Decorating with Books

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

I love books-all kinds of books with a passion that knows no bounds for shelter coffee table books. Probably all of us interior designers can't get enough of them.

 We like to stack them on end tables, line shelves with them and pile them up on the floor.  It's all the pretty colors and enticing pictures that get my juices flowing. I've never been able to leave a bookstore without another addition to my collection.

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Cicero was right, a room without books lacks depth and character.

Look at those poor shelves above, empty and begging to be filled and I have just the collection of hundreds of books to do just that.

I have books on architecture, history, art, interiors, travel and fashion which I've collected over the years.  I find the best bargains from Costco and One King's Lane.

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The key to decorating with books is to keep some basic interior design principles in mind:

balance, proportion, and scale.

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As I start to fill these bookshelves I keep in mind that the viewer's eye will get bored if all the books are lined up in the same direction on shelf after shelf after shelf.

Below you can see the variety of ways in which you can put your books on the shelves.

I like to lie some down, stand some up, have some books leaning to the right and some lean to the left and leave enough negative space so the eye can rest.  There is plenty of open space on  these shelves to keep the look balanced and not too heavy on the top or bottom, left or right.

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The negative space that has been left on these shelves is the perfect place to highlight some of my collectibles.

I love accessories as much as I love books and the accessories I have selected will infuse personality  making a statement about who I am and what I like.

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Don't be afraid to mix styles and different periods.

These unique vases above add a contemporary touch and are a special wedding gift from my husband's favorite cousin.

Below I have combined contemporary/artsy, asian inspiration, with rustic.  Many years ago my sister gave me the antique spice grinder seen on the lower shelf as a Christmas present.  She loves to hunt through antique stores and always finds the most unique gifts for me.

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More of the mix…below on the right is an asian influenced box that my husband's mother owned and where she kept her special costume jewelry.

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The finished shelves!

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I just love to sit on my living room sofa and soak in all the delicious colors of each book, walk down memory lane with my special treasures...

light a fire, grab a glass of wine and a good book to browse and be inspired!