How to Decorate Your Home With Vintage Books

The almost universal appeal of vintage books makes them a perfect decorating choice. Most antique books are beautiful and deserve to be showcased around your home. This article suggests the different ways you can decorate your home with your vintage books.

Steps

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    Don’t limit yourself to a vertical arrangement. Not all books have to stand upright on a bookshelf.
    • Stack 2 or 3 books on a chair.
    • Display a book on your coffee table. A beautiful leather-bound book with gilded page edges is an elegant decorative touch.
    • Stack vintage cookbooks on top of a cupboard or sideboard.
    • Put a few books on your stair landing (if there is enough room so that they don’t become a tripping hazard)
    • Place a few books on a bathroom table or shelf if your bathroom is well-ventilated and the books are not valuable.
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    Wrap a satin ribbon or some Jute string around a stack of books and place them on a hall table or corner shelf.
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    Rearrange your bookshelves to create a color scheme. Put books of the same color on a bookshelf and accent it with a decorative or unusual bookend. For example, shelve 4 or 5 books with purple bindings upright on your bookshelf and place an amethyst crystal or lavender candle at one end to complement the color of the book binding.
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    Utilize very old, but not valuable books, by distressing them even further:
    • Rip the bindings off 2 or 3 books that are already falling apart. Tie the books together with Jute string or ribbon and stack them on a table.
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    Showcase valuable books in a bookshelf with glass doors. The books will be preserved and protected in a climate-controlled environment.
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    Display a few vintage gardening books in on a corner table in your sunroom. Place a vase of fresh flowers next to the books.
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    Stack books on each shelf of a wooden étagère or on a wooden ladder.
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    Display some of your books in recessed alcoves. You can also place books in unusable spaces, such as a high, recessed alcove.

Tips

  • Find old books at flea markets and tag sales.
  • Libraries hold periodic sales of books they are discarding. Buy some library-discarded books and remove the library label found on the binding. You can also remove the dust jacket completely.
  • Stagger the heights of your bookshelves and leave room on the shelves for art work or knickknacks.
  • Try putting a single volume on a bookshelf and flank it with themed bookends. For example, flank a book about seafaring with ship bookends.

Warnings

  • It’s a good idea to research the value of any vintage book you own. Rare and valuable books should always be protected; put them in a climate-controlled environment, such as a bookcase with glass doors. You can look up the value of your books at Abe Books.com. [1]

Things You’ll Need

  • Old books or books without dust jackets
  • Satin ribbon or Jute string (optional)
  • Bookends (optional)

Sources and Citations

  • Book decorating ideas
  • Marie Proeller Hueston, Decorating with Books, (New York, NY: Hearst Books, 2006)

Article Info

Categories: Home Decorating