When I was a kid, one of my prized possessions was my hardback book collection of Disney Classics. Like every other four-year-old girl, my favorite story was none other than Cinderella. The book collection is now tucked away in a box in my parent’s storage unit, but my love for hardback books (or Disney for that matter) has not faltered.

Twenty-some years later, I still have an obsession with hardback books. Luckily, Greg has shared my obsession and doesn’t mind me rummaging through the book isles of whatever store we happen to be in. We like to search for books that don’t just have pretty covers, but are about topics we both enjoy.

It’s not a huge collection (we have about twice as many as in the photo. Bentley is sitting on them.), but we want to do something with them and be able to add to them as we find new treasures. But what kind of something? So once again, I scoured the World Wide Web for inspiration on how to use hardback books in the home in a stylish way and this is what I found…

Not all of us have a lofty staircase leading to who knows where in the middle of our living rooms — and for those of you who do, I envy you. I love what the owners of this loft (pictured below) did with their hardback book collection. This can easily be done in any home by installing simple, shallow shelves (kind of like this). The creator of this masterpiece chose books that are different hues of the same set of colors, which makes the collection look as though it’s a piece of art rather than just a bunch of books. At the same time, the collection was made to look as if the color coordination and arrangement happened by accident, which gives it an eclectic, charming vibe.

Mixing a book collection with quirky trinkets and bold accessories is another easy way to make a statement. Keeping the books in the same color families makes a big impact by way of cohesiveness. It’s also a great way to bring in a fun, unexpected color combination like the orange, red, pink and teal combo pictured below. I Β also love how they incorporated the stacks of magazines. By adding small framed photos and artwork in front of each stack, it makes the display interesting and less boring. I just might hold on to this idea when it comes to my office.

Unlike the other two inspiration photos, this particular book collection isn’t tied to any color-scheme. The dark shelving really brings out the book cover’s random colors. Though there are only a few added accessories, notice they are white — which ultimately brings more attention to each individual piece. It also gives what would be dark room a light and airy element. And I’m kind of loving it.

The dark furniture in the above inspiration photo is reminiscent of the entertainment unit in our living room. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the empty shelves wondering what to put there. Now, armed with some inspiration, I’m thinking this may be a good home for our collection of hardback books and maybe some decorative trinkets mixed in here and there.

When we first moved into the house, we stashed accessories and some of our books on the shelves just to get them out of the way. We’ve since taken everything down to start from scratch:