Thursday, October 18, 2012

42 UHeart Organizing: Books Galore!

For me, there is something about a book that technology will never replace.  The colors.  The feel.  Turning physical pages.  Whenever I get the chance to curl up on the couch, I prefer looking through books vs. reading on the iPad or laptop.  And I am excited to continue to grow my collection of good reads, not only for myself, but for my kiddos as well.  But those books pile up.  So Megan, from Honey We're Home, is here today to share how she keeps all of her books kept and displayed around their lovely home.


Over the years, our family has amassed quite a collection of books.  My husband and I both love to read, and, although he has recently become an iPad reader, I'm still an old-fashioned, paper bound kind of girl.  The question becomes, though, what do you do with all your books?  We have donated tons,  but I like to keep most hardcovers around as I believe the books in our home tell a story about our lives and who we are.  They proclaim our interests, hobbies, and sometimes desires or fantasies {50 Shades anyone??! Am I the only person who hasn't read that book yet?!}

Books bring life to a room in the way they are collected and displayed.  I like them in almost every room of our house; in bookshelves, on tables, and in nightstands.  You can stand them upright or lay them on their sides, spines facing out or in,  jackets on or off.  You can even pile them on the floor in a deliberate stack.  Some people organize their books by color, subject, or author.  I've seen books beautifully recovered in wrapping or specialty paper to change the look.  

Below are photos of my home and how I've styled rooms using books as decorative objects.  


LIVING ROOM

We are fortunate to have a large custom built-in media center in our family room.  It's the focal point of the room and I wanted it to be full of books, photos, and necessary objects, like our tissue box and clock.  As you can see, I used all hardcover books as they are the prettiest and most substantial, and varied the colors to bring some energy to the room.   I tried to keep the shelves visually balanced by having some symmetry between the right and left sides of media center.  

I "cheated" (haven't read) and bought some of these books at Half-Priced Books in the clearance section because I wanted similar height books for the top row in varying colors.  Another great find for books is garage sales!  They typically go for pennies!


Have fun with your books, it's okay to lay them horizontal and top them with decorative objects since you're most likely not pulling them out to read everyday anyway.  Think of them like art and get creative with the placement.  I probably agonized way too long over the styling of this media cabinet (and I still play around with it from time to time), but that's the fun part, arranging and rearranging things until they look pleasing to your eye.




BEDROOM SITTING AREA

In our bedroom, my main focus for the bookshelf was books that were serene in color, to flow with the rest of the bedroom.  I chose shades of tan, aqua, and white. 



And in the shelves where our television sits, I added a few more vibrantly colored books and some decorating books, since that's what I'm most likely to be reading in here. 




HOME OFFICE

Books provide a great opportunity to create a vignette in a room.  For example, in my office, I placed four books on a bright yellow tray, and topped it with a fun-patterned dish and vase of daisies.  I think the arrangement looks playful and cute. 



I like how the white books contrast against the bright pink-lacquered box and paper weight. 


You can also think outside the box when it comes to bookends.  This lovely white ceramic owl does the trick pretty well, as does the box above. 



HALLWAY

I had to have one moment of a rainbow bookshelf.  This has been with us for two years and I'm already itching to change it up, but it was fun for awhile.



NURSERY

Being 2 1/2, our son isn't a baby anymore, but nurseries and kid rooms offer lots of opportunities to bring in books with special memories for our children.  The fuzzy bible was a gift from my mom to our son, and the bible below that was mine when I was a child.



KITCHEN

I am a self-proclaimed cookbook addict.  As you can see, I've got every Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and lots of others.  There are more in my pantry, but my favorites are stored in the kitchen island for easy assess.  I like the punch of color the books bring to our mostly-white kitchen.  The horizontal books act as bookends for the vertical books.


I hope this post inspires you to get creative with your books.  Thanks for having me Jen!  


