I was down with a summer cold for a few days last week, giving me lots of time to lie on the couch watching Netflix, spending countless hours on my fave website, Houzz.com.
If you haven't discovered this home renovation and decorating website (and if these are subjects you are interested in) then this is your lucky day. Check out Houzz.com where you find thousands of photos of professionally renovated, decorated and staged homes (these are not yourneighbour's reno snapshots) at your fingertips - with filters that allow you to customize your search, build your own personal files and participate in discussions where you can get free decorating advice from professionals (and regrettably sometimes) also from overly enthusiastic non-professionals. Think the biggest, more comprehensive decorating magazine you can ever imagine...and no matter how many times you look at, there are always new images.
I have done it all - perused countless images, read the ideabooks, made my own ideabooks and files, asked questions and posted images of my own house.
I decided to check out their "what to do with books" ideas. You see, we have 500 plus books (and that's pared down) and I was planning to unpack them on the weekend and thought, perhaps there is a more elegant way to showcase our library.
I was amazed at the number of ways books were displayed - that had nothing to do with reading. Here are a few interesting suggestions for decorating (if not reading) from houzz.com - click on the link for the visual.
Books are grouped by colour (this is especially popular on white bookshelves) so you get a row of orange books or a row of green books.
If you have a specific colour scheme in mind, but don't have the books, you can order them from Etsy.com in the colour scheme of your choice and some enterprising young artist will find used books and build a collection for you...not necessarily anything you want to read however.
Book are displayed backwards, pages out. yes, pages out, so only the white end paper is seen. This gives a natural, rough-hewn look. It is mystifying as to how you would find the book you are looking for however.
I've seen hardcover books with the cover ripped off and used as tabletop displays (if you like this look but can't bear to rip the covers off yourself, you can purchase them already destroyed at Restoration Hardware - I wonder what kind of qualifications you need to be a book cover ripper). This one fills me with horror.
Personally I like my library (shown above). Books old and new, from used Penguins to the latest hardcover by my favourite author. Grouped roughly by genre. In classic Ikea Billy bookshelves.
Looks good AND you can find the book you are looking for.