Decorating with Books


“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

This quote by Marcus Tullius Cicero could not be more true for me and my family.  We are huge readers and have books everywhere.  We have a hard time parting with books even after we have read them.  Each  book holds a memory of a story that we were a part of  – even if just for a little while.

I was asked by another designer the other day, “what is your favorite home decor accessory?”  Without hesitation, my answer was BOOKS!  Books can add color where there is none, height when you need it and fill in empty spots without looking forced.  Take a look at some pictures today of decorating with books:

This is a good example of using books for both color and height.  Just stack a couple books on a table and put a vase on it to really make the flowers a statement.

Look at how great it looks to just stack a bunch of books on a colorful table.  It sort of looks like you didn’t try to make it look good but it just kind of “came together”.

A whole wall in a child’s room decorating in books!  I love this!  It’s colorful and interesting and really shows off how important books are to this family.  I would love this in an office with books on your passion – like all home decor books!

This is a totally different look in a child’s room but just as wonderful!  The books have all been turned backward so the pages are showing instead of the spine.  It has a monochromatic look which is contemporary and simple.  Very serene for a nursery – but how do you find the book your looking for?  I have a feeling these books are for “looks” only!

Have a ton of books?  Organize them by color to get this look.  I like the way these shelves look coordinated – but I’m not so sure about the next picture.

Now I will be the first girl to admit that I love color – but shelves with rainbow books even goes a little far for me.  What do you think?

I love this old ladder with the words painted down the side with the old books on the rungs.  These books are pretty easy to find lately.  I have seen them at antique stores and flea markets.  Just a little side note … I always take my book jackets off my books.  I prefer the solid color underneath as well as the texture.  The shiny jackets don’t always give the look I like.  I do save the jackets, however, in a big storage bin in the basement.

How beautiful is this?  So simple on a buffet or mantle.  You could go with bold colors or something really soft like this picture.  I love it!

Ummm… an owl on top of Pride and Prejudice?  Need I say more?

I chose this picture to show you how you can turn books in different directions to make more of an impact.  I, however, would have taken the jackets off these books … but that’s just me.  Imagine the books in solid colors instead of the distracting words, colors and pictures.  Just one girls opinion.

Gorgeous!  Books used as a table is a cheap and interesting way to decorate any room.  You could even put a piece of round glass on top and make it a larger end table.  Really easy.

Floating book shelves made with books.  I think this would be amazing in a small bedroom that may not have room for a traditional bedside table.  You could put one of these next to the bed, on the wall, and always have reading material as well as somewhere to put your phone.  The best part is that you can change the look as easily as changing the books.

Coffee tables are a great space to decorate with things you love.  I like to organize items with a big tray or two and then add a stack of books to put something of prominence on top.  Try to group similar items together.  Maybe one tray has candles of differing sizes and the other has bowls or frames or figurines.  Makes a room look so cozy and homey!

And what would a book blog post be without books in the bathroom …

Okay … let’s not get carried away!

Hope you enjoyed all the ideas to decorate with books!  If you did, please pass it on to friend and/or follow me! Thanks!

Hope your life is more heaven than havoc!


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About Missi @ havoc to heaven

I am the President and CEO of the Smith House (according to me). I am married and we have four teenagers all within 3 1/2 years of each other - including a set of twins. Let's just say I log more miles on my car then a NY taxi driver. I am one crazy, busy lady. But - I know that the kids will be off to college soon enough so I relish the craziness and take lots of Xanax (oops I mean baths). I love to see things that are in havoc turn into heaven on earth. I am a self taught designer who has a passion for paint colors, fabrics, vintage accessories and everything on Etsy and Pinterest! I hope you enjoy my blog. I will be showing all kinds of scenarios that have been taken from "Havoc to Heaven" - from remodeling, refinishing and maybe just starting from scratch!

3 responses »

  1. Love books and love this post! I am planning on using rain gutters as shelves in Haydens room for books someday. I used them in my classroom on the windowsills and they were a great way to display lots of books and not take up space with shelves! Right now our nursery books are in tubs…good for a 9 mo. old!

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