"My name is Megan and I am a lawyer by day, design and decor lover by night, and Mama to the sweetest 2-year old boy you've ever seen. I'm passionate about fitness (and chocolate!) and could not live without my relationships, girl talk, and my morning coffee. I've been blogging for two years over at Honey We're Home, sharing my love of keeping things organized and beautiful at our house.  My efforts to live in the moment and cook more are an adventure in progress."



42 comments:

  1. I would love to see a post on how to deal with piles of books, especially kids' books. It's great that my kids love to read, but the books seem to be consuming our living room! I am certainly not buying MORE books just because they look pretty, and the ones we have aren't necessarily just the right color or height. Plus we have a toddler, so they are all over the floor, all the time.

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  2. i love that one of the books on display in your office is titled "books do furnish a room."

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  3. Love the look and feel of books as well. I've edited quite a few down to cut down on dusting and clutter, but they really do add character to a room!

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  4. I wish I had more bookshelves!

    http://www.shilohstaste.com

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  5. Great post Megan! I love books too and have most of them on display but I'm envious of your extensive collection! It's a purchase I never never regret!

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  6. This is a little ironic for me as I literally just spent an afternoon a few weeks back organizing the bookshelf in my living room. While I've been in my new home over 2 years, a lot of my books remain in boxes at my mother's, so I'm slowly building up my collection again. I love mixing books with ornaments, although I don't have too many as I hate to dust but it is interesting how positioning your books makes a difference to how a shelf looks. And it's so easy to do!
    Major book envy at the amount of books here! Although I can't imagine buying a book just for decor, they are definitely meant for reading and enjoyment!

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  7. So gorgeous! Every item has it's home! I adore the color-coded bookshelf! I tried that once and ended up not being able to keep it up! I need a dose of organization again!

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  8. Thanks for sharing all the ways you display books in your home! I like that the books are accessible and look inviting to read. I enjoyed seeing your creativity!

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  9. What a gorgeous, organized, color-coordinated home! I love that you embrace books. :)

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  10. I love it!! Your rainbow shelves are great! I love using large books as decor. I have the entire PB collection and in addition to being great to refer to, the colors of the book slleves are great !!

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  11. If you think of your books as decor, or have room on your shelves for knickknacks, trust me, you do not have that many books.

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  12. Oooh love decorating with books! I've had a kindle for about a year, so haven't bought too many new books, but hoping to get more for decorative purposes. Also, love Megan's blog!

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  13. Megan, I love your decorating ideas; really I do. Here's what I want to know, though, I have a 2 year old as well, who loves nothing more than to throw books off any bookshelf he STAY pretty on the shelves and on the side tables? Really, if you could just tell me how they stay anywhere except in a heeping pile on the floor I would be very greatful!

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  14. Love your book displays. I too am a cookbook (and cooking magazines) addict. I wish I could store mine like that. So pretty and easy access.

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  15. Megan, can you tell me more information about the book titled "Porsche 911" (author, publisher, etc)? It is my hubby's dream to restore one and I would love to check the book and maybe surprise him!

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    1. I'll have to go check- I know I got that one at Half Priced Books.

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    2. it is in both the bedroom and living room...must be a good one!

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  16. Megan, BTW, you aren't the only one who hasn't read Fifty Shades... I started it and never finished. Couldn't stand to fill my mind with that garbage.

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  17. As you know, I too am a book lover. Most rooms in our home are filled with them. I love the way you display them. And agree, they tell so much about the people living there. And, I too am one of those that bought 50 shades (book club was reading it) but never finished it...such a waste of time.

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  18. Great post! This home looks awesome and all the books and colors!

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  19. I'm in love with the entertainment center in your first picture. Where did you get it?

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  20. We are book lovers over here as well. You have displayed them in such gorgeous ways in your home. The rainbow shelves are my favorite.

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  21. OMO. I love your house! Living in a p[lace full of books, or where I could see books wherever I look has always been my dream. Sadly, I only have one bookshelf that cramp up my love for books. Someday, I want to have this kind of setting. :))

    Nice decorating. Though I think it would be pretty nice to decorate the room with all the books you've pre-loved, instead of buying for the sake of decoration. Hehe, but I guess it can't be helped. You're a designer, and you need color coordination at least. But still, nice. :)))

    xoxo,
    Riza of http://rzzzp.blogspot.com/

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  22. Thanks for having me Jen. We have given away and donated lots of books over the years, but some I just can't bear to part with:)

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  23. I have heard of books organized by size, author, and subject, but color??? I'm even more surprised at how awesome it looks!

