, but also a few others that I've thrown in about a variety of things.

Again when people have come over to visit and make their way for beverages, their eye inevitably catches on the reading material laid out and once again conversations pick up and pages are flipped through.  I think deep down everyone is always looking for an excuse to pick up a good book.

So I've seen people set up their bookshelves in all sorts of different ways.  I can't say that I had any method to the madness that are my bookshelves and what's lining them, but I'm always looking for new ways to rearrange them or shake things up a bit.

I love how this photo shows this bookcase treated as if you were walking through the stacks in your local bookstore.  Every thing's on display, the beautiful covers are facing out so that you can enjoy the cover art as well as the exciting words that can be found within.  I know you should judge books by their covers, but I think we can all grudgingly admit that we've all done, we'll all eventually do it and that's never going to change.  But when I'm passing by the shelves in a store, the books that are facing front draw my attention and I'd love to have mine have the same affect on guests when they're visiting my home, ya know?

Another project of mine recently was to liven up the white walls around the apartment.  I started and am still in the process of completely a few gallery walls throughout and I would just love to do something with some of the classic novels that we all know and love.

I'm not sure it wouldn't be painful to take a cover off an old book but at the same time, who says the book then has to be tossed.  If I can find a way to gather a few of my favorites with some great covers to display I just might give this a shot.  So all I need to make this work is to look around on line maybe for some of the classics with redesigned covers and some beautiful frames like you can see above and I think I'd be good to go.

And finally, can I just say that I love framing and displaying photos almost as much as I love a good book.  I'm not the most expert at hanging them on the wall, I usually call in my mom or dad to help me out with that kind of work, but who's to say every picture of piece of art needs to be hanging on the walls right?  I love how this photo shows that by having a few sturdy books that you'd like to display, you can put a few favorite framed pieces behind and they'll have the support by leaning up against them.  So I could have my love of photos and books combined and ta da!

I'm sure this wasn't exactly a post that you thought you'd find on the blog today, but what can I say?  Inspiration hit and I knew if anyone would enjoy or at least understand my latest obsession with all things decorating and books I knew it would be you guys!

Happy Reading & Decorating!!!!!!!!!

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