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Decorating with Books in Your Home: Creative Ideas You Can Steal!

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In this post: Decorating with books in creative ways in your home. Display them, stack them, organize them, love them!


Decorating with books is an easy way to add personality to your home. Their colors, typography and images can add so much life and texture to a space.

four photos showing books in home decor with text overlay

Why decorate with books?

I love technology. It allows us to do so much.

But there’s just something so real and relaxing about being surrounded by and immersed in a good book (or two). 

tray on coffee table with old books antler candle and faux tree

Books can display your interests and give guests something to flip through.

And they can be great conversation starters. 

Imagine the conversations that could begin from a stack of coffee table books about art, animals of the arctic, political figures, or world churches!

Plus, there’s the visual aspect of books as well, which is why they’re so fun to decorate with – the colors, the textures and the typography!

Staging Books – where to decorate with them?

Books can be stacked, displayed and styled on just about any surface you can imagine in your home! Here are a few ideas to get you going:

  • on bookshelves
  • standing on picture ledges
  • stacked on the coffee table
  • in groupings on a fireplace mantel
  • piled on nightstands

Keep reading for more ideas…

What is a coffee table book?

Dictionary.com defines a coffee table book as:

  1. a large, expensive, lavishly illustrated book, especially one intended only for casual reading.

Where to find great books to decorate with

There are so many places to find great books! Here are a few of my favorites.

Amazon

Amazon has just about every book you could ever want. Their prices for coffee table books are really quite reasonable most of the time. And of course, if you have prime, shipping is free. 

 

Homesense/Winners/Marshalls/HomeGoods

I find that Homesense and other TJ Maxx stores are a little hit and miss with their selection of good books.

Much like everything else they sell, if you see something you want, buy it right away, since it may not be there later.

But if you’re looking for a newish release, check here because they tend to have books for better pricing shortly after they’re available. (That’s where I got my copy of Joanna Gaines’ Homebody for way less!) 

yarn wrapped hearts in dough bowl

Your local bookstore

Of course, don’t forget about your local bookstore, especially if you want to see and hold coffee table books before you buy them

My two favorites places to look for books that I want to use specifically in my decor are the thrift store and the antique shops nearby. There I’ve found some real steals and deals.

Antique shops

I find that books from the Antique mall nearby have the most gorgeous patina! 

Vintage Books at Antique Mall

Thrift stores

And the thrift store has a plethora of books on different topics. Plus they have loads of books in different sizes and colors too. You really can’t beat the pricing of the thrift store when you’re decorating with books either! 

bookshelves at the thrift store

How do you choose books to decorate with?

How you choose books to decorate with depends on what type of decor you’re using them for.

  • Are you creating DIY projects from them? If so, you need only look for great interior pages. 
  • Do you want gorgeous coffee table or other display books? Then you want new or gently used books that are in great shape overall. 

Basically there are three things to consider when looking for books to use in your decor:

  1. Interest – Does the book fit into one of your category of interests? Would you want to display the topic in your home?
  2. Colors – If your books will be highly visible, do the colors make you happy? Do they “go with” your decor?
  3. Collections – Do the books fit into a collection of volumes you already have? Will they start a new collection?

Beautiful Coffee Table Books & Decor Books for the Coffee Table

There are just some books that make such gorgeous additions to the coffee table, that they are worth every penny. Here are a few beautiful volumes. 

Decorating with Books – 11 Fun Ideas from My Blog Friends

When I was writing this article, I asked my blog friends for ideas for how they decorated with books in their homes. Here are 11 fun ideas…

8 More Ideas for Decorating with Books

  1. Faux mantel filler – stack books inside a faux mantel, with their spines facing in for a cozy look.
  2. As a headboard – open old books and nail them to a piece of plywood and then use as a headboard.
  3. Standing on picture ledges – display books with lovely covers – or for easy reach in a child’s room – on picture ledges. 
  4. Mini library on bedside table – stack several of your favorite volumes on your nightstand for a mini library feel in your bedroom. 
  5. Under a cloche – display a single classic novel or other special book under a glass cloche to give it extra attention. 
  6. Made into a DIY lamp – glue a stack of old books together, drill a hole down the center of the stack and make into a lamp with a DIY lamp kit!
  7. Framed covers – frame the covers of your favorite books once the book itself has been loved beyond repair. 
  8. Pages used as placemats or table runners – lay book pages out under dinner plates, or down the center of the table for a fun table setting. 

Ways We’ve Used Books in Our House

Of course we’ve decorated with books in our house a lot too. Here are a few photos of instances we’ve incorporated books in our decor:

new bookshelves on wall for fall DIY Book Bundles bookshelves and dresser for christmas
paper mache pears
dining room bookshelves AKA Design reclaimed wood coffee table grey slipcovered couch beige slipcovered sofa wood coffee table

four images showing decorating with books ideas with text overlay to describe blog post on pinterest

Do you have any spaces in your home that could benefit from a few books? Did you see any decorating with books ideas that you loved?

I'd love it if you'd share:

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

I'd love to chat with you in the comments!

Comments

  1. Margo says

    Another great source for used books that was not mentioned is your local library. Most have an organization called Friends of the Library that hold used book sales during the year. In some cases you can fill a large paper bag for $5.00. Often you can find sets of books as well. If you are looking for books to use as crafts, you will find an abundance of hardcovers that can be painted or covered with burlap. The proceeds are used to fund other library activities.

  2. Shirley says

    Loved all the different ideas that you shared. I have 📚 in my bookcases and Coffee table books but now, thanks to you, Shannon, I have a few more ideas. My favorite out of all you shared was the ones serving as a knife holder in the kitchen. How unique and unthought of is that. Love 💕 your blog.

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I loved the lesson on color theory, and also THAT YOU TOLD US EXACTLY WHAT ORDER TO DECORATE IN!

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My ah-ha moment was when I realized how much time and money we have spent in the past couple of...

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