Books, Books, Books!

via The Little Green Notebook

Books are a great way to arrange table tops, bookshelves, desks… virtually any surface (even the floor, as you’ll see).  Most people have a small collection of hard back books that they’ve had for years in their attic.  Or if you’re like me, you’ve inherited way more books than you’ll ever read from your grandparents.  Let’s put those books to use!  Books = decor. 

If you don’t have any books, you can find inexpensive books at any local used book store.  I love collecting books by my favorite designers.  Here are some of my favorites:


  Here are some examples of how to arrange books on etageres or bookshelves.   

I love the way it looks when a piece of artwork is hung directly on a bookshelf:

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Katie Ridder


The Little Green Notebook

Arranging bookshelves can seem like a challenge to some people, but I assure you that anyone can do it!  Don’t over think it.  The books do not have to be color coordinated or even symmetrical.  Place the books in horizontal stacks AND vertical stacks (again, does not have to be symmetrical).  To add interest, find a few of your favorite “objects” around the house and incorporate them into the shelves with the books.  These “objects” can be anything:  baskets, candlesticks, picture frames, boxwoods.  Alternate the books with objects.  The objects can even be placed on top of a stack of books.


Jan Showers

Miles Redd

In the picture above, it looks like designer Miles Redd was in a hurry and tried to place 1,000 books on a shelf as quickly as possible.   Then he added a few pieces of artwork, a couple of objects, and some pink peonies.  So easy — and it looks great!  Miles Redd can do no wrong; he’s a genius.  And that is why you will be seeing a lot of him in this blog :)  

I hate it when bookshelves are perfectly arranged and symmetrical.  It just looks too “done”.  The books do not have to be a set of encyclopedias with matching binding (who uses encyclopedias anymore when we have the internet?).  It just looks like someone tried way too hard and spent way too much time and money making sure everything matched and lined up perfectly.  Why not have a functional bookshelf that you’re not scared to touch?


You can’t go wrong with a Foo Dog as one of your “objects”.  Especially that emerald green one above.


Great use of objects.

 Here are some examples of books arranged on other surfaces…



via  Lonny. Obsessed with that printed fabric on the cushion and pillows.


 via Inspired Design



Mark D. Sikes via Habitually Chic

See?  I told you they even look good on the floor! :)

 via Color Outside the Lines

West Elm

West Elm even decided to put books in the fireplace of this bedroom.  A little strange, but I like it!

 Books make a house feel more like a home.  More “lived in”.  So if you want your house to be a little more cozy, sprinkle some books around!



3 thoughts on “Books, Books, Books!

  1. Books in the fireplace…in case you run out of firewood?

    I love the idea of hanging artwork on bookshelves. I wish I had thought about that in my other house — we had a huge wall of shelves, but we didn’t have enough books or knick-knacks to fill them up! Great post! :)

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