Open a book and your mind can be transported a million miles away while reading it. Close it and put it back on the shelf and suddenly you’re back at home admiring your surroundings. That’s what can happen when you decorate with books. They have that power and part of the appeal is physical. Ask any book lover and she or he will vouch for the way they tickle the senses. From the distinct aroma of paper to eye-catching dust jackets that draw you in, they’re objects of beauty. Harness it to beautify your home.

Wall of Books

The most obvious way to use them in a room is by adding a bookshelf. But take it to another level with shelves covering an entire wall and you just made your room more interesting. Not to mention that folks might equate the number of books you have with intelligence. Regardless, they’re sure to be conversation pieces when guests peruse your selection of titles. A wall of books will also add pops of color to any palette.

Book Wall

Books take center stage with a wall of cubed shelves (Image credit: Rogue-Designs)

Table Accents

Another way to unleash the beauty is by taking advantage of their accent piece qualities on coffee tables, side tables, or nightstands. For example, two or three books stacked on top of each other can serve as an elevated spot for a clock or picture frame. This is particularly useful in creating depth and differing heights to a surface, which is visually stimulating. Additionally, a few with their spines on display supported by bookends can draw the eye around the room and, again, possibly start a conversation.

Books clock end table

These books provide a raised platform for this clock (Image credit: Robin Gibson)

Monochromatic Covers

Still another technique that makes books desirable in decor is the use of monochromatic jacket covers. By replacing the actual dust jacket with a homemade cover in any color, you now have the ability to create a uniformed look. For example, white is very popular right now and in this way, books are added as a design element without interrupting the clean, crisp, chic aesthetic. Any type of paper can be used, too, including wallpaper for varying degrees of texture and drama.


In my opinion, you can ever have too many books. Then, again, I like to read them. But even if you don’t, keep in mind their tranformative powers. From sparking conversations to adding color, rooms often benefit from their addition. Try it at home and see if you agree.