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Decorating with Books Tells Your Story

We all know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover…but how about judging the way a book is used in home décor? I’m pretty sure that the person who prefers a solid wall of books in his/her home most likely differs from the person who sprinkles books throughout the space in charming vignettes. Both arrangements have aesthetic advantages and disadvantages; it’s simply a matter of preference.Consider the following book uses, and what story they tell about who lives there:

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The people who live here likely are spontaneous, adventurous, and like surprises. Stacked straight up but not necessarily aligned, these two towers of books are almost whimsically (dare I say “dangerously”? Or is that just the mother in me?) high, which creates some powerful vertical presence in the space. The look is fairly casual, which is delightfully ironic when placed in the same room as the elegant, detail-heavy sculpted furniture.

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This homeowner likely thrives on organization and order, although she is not above having a sense of humor. The books are carefully divided and arranged according to color and, less obviously, height similarities. One eye-catcher of a shelf (yes, I’m talking about that toy racecar with matching book) is important enough to hold its own space, suggesting a lot about personality. I like the orderliness of a color gradient going from lightest to darkest.

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Here, the residents seem to be pretty casual and creative. Books are loosely stacked on the floor next to the animal print chair to maybe serve as a side table of sorts…or to provide some good reading in this bright, cheerful room. Books also adorn the walls almost as pieces of art. Despite the appearance of casualness, there is also subtle organization in the space – bookshelves are horizontally aligned on either side of the window, and most books are similar in size.

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The person who lives here appears to be a hopeless lover of beautiful things. You get the feeling these books, housed in their glass shell, are not meant to be read. Rather, they’re simply meant to match the old-natural-earthy vibe of the vignette…which happens to be beautiful and perfectly at home in this simple, rustic space.

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This inhabitant is a reader of books, first and foremost. Not even the solid wall of books, floor to ceiling, is sufficient to hold the collection – an overflow bookshelf is on the wall as well. Secondarily, the bookends add color and the shelves and ladder a sense of permanence to the space, but primarily these books come with an open invitation to be read and enjoyed.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

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Posted in How To, Tips, and Advice on December 14, 2012

About the author

Brittney Smart
Brittney is a wife, a mom of four young children, a writer and editor (B.S. degree in English/Technical Writing), and a lover of interior design. She thrives on finding inexpensive ways to DIY her own home into a stylish yet family-friendly space.

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