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  24. I love her home! Books, books, and more books everywhere! Our own collection is also growing now... I'll get to organizing them soon... :)

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  25. What a beautiful home! And those rainbow books....I'm in love!

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  26. Really love your blog and this post has inspired me to do something different with my "bookcases".
    You like to know that you are influencing people all the way here in Cape Town, South Africa....thank you!!
    Blessings and love. xx

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  28. as this is my first comment I have to say that I just love your blogs - Megan and Jen!
    But what touched my heart today is the same sweet and cute fuzzy Bible my kids have at home here in Croatia, Europe! :)
    Boba Travica
    (as I don't have a blog the system signs me as Unknown - sorry)

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    Replies
    1. Boba, Croatia is one place I would love to travel some day! My husband is from Albania, and I know Croatia's coast is similarly spectacular since it is right up the way!! Maybe someday we'll get there... :)
      Anita Y in southern California

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  29. Thanks for assuming up such aces information. I accept bookmarked you and will abide in band with your new posts. I like this post, accumulate autograph and accord advisory post...!
    Rinoplasti

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  30. Hello, thank you for your blog, I try to read it every week, it is full of good advices :)
    I love books too, but I wanted to ask you: how to clean books without damaging them? It's such a hard work!

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  31. What a useful entry! Always looking up ways to make the shelves (full of books!) look "designed" and not just cluttered. Love the photos, so helpful!

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  32. I'm with Megan and love to hold books in my hands! I've also recently started using them decoratively as she has, stacking them on their sides and setting a photo or a vase on top of them. Such fun! Love this post.

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  33. i LOVE that rainbow bookshelf! so cute to brighten up a space with no paint! :)
    xo,
    Courtney [http://itsprettycheap.blogspot.com/]

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  34. Megan, I am so happy you posted this because I was just about to ask Jen to consider doing a post about books. I have a specific question about what you do with books you are currently reading. My dilema is that there are always a few books that I am in the middle of reading that sort of need to be out of place in any given room. I'd like to still have a pretty looking "temporary home" for those books, so they are still at my fingertips. Do you have a favorite way, or could you suggest a couple of ideas for keeping those books "out" and yet still somewhat contained while they are waiting for me to finish them? Thank you! Anita Y. in southern California

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  35. This post was inspirational. I would love to see how individuals organize their children's books so that it looks good, but also easily assessable to young children.

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  36. I have a big bookcase in my living room - thanks for the inspiration! Can I ask where you got that beautiful paper in your bedroom bookcase? Love it ;)

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  37. After homeschooling both of our children through high school we have gotten rid of the equivalent of 20 banker boxes full of curriculum. I never sold it off year after year because of moving, stuff being in storage and the three year age span and learning differences of our kids. Let me just say that I could still start my own library and that doesn't even include the four bookcases between my two kids rooms. (and now they are bringing home stuff from College! Uggghhh) I have even turned floor to ceiling shelves from our now mostly defunct quilt shop into book shelving and it still is overflowing. I would LOVE to be able to use my bookshelves so creatively but there just isn't enough shelves to go around! LOL!

    This is the main reason I bought a Nook from B&N, unless it has to be in hardcopy printed form I buy the ebook version. I have donated boxes of books to good will and the library, more than I can count and recently culled two, three foot stacks just from my cookbook collection!(A whole nother story, sorry for the pun) And still we have so many books, books, books.
    I keep whittling away, as I just want it to become manageable, sigh...

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  38. The Porsche 911 book and Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Crafts must be spectacular books. They appear in many rooms!!

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  39. So much empty space on those shelves! There are probably, what, 350 books total in those pictures? I have more than that in my bedroom!

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