Living Room with Floating Shelves Featuring Books

9 Genius Ways to Decorate with Books

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Just because we live in a digital world doesn’t mean there is not enough room for good old fashioned books. If the smell of fresh pages is your thing, then you’re going to love these decorating tips to outfit your living space with a stack, shelf or column of books. Realize the difference between storing your books and decorating with them. The designs that speak to you will depend on the number of books you own, but it’s ultimately your decision on how you stack up the space.

From floating shelves, baskets, to color coding and stacking them up, read on to learn how to turn your collection of books into the newest attractive elements of your home.

1. A Casual Bookstore Vibe

Vertical Book Tower

The classic sky high bookshelf boasts a casual look that is great accompanied by scattered books in the same area. This is a perfect way to decorate with the books that you have no intention to read. Unless you keep your favorite novels on the top, you’ll enjoy a game of Jenga each time you go to pull out a book.

Start a waist-high book tower by stacking up books placed in any direction. Always start your book tower with a solid foundation by laying down a flat board or two to support the books and to prevent them from wobbling. For added support, we recommend building the book tower alongside a wall. If the books are completely void, you can drill holes through each book to install a metal rod through the tower for ultimate support.

2. Design a Bookshelf Bridge

Bookshelf Above Doorway

Bibliophiles who are working with limited space should look no further than installing set-in, or built-in shelving systems under staircases, over doorways or other areas in the home. Our favorite is the built-in bookshelf bridge which creates a beautiful arch over a door frame that’s perfect for outfitting with books. While the arch is a finishing touch and the hardest part to achieve, making use of unused wall space becomes the perfect space saver and ultimate showcase for books! Lean a standing ladder against the shelf to reach the high areas.

3. Install Floating Bookshelves

Floating Bookshelves

The genius part of floating shelves is in their versatile ability to appear anywhere you can drill into the wall. While they are perfect for storing flowers vases and decorating with baskets they make for quaint bookshelves. Create an arrangement of 3 to 5 floating bookshelves of any length and install them onto a wall in a random order for an eclectic vibe. We recommend using shelves with different lengths to create an asymmetrical system with random geometrics. Remember to carefully measure the space on the wall before installing the shelves to ensure that you leave plenty of room for the books you plan to decorate with.

4. Use Everyday Household Items

Books in a Wire Basket

Beneath the coffee table, inside of an open kids wagon, on top of a skateboard, snowboard or connected pair of snow skis, take a quick look around or browse your garage to decorate with books using everyday items you already own. Piling up books into a little red wagon in a kids room adds a playful touch. You can install a couple L shaped brackets on a wall and create your own shelf using a snowboard. Try placing books in cubby holes, linen baskets or metal buckets. The ideas are infinite.

5. Color Code Your Books in Arrangements

Color Coded Bookshelf Organization

Nothing shouts organization and positive energy more than an array of colorful books that are color-coded and in order. Start out by sorting your books into color groups based on the color of the spine and their hue. Try to find at least six books for each color, and then align the books of the same hue side by side or stack them up. Try placing a stack of red, blue and orange books throughout your entertainment stand. This technique works great on top of nightstands and to apply structure to cluttered areas.

6. Incorporate Decorative Accents

Elegant Console Table with Books

Books by themselves are design elements that boast traditional styles, and for a more personalized touch, you can mix and match pieces of art, vases, picture frames alongside your book collection. For example, a stack of books in order from biggest to smallest, starting at the bottom placed beneath a hanging picture or piece of art creates an illusion which focuses the eye on the object. The idea is to intersperse books with the decorative elements in your home. Think outside the bookshelf incorporate crystal bowls, chinaware, and photographs among your collection.

7. Enhance Your Fireplace

Fireplace Decorated With Books

What seems like wasted space, at first sight, can be turned back into the spectacle of your living room. An empty fireplace can be converted into a variety of creative concepts beyond its intended purpose. Storing books in the fireplace opening creates a cozy atmosphere and makes great use of unused space. You can tie together our first idea on the list with a single book tower or fill it up completely to the brim.

8. Make a Statement

Large Wall Bookshelf

For book collections that extend beyond the confines of an empty fireplace or small book tower, purchase a collection of bookshelves and make a book wall. Showcase your inner bookworm with a luxe display and take advantage of color coding and interspersing botanical elements throughout the design. Family heirlooms and picture frames make great additions to full wall displays. Albeit this concept is a complete transformation of a wall in your home, imagine the freed up space you will create by having a dedicated spot for your entire collection.

9. Invest in an Antique Library Trolley

Antique Book Cart

A quick online search for an ‘antique library trolley’ will reveal a handful of affordable and classic shelves on wheels. These are not those standard corner shelves you see in a waiting room either. Pair a vintage dark wood trolley with leather furniture or wooden floors. Perfect for medium to small sized book collections, you are able to roll the trolley to whichever reading area you prefer. They double as a small coffee table, making them the perfect addition to family rooms or in between chairs for social gatherings.


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