Calling all bookworms! Anyone who knows me, knows I absolutely love to get lost in a good book! Whether it’s an engaging novel, a coffee table book on a beloved design style, or the latest explainer on business trends, I always enjoy spending an hour or two at the end of a long day turning the pages. And I am equally enthusiastic about books as a design element!
A thoughtfully chosen coffee table book always makes for an eye-catching piece of decor that you, your family, and your guests can actually tangibly enjoy and interact with. You can also easily swap books in and out seasonally to help set the mood. For example, for a summer home or beach house, I love to see titles about different beach locales throughout the world, or summery cookbooks.
Designer books in all shapes, sizes, subject matters, and cover colors are easy to incorporate into your home’s interior design motif and are fantastic way to showcase your personality and passions.
Whether you’re planning a full-on rainbow bookshelf in your home office, an artful coffee table vignette, or thoughtful placements throughout your various shelves, nightstands, and console surfaces, I encourage you to read on and officially join the KKH book club (and bonus points if you drop a line in the comments letting me know your summer 2021 reading recommendations).
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Color Code for Maximum Cool
The attractive visual achieved by arranging your books in a shining rainbow has no doubt been seen all across Pinterest and Instagram. And guess what? Even though it may look like a too-perfect-to-be-real design element reserved just for celebs and influencers, it’s actually super-easy to get the look yourself.
First, take stock of the books you’re working with and the space you want to arrange them in. You may want to go for a full Roy G. Biv arrangement, or create color-coded vignettes in warm or cool tones (which is actually how I have my fave titles stacked on my living room etageres, shown throughout this post). Look at the colors present in the majority of the book cover, but also at the colors in the text and on the spines of your books. Play with different combinations by stacking your books in different ways before placing them on your shelf or coffee table.
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Create a Coffee Table Vignette
The terms “coffee table book” exists for a reason–a large, picture-centric book never fails to look lovely and start interesting conversations when placed on your coffee table! So when styling a coffee table, I always like to bring decorative books into the mix to create intriguing vignettes.
First, choose 1-3 designer books you’re excited to show off–maybe they speak to the season, or maybe they speak to your latest hobby or passion project–and play with stacking them by size or color in various spots on your coffee table. Then, built around them with candles, coasters, trays, and decorative objects and sculptures. A good rule with styled vignettes is to choose one horizontal element (in this case, that’s your stack of books), one vertical element, and one sculptural element.
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Finally, designer books are always a must in the bedroom. Winding down at the end of the day with a book instead of with a screen (I’m a huge believer in the no phones or tables in the bed rule) is a salve for your brain, and artfully placed books on your nightstand or bedside table make for an oh-so-chic finishing flourish for your bedroom decor.
If you have books you’re currently reading and that are smaller in size, give them real estate on the top surface for your nightstand. This makes them easy to reach when you’re already under the covers. I also love to use a pretty ribbon bookmark that can be seen when the book is lying flat–it’s just an additional way to customize your decor.
If you happen to have nightstand or table with multiple surfaces, use decorative books to fill and style the lower spaces that don’t house your night-time essentials. Choose books that feature cover art that reflects the overall look and feel of your bedroom and that have themes that inspire or relax you!
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