Bibliophile Style: Book-Smart Decorating Ideas

updated Oct 13, 2020
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(Image credit: Livet Hemma)

Fact: reading never goes out of style. But as many of us are ditching paperbacks for e-readers, our homes are filled with stacks and stacks (and stacks) of reading materials we don’t often pick up. Instead of tossing (or donating) these texts, why not celebrate some favorites by putting them front and center in your decor, and repurpose copies you’re unlikely to read as wallpaper or a nightstand. This one’s for you, fellow bibliophiles.

Above: The stylists at IKEA’s blog Livet Hemma papered this bedroom wall in book pages and sheet music. If you DIY this idea, use pages torn from gardening books, woodworking guides, and others books that reflect your interests.

In a reading nook featured in Country Living, books stack up to the ceiling—and also suspend down from it. Homeowner Erin Pata crafted the floating book mobiles from tomes no one would miss, such as California Real Estate Law.

In the bathroom of his Sag Harbor, New York home, decorator Steven Gambrel covered the walls with natural wonders pulled from a reissue of Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. The effect, captured here by Town & Country magazine, is stunning in this small space.

(Image credit: Tamara Gavin)

Put your old college textbooks to use by decoupaging them on an accent wall. In his dining room above, Jove papered one wall with pages from a vintage art history book.

(Image credit: Stadshem)

This method of storing books lets you highlight a few favorites. Tack a long piece of string to the wall, tie a large wooden bead on the other end, and let your favorites reads hang out. Check out the rest of this minimalist home from Stadshem (and see how they use this inventive technique in other rooms) on Coco Lapine Design.

(Image credit: Design Every Day)

If you have some plywood and some books, you have everything you need to assemble this headboard. Learn how the one above was built from $1 thrift store texts on Every Day Design.

(Image credit: Sanna & Sania)

That stack of books piling up next to your bed naturally lends itself to being used as a nightstand. Follow Sanna & Sania‘s lead and take it one step further by glueing the books together and coating them with white paint.

(Image credit: AB Chao)

If your fireplace is purely decorative, fill it with colorful books stacked in every direction, as shown above from AB Chao. Place a comfy chair nearby so your reading materials are always within reach.

(Image credit: Design Sponge)

Don’t judge your books by their covers; prop design and photography books open to a favorite spread so they can act as art, as shown above from Design Sponge.

Want even more ideas for incorporating books into your decor? Check out these 10 People Who Love Penguin Book Covers.