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When It’s Perfectly Acceptable to Judge a Book by Its Cover

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 at 10:00am Engel & Völkers

By Katelyn Castellano 

Built-in shelves can add grandeur, sophistication and dimension to a room, but they can also hold quite a lot of responsibility. Silly, you say? The modern-day "shelfie" is proof that today's shelves have a whole lot to say about homeowner personality – these aren't your grandmother's bookcases. So if you find yourself face-to-face with a blank canvas, consider using books as your secret design weapon to create the perfect blend of style, charm and identity for your home décor.

  1. Where to Start: 
    Browse the books you have in your home that mean something to you. Consider purging or donating some of your guilty pleasure paperbacks and focus on classics or hardcovers that you enjoy and that represent your interests. If you aren’t a natural bookworm, you might need some additional resources. Many local libraries have special sections for purchase or seasonal sales to buy books at significantly discounted prices. You can also find treasures online, at thrift stores and in the bargain sections of chain bookstores.

  2. Binding Design: 
    While you may be drawn to a book’s cover, it’s important to focus on the binding. Ask yourself: does this book's binding fit within or complement my existing color scheme? Consider throwing in a striped design or pop of color for contrast to mix things up. Titles matter! Guests are known to peruse, so make sure book titles won’t lead to any embarrassing conversations you aren’t prepared to have.

  3. Small Batches: 
    Whether vertically or horizontally stacked, just a few small batches of books (in groups of 2-5) can do wonders. If your books range in size, start from largest to smallest. You can also use books to create a small pedestal for a picture frame, small plant or decorative orb to keep the eye moving.

There's a fine balance between scarcity and clutter. It’s always a good idea to have a friend help validate your design decisions. Happy decorating ... and reading! 

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