Books are among my favorite companions. Over time, one’s books become a patchwork quilt of personal history, representing accumulated knowledge, quirky interests, sentimental hopes, moments in time. And they’re portable, waiting to be pulled out anytime we have a few minutes to pleasantly pass. What other friend can you say that about?
In the same way our books represent us, so, of course, does the way we choose to decorate our home. And given the place books have in my heart, it seems natural to gather them around me in my nest. Yes, there are bookshelves — my dream is to one day have a full wall of built-ins — but why stop there?
Here are 18 ways to incorporate your paper friends into your living space. Let’s take a look, book lovers.
Such a pretty faded palette in this photo of a bookshelf.
Bookshelf photo, $12, Etsy
This vintage book, carved into any letter of the alphabet, would work nicely as a bookend.
Carved book, $16, Etsy
Not just a pillow — a body pillow. Cuddle up.
“Read” pillow cover, $48, Etsy
Party lighting with a little literary something different.
Book luminaria garland, $55, Etsy
A scaled-down, more manageable version of wallpapering with book pages.
Image: Natalie Parker
In the great bookshelf organization debate — by author or by color? — I’m pretty firmly on the side of the former. But I do love the way color coding looks, as exemplified by this wall of books, a prominent design feature in the room.
Image: Jen Altman
Combining practicality with a sense of humor, and looking good at the same time.
Image: Maria-Teresa Capelle-Burny
This contemporary nod to Shakespeare has such a clean, graphic feel.
Shakespeare print, $12, Etsy
There are so many ways to go with framing books, book covers, individual pages — including this gorgeous example with a 3-D effect. I want to do this.
Image: Jason Schulte
This garland — turning book pages into leaves — started out as a decoration for a book-launch party, but it works just as well as a permanent installation.
Image: The Nester
A set of vintage books is an easy way to add some texture to a monochromatic scheme.
Set of vintage books, $21, Etsy
Jane throw pillow
P&P, with the classic Penguin cover in pink. So cute.
Jane Austen pillow cover, $25, Etsy
I love this storage solution — using a non-working fireplace to hold books and bring a pop of color to the corner of a room.
Image: Lesli DeVito
James Dean in glasses
Printing on book pages seems to be a thing lately, as in, this rumpled James Dean with a book. Wearing glasses.
James Dean print, $9, Etsy
Strips of pages are curled and made into a wreath, for the holidays or every day.
Image: Kellie Dykast
A rustic ladder becomes a bookshelf/art installation/conversation piece in this pass-through area. Love it.
Image: Red Image Photography
Literary bus roll
A list of fictional locations styled as English bus stops, on a tea towel. Let’s wash dishes!
Linen tea towel, $20, Etsy