Books have been a source of knowledge, wonder and entertainment for centuries. But they can serve another purpose – as stylish and personalized decor elements in your home. Books introduce color, texture and visual interest to any space. They reflect your interests and personality. Decorating with books is an inviting, affordable and ever-changing way to add warmth and character to your rooms. Here are 10 bestselling and creative ways to decorate with books that will inspire you.

Use Books to Create Focal Points

Strategically place stacks of books on tables, mantels or shelves to draw the eye and create charming vignettes. Try stacking a mix of colorful hardcover and paperback books both vertically and horizontally. Place some books upright and some lying flat. Vary the heights for visual interest. For unity, stick to a cohesive color theme. Accent book stacks with decorative objects like vases, candles or small sculptures. This is an easy way to create little focal points around a room.

Build Book Displays on Shelves

Group books by color, subject or size to build eye-catching displays. Arrange them neatly, upright and flush with the edge of shelves. Or offset them at angles, both vertically and lying flat to add depth. Try placing larger books flat as the base layer and building up with smaller books on top. Intersperse books with accent pieces like framed photos, art, bowls or baskets for more layered shelves. Label shelves with topics or mix subjects.

Create Bookends

Flank shelves or stack books between decorative bookends, which add color and whimsy. Choose bookends that represent your interests, like animals, travel souvenirs or nature-inspired motifs. For eclectic shelves, use bookends in a mix of shapes, colors and styles. Make your own bookends by stacking old books horizontally and gluing them together. Or frame colorful fabric in wood blocks.

Fashion Book Cover Displays

Create an artistic accent wall or gallery display using book covers. Choose books with covers that catch the eye, removing the pages inside. Arrange them decoratively on the wall, either in neat rows or a collage style. You can also decoupage book covers onto boxes, trays or other objects to make one-of-a-kind decorative items. This is a budget-friendly way to introduce color and pattern.

Craft Book Page Art

Beyond covers, book pages can become art too. Craft gorgeous paper flowers by stacking book pages in cone shapes. Or make garlands by cutting pages into long strips then twisting and connecting them. Fold pages into geometric shapes or cut intricate silhouettes from them. Frame your book page creations in shadowboxes or under glass. Gift tags, stationery, bows and other crafts can also showcase book pages.

Add Books to Centerpieces

Incorporate books into table centerpieces in creative ways. Stack a pile of cookbooks and top it with a chopping board, utensils and fresh herbs or flowers. Float candles in a bowl of water atop an old book for an illuminated centerpiece. Or arrange succulents in the pages of an old book laid open. Choose books related to the occasion or season, like gardening books in spring.

Use Books in Vignettes

Build vignettes around books on side tables, console tables or mantels. Choose books related to the vignette’s theme. For instance, use cookbooks in a kitchen scene with utensils and fresh herbs. Or bird-watching guides in a nature vignette with feathers and a set of binoculars. The books reinforce the subject and add authenticity. Experiment with open books, stacked books and books propped open.

Fashion Book Boxes

Hide clutter or store small items within decorative book boxes. Choose vintage hardcovers and remove the interior pages. Add contact paper lined with book pages inside the book’s cover before replacing it. Or, adhere book pages to the outside of small storage boxes. Decoupage the open edges of the book box with scrapbook paper for a finished look. These faux book boxes make charming storage solutions.

Craft Book Wreaths

Make a gorgeous wreath by stacking and fanning out book pages. Choose paperback books in colors suiting your decor. Fan pages in a circle, slightly overlapping, and hang vertically on the wall as a wreath. Or, cut book pages into leaf shapes and connect them into a garland shape to make a book leaf wreath. Add small decorative touches like ribbon, felt flowers or beads. Make these for holidays or season changes.

Add Books to Coffee Tables

Coffee table books creatively displayed add styling to living rooms, as well as conversation pieces. Choose books representing your interests – cookbooks, architecture books, gardening references. Or, opt for big photobooks and hardcovers with visually striking covers. Prop books upright, stack horizontally, or open face down. Coordinate book colors to your decor. Refresh displays seasonally or when interests shift.

Decorating with books is a budget-friendly way to add personality and color to your home. Display them creatively to make your books work double duty as both decor and sources of knowledge. With a little imagination, books can become beautiful design details expressing your style.

FAQs about Decorating with Books

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about decorating with books:

How do you decoratively arrange books?

  • Stack books of varying heights, some upright and some flat. Mix subjects and colors. Angle books for depth. Flank stacks with bookends. Offset books on shelves. Layer large and small books.

What are some ways to display book covers?

  • Create an accent wall or collage using book covers. Decoupage covers onto trays, boxes or other objects. Use removable adhesive to display covers on walls.

How can you incorporate book pages into decor?

  • Make paper flowers, garlands, bows, framed art or geometric shapes using pages. Decoupage pages onto boxes. Use pages for gift wrap or scrapbook projects.

What types of books work well for decorating?

  • Vintage books, colorful hardcovers, visually striking cookbooks, large photobooks, craft/hobby books related to decor theme.

Where are good places to decorate with books?

  • Shelves, side and coffee tables, countertops, mantels, console tables, centerpieces, focal displays, shadowboxes, wreaths.

What are other ways to decorate with books?

  • Float candles over books for centerpieces. Use as bases under objects. Make book boxes for storage. Use in vignettes with related items. Craft book leaf wreaths.

Decorating with books allows you to display your literary tastes while adding visual interest to your home. Get creative with books you already own or find deals on used books. Soon these volumes will transform from reading material into delightful design accents expressing your style.