Thursday, January 13, 2011

Decorating with Books

The new Pottery Barn catalog came in the mail yesterday. I like the direction they're going, but couldn't get my mind around the "bundle of books" above. This is what Pottery Barn says about the description:

"Avid readers know that a stack of books can be a comforting sight. We've taken authentic vintage books and turned them into art objects by removing their covers and binding them together in sets of four. Neutral in color with deckled and uneven pages, they bring relaxed style to a bookcase, mantel or side table."

Ok, why remove the covers on vintage books? And why bundle them together? I don't get it!

Here are some authentic vintage books on my bookshelf that are neutral in color. It's true, they are a comforting sight for this avid reader.

Pottery Barn continues the description:
"Each bundle features four real books with covers removed so that they are all paper.
Pages are glued shut and books are tied together with twine....

....Purely decorative; content and title are not important."
Although the cover fell of this book, its content and title are still very important.

This avid reader is not comforted knowing the pages are also glued shut!
So why pay $39 for four books that are completely unreadable? Oh, I forgot, they are "purely decorative....."

Pottery Barn was right about the comforting sight of a stack of books.

Which brings me to the subject of "Decorating with Books."
Books have always been an integral part of the decor in our homes.
Even if it's just a dictionary or a Bible, they are an important part of our lives.
They can also be the anchor in a room, like the library above.

Libraries are also a comfort, at least for me.
Alassandra Branca's red library is simply wonderful!
I hope to someday create a room like this in my home.

Another favorite image is this library designed by Jeffrey Bilhuber.

There is definitely an art to arranging books on a shelf. I came across a great tutorial by Elizabeth Mayhew of House Beautiful on how to design a bookshelf so that it is more than just a bunch of books all lined up.

Step One: Empty your shelves. Then paint the backs, or line with wallpaper.

Step Two: Sort books by size and color. Line books, some vertically, some horizontal on the shelves.
This will alleviate the monotony of rows.

Step Three: Fill unused space with attractive boxes that can also be used for storage.

Step Four: Start adding family photographs, ceramics or other objects d'art.

Step Five: Be daring and hang a print on the shelf moulding.

The finished bookcase. Isn't it beautiful?
This is what I call "Decorating with Books!"

(Disclaimer: No books were harmed in the process. Their covers were not ripped off, their pages were not glued shut and they were not tied up with twine.)

Now, go read a book!

PS: I still love you Pottery Barn!


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