Too often people treat their treasured collection of favorite books as a decorating nuisance, but with the right spirit and eye they can become an asset to any room — one that lends individuality and personality. I’m constantly searching for new and creative ways to display and store my books. Here are a few tips for living stylishly with (millions) of books:
Small spaces, particularly in urban settings, often have to do double duty. Take a lesson from the English and stylish Manhattan apartment dwellers who often turn their dining rooms into libraries. Deep wall colors and a complimentary painted ceiling are the perfect foil for a glittery chandelier and vintage mix-and-match dining seating. Even is you have to eat alone, what could be better than pulling down a favorite book for company?
Don’t be reluctant to mix your books up with other decorative home decor objects. At first glance, the wall console (above) has a kind of undergraduate informality. But the combination with modern ceramic pieces and comic decorative items gives it all a light-hearted style. The whole effect is amplified by a very 21st century ceiling fixture, a modernist sofa, and the funky table lamp on the very adult rattan bar cart. It’s a room for the young at heart, whatever their age.
Your personal library becomes a visual focal point of a room. These modern shelves with the books stacked rather than stored on end has all the character of a conceptual art piece and plays beautifully against the two contemporary floor lamps and the vintage Eames lounge chair. The quiet star of the room, though, is the contemporary chandelier, which somehow harmonizes with the architecture of the bookshelf.
(Portions of this post are from a design piece I wrote recently for Lamps Plus.)