Story by Art Department / November 17, 2020

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but let’s be honest, that’s often the reason we initially pick a book up. Especially for books that we’re looking to use for décor. Half of the fun is picking out appealing books to style, and the other half is actually styling. Here are a few tips on how to best style your books.

Fall 2019 Cover Story Kate Fagan and Kathryn Budig | Photo by Patrick Brickman

Color Coordinated Built-Ins

For Type-A, organized, OCD individuals a color coordinated book shelf is a must. It’s aesthetically pleasing and fun to create. Don’t stress about putting the books in height order, that doesn’t always happen. Just focus on putting like colors together and it’ll work out. Putting the darker shades on the bottom helps draw the eye up to the brighter colors on the top. Don’t forget to mix in some plants and trinkets to add more interest.

Spring 2019 Cover Story Adrianne Betz | Photo by Callie Cranford

Accent Wall in Kid’s Room

An accent wall in your child’s room is the perfect place to add some floating shelves to showcase their book collection. A chalkboard wall is great for the space because they can draw while reading and maybe even recreate some of their favorite characters. The floating shelves offer easy access to their books and they can see the covers so they know what they’re picking out. Practical and cute.

Summer 2019 Cover Story Liz Martin | Photo by Patrick Brickman

Floating Shelves Above Sofa

Another way to incorporate floating shelves in your home is above the sofa. This is a great place to rest smaller books in little stacks, mixed in with décor, candles, and plants. Make sure to leave enough room in between the shelves to have books standing up and for your plants to grow. If you’re going to display books this way, try keeping the same color palette throughout the shelves for a cohesive look.

Winter 2020 Cover Story Bolt Farm Treehouse | Photo by Ebony Ellis

Vintage Stacks

If you’re a collector of vintage books, keep them all together and showcase the special pieces. Again, color coordinating helps if possible, but if not, try arranging them by height. You can place vintage stacks throughout your home such as on shelves, or even nicely arranged piles on the floor – next to your favorite reading spot of course.

Fall 2020 Cover Story Megan Stokes | Photo by Patrick Brickman

Showcase in Dining Hutch

A dining hutch is a fun piece to style. Items are slightly hidden since they aren’t just sitting on a table, but with glass doors, it’s obviously still easy to see through. If you’re going to style books in your hutch, incorporate other pieces to draw the eye in. Again, like colors come into play when styling. That doesn’t always have to be the case but like I mentioned, it does help maintain a connected feel.

Winter 2019 Cover Story Chelsea Meissner | Photo by Callie Cranford

Welcoming Stack

Styling an entry table is so fun and books are the perfect element to add. Keep it simple, just a couple, so that it doesn’t feel overwhelming. You can use books for a pop of color if you want an otherwise neutral vignette. White, gold, copper, black, and wood with a few plants keep it feeling very natural. This set up is great for a boho-inspired home.

Fall 2018 Cover Story Jaime Huffman | Photo by Patrick Brickman

Pops of Color

If you aren’t afraid of color, this vignette is for you. Start with your base, in this case the credenza. Then you’ll add on layer by layer. The tray, the lamp, artwork, books in bright colors, and other décor pieces. Stack the books in different pile heights for variation and depth.

Spring 2020 Cover Story Paula Rallis | Photo by Callie Cranford

Kitchen Piles

Styling cookbooks in the kitchen can sometimes be a challenge. You probably don’t want too much clutter and might not have the right space to style them the way you’d like. Well, to limit the clutter, consider separating into a few stacks. If you have an area in your kitchen like above, perfect. But if not, placing smaller stacks throughout will help break up the collection so it’s not just one giant cookbook pile on your counter.