Display Your Books In Unexpected Ways

A wonderful thing about books (well, besides reading them!) is that they make for great decorating accessories, especially when they can be displayed in unexpected ways. Books are both warm and graphic at the same time and can compliment any decorating scheme.  Their familiarity lends them a comforting air, while their rectangular shape makes for a visual pop.

We’ve got some unusual and inspiring ways to get those books off the shelves and into your decorating.

Top Tips for Displaying Books in Unexpected Ways:

Books on Back Porch Table

Tuck books into nooks and crannies; these are great places to store items and create a “WOW!” moment. Sometimes a nook can be a birdcage like in this charming tablescape (Source: Thistlewood Farms)…it could also be above kitchen cabinets or the top of an armoire,

ladder for displaying books in unusual ways

Find an unused spot in your home (perhaps a stairway landing or in front of a window), grab a wooden wooden ladder, and build a tower of books on each step. This would also work with an old wooden chair or stool. This creates a quiet little area to reflect upon some of your favorite titles as you walk by…and makes use of an otherwise unused space. Source: Amanda on Writing.

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Books as side tables

Put them to work!  These stacks of coffee table books couldn’t be simpler to achieve.  Top one with a tray and you have a convenient place to set a cup of tea while lounging on a sofa. Source: Treoma Designs.

Display books behind glass doors

Rethink your glass-fronted cabinets and hutches.  They don’t need to be restricted to only displaying glassware…rows of books sitting behind glass is a lovely, unexpected touch. Source: Linen Haus Design.

Arrange them in the negative spaces created by furniture legs. In the photo above of a tall side table (actually, that’s a re-purposed counter stool that works perfectly next to a sofa with high arms…clever!) the column of hardcovers in jewel tones looks like a work of art. Source:  Farnum Design

A common stumbling block in any size home is finding room for adequate shelving to house all of one’s books.  Shelves take up valuable wall space and can be difficult to incorporate into the flow of rooms.  But don’t leave those books packed in boxes; decorating with books is a fabulous way to literally dip your toes in the world of Out-of-the-Box-Decorating.

What do you think?



  1. 1

    Loved the article, I have boxes and boxes of books. I gave me some pretty cool ideas!