We live in an undeniably digital age, one in which just about everything that can be read is available to read digitally. Yet more than a few of us are holding on to a love of books that finds continual expression in our homes. It can become and issue, however, when those displays begin to overwhelm our bookshelves, leaving us with stacks of books that we don’t have a place for. Fortunately, books are one of the best and most widely used props for styling. That’s good news for book worms because it means that we can indulge all we want and still live in spaces that are beautiful, modern and most importantly, uncluttered. So if your bookshelves are already filled to capacity but your love of books just won’t quit, we’ve got 8 tips for styling books (without a bookshelf) that will keep the pages turning and your home photo shoot ready.
Of course, the most natural place for coffee table books is — the coffee table. So if you’ve got a group of books that are table-sized, this is the place to start for making stylish vignettes. You don’t have to be shy either. A single book can have an understated appeal, but stacks of books can look just as good. Pay attention to size as you build your stacks. On the coffee table, you’ll want fairly uniform stacks as opposed to book pyramids.
Style Books With Floral Arrangements
One of the key factors for turning a stack of books into a photo-ready “moment” is pairing the books with other stylish accessories. For that job, there are few items that work as well as flowers. Like books, flowers are used in vignettes to convey a lived-in sense of authenticity that gives a grounded reality to a space, making it look more like a home and less like a staged exhibit. Put this to good use in your home by pairing small stacks of books with flowers in your favourite vase.
Books by the Bedside
The bedroom is an excellent place to style your book collection. If there isn’t room for a bookshelf, the bedside table is always a good option. Here, a table beside a low-sitting bed is the perfect companion for bookworms in repose. Unlike in the living room, this bedside table provides an opportunity for a mini-library for all of your favourite bedtime stories. Once again, it’s the addition of other accessories like plants, small bowls and even the bedside lamp that gives this vignette it’s charismatic look – crowded but controlled, effortless but cool — the perfect place for a lazy Sunday.
Style Books In An Entryway
What better way to be greeted every time you walk through the door than by your favourite books? Entryways are the perfect area to style with pieces from your library. Credenzas offer ample space for displaying your love of the written word, while the books help provide a backdrop for other accessories. The trick here is picking the right books. Skip the paperbacks and go for art and design books with a well-designed cover and a good amount of weight. Don’t be surprised to find yourself perusing your own collection every time you come home.
Colourful Books on A Tray
For smaller vignettes, it’s helpful to frame the moment in a way that draws attention in no uncertain terms. Using a tray is one of the best ways to achieve this effect by encapsulating a small yet impact element of your decor. Books can be great as a pop of colour, particularly in rooms that are more neutral in their overall design. But even in more colourful spaces, the right book is a great tool for connecting to other colourful moments, creating layers of visual depth in the room. Pairing the book that you’re displaying with an accessory in the same colour – as with the coasters in the tray shown above – creates connection even within your vignette, while the bright greens and yellows of the flowers provide contrast and complete the picture.
Putting Books On A Pedestal
Another trick for smaller vignettes is to build up, rather than out. Using books to elevate another accessory generates attention around the piece while creating layers of height and scale within the room. And while you may feel that this is a lot of attention to lavish on a candle or small plant, creating colour-coordinated vignettes in simple palettes such as the black and white shown in this picture, will bring everything together beautifully.
From the Floor Up
The art of creating a perfectly styled yet lived-in room is one of the trickier aspects of design. But knowing how to do it can help you to keep your everyday living environment looking magical. Like art, books can be displayed on the floor for an authentic and unpretentious feel. Here’s where you’ll want to include your vintage finds, old textbooks, secondhand paperbacks and books you held on to from childhood. They can all find new life on your floors as part of a wonderfully styled display.
Books in the Bathroom
Books can make an impact in any room in your home, so, why not the bathroom? This one is for serious book lovers, devoted design fanatics, and hardcore bath aficionados. Even if you don’t have the shelf space to accommodate this level of book intensity, a book at bath time is still a wonderfully relaxing treat and an excellent styling tactic. Whether on shelves or trays, books fit as well into bathroom decor as they do elsewhere in the home. All of the same concepts apply. The important thing to consider here is keeping the books well away from water to avoid damaging them.