We’ve all got ‘em. We all love ‘em. Books. They are the heaviest items to pack and stack, but we cannot part with them. For obvious reasons. They allow us into imaginative worlds, they give us visual and verbal inspiration, they teach us something new every time we read them. For this, these beauties need to live in a special place in our homes. Farmhouses don’t lend a ton of storage space, but who would want to hide their special treasures behind a door? Get creative and think about the meaning of these valuables. These days, we are all about using what we have and sharing what we love. Gone are the days of covering your furniture with plastic for preservation. Live!
Displaying our book collections will stimulate our world. Start thinking about using them in a way that is visible. Take a look at your entire book collection. Divide them into categories; paperback books the family breezes through, keepsakes that will be passed along to future generations, children’s books that may end up being purged someday, decorative heavy-duty “coffee table” books. What rooms should these books be most present? Should they be a conversation piece? Would it be better if they formed a creative design? There are many directions this idea can go, so let us help you find your creative rhythm. We’ve listed a few of our favorite decorative book storage ideas that are tried and true:
- Traditional Bookshelves. This is a favorite because it gives the books a chance to be displayed while also taking care of a big piece of the design pie in a given room. Whether it be a furniture bookshelf or a built-in designed by yours truly, there is a way to use books as a design baseline. Visitors will want to see what you’ve read, where your interests lie and what gets you motivated. This will also motivate you day-to-day. Seeing your books actively (and all the time) is a great way to embrace your inner you. And there’s that conversation piece when entertaining! Don’t forget, you can incorporate other decorative pieces in those shelves. It doesn’t have to be just books!
- Book Table or Book Storage Nightstand. This can be a DIY, an antique (jackpot) or a piece that has been transformed to help hold books (can also be a bit of a DIY); also known as a library bookcase, these come in all shapes and sizes. It is just a matter of finding the right size/design for your space and your needs. Whether a book table is something you build (stay tuned, more to come on this “how to” in another post) or an antique score we love this idea for a child’s/ren’s “active” book collection. The books they need access to over and over again. Books they can put back and take out easily on their own. What a great gift from a Grandparent, too! Our book table lived in our family for a while and it never bothered me. It never felt like an eyesore (like some of the kids’ toy storage pieces did). It accented our room and added a personal feel, making it feel homier and more lived in. It always got a shout out from visitors. We took the time to design and construct it and we put our aesthetic stamp on it so it really spoke to us and to our home.
- Wall Shelving. These are easy to construct and will carry on for a long time. What we love most here is how they really create a tone in the room. We think this works well in a playroom, crafting room or an office. A much tinier version of this near a bedside is also appealing to the eye. Especially if there is not much room for a nightstand. The books won’t end up on the floor and it adds a bit of décor to the space. It also helps put a personal touch on the bedroom. Bedrooms need personality. Another option that gives easy accessibility as well.
- Decorative on a Coffee Table/Nightstand/Shelf. This is an easier option and one we personally always tend to gravitate toward. Reason being, the books are accessible, but easy to put back in place. This way when the books are stationary and not being used for reference, their design is easy to reconstruct. We do this a lot with the books we reference frequently – like home décor books and cookbooks.
- Floor Stack. We’ve seen this approach in a lot of European flats. Younger somethings seem to gravitate toward this trend. Maybe because they have not been able to collect their forever furniture pieces and/or they are not settled in a “forever-ish” home quite yet? It’s also super mindless and shares a very low-key vibe. Stacking hefty coffee table books is also a way to gain a table-top (bonus!). This takes a chance with spills and dust, but if you are a minimalist this technique is the way to go. The style looks good on lofts and apartments. Maybe take a step from your farmhouse and imagine a pied-à-terre?!
Side note: We’ve just started bringing back an older secret. Hollowed out books are a great way to gain extra storage! There are so many options online to purchase so you can choose some that work well with your other decorating choices. This would be a great place to store reading glasses or chargers, too!
Happy decorating (and reading!)!