School is in session and that means it’s back to the books. But don’t leave those information-filled beauties sitting in a backpack or stashed inside a drawer. Books provide a wealth of opportunities for artistic expression and they even allow you to bare a little of your soul by sharing the subjects that interest you.
From a single edition to a stacks and stacks, here are five creative ways to decorate with books:
1. Sort them by color. If you have a beautiful bookcase or built-in shelving, transform your books into modern art by displaying them in an ombré, dark-to-light pattern. If you have a tall bookcase, you could also sort them by color family, creating a shelf of red, another of green, another of blue, etc. If your books aren’t as colorful as you’d like, cover them with craft or wrapping paper in rich solid colors or select a mix of graphic designs.
2. Stack them to make a display stand. Highlight a favorite accent piece by placing it atop a few books that are stacked on a cocktail or end table. Use books of varying sizes to create a pyramid-style stand, or choose books that relate to the item they’re holding. For example, place a globe atop books about travel or display a sculpture of a golfer on a stack of books about such greats as Walter Hagen, Bobby Jones and Tiger Woods.
3. Pile them on the floor to create end tables. If you have a lot of oversized books, stack them on the floor and use them as a bedside or end table. This works well if they’re of similar size, as they will provide a sturdy place to rest items. Top with a piece of beveled glass to protect the books, add a lamp, and you’ve created a very special reading spot.
4. Use the cover as a work of art. While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, sometimes it’s so beautiful, it should be displayed. Take a tip from bookstores and arrange some of your books facing forward. The effect is similar to hanging a print or painting, and can easily be changed out for the season or whenever the mood strikes you.
5. Create a tray on a chair or ottoman. If you use a plush ottoman in your family room, quickly transform it into a place to set your drink by resting a large book on top. You can also create a unique nightstand by choosing a few books to set on a beautiful chair. Select books that coordinate with the colors of the room or that are about a subject that is meaningful to you.