Thursday, February 3, 2011

Books: They're Not Just For Reading

If you have ever flipped through the pages of a decorating magazine, watched HGTV, or browsed in Pottery Barn, then you know all about using books as accessories.  Pottery Barn is famous for stacking books on shelves, on top of and underneath tables, in baskets, underneath vases or lamps and all sorts of other creative ways.

image from Pottery Barn
image from Pottery Barn
I have always enjoyed the way decorators 'randomly' fill empty spaces with books.  The texture of the pages and their variety in size and color make books really smart looking accessories.

image from Pottery Barn

However, my use of books in decorating has never gone beyond stacking them on a shelf.  I arranged my books according to author or genre, or, if I felt like being fancy, by size.  For me, once I finished with a book, I either returned it to the library (when I remembered), passed it along to a friend, or shelved it...until just recently.

In the hall I have a console table where I had put a white gourd lamp on one end.  It looked fine until I put a really large apothecary jar on the other end of the table.  The apothecary jar dwarfed the lamp.  What to do?  I grabbed a couple of burgundy hard covered books and placed them under the lamp.  Suddenly, and very easily, it looked right!  Have a look.

It was nice to put the Chaucer text from my university days to good use- even though I sometimes get a spine chill when I see it. (Was that even a compulsory course, and if not, what was I thinking!)  Oh well, the Chaucer book looks a bit more highbrow than if I had used my Tori Spelling autobiography (don't judge...).

Also, I remember having read somewhere that books in a kitchen can give a really comfy, homey feel, but at the time I knew I didn't have many open areas for books.  Then I spotted this little blank space under the microwave!

I added some cookbooks, a bowl and a few other things already owned.  

This little display looks much more interesting now and having cookbooks on a counter is really convenient.

I'm working on taking better pictures- bear with me!

It's fun to fuss with displays, so I'm sure I'll find more places where I can use books as accessories, but I think I'll try to choose books that bring back better memories than my 3rd year Chaucer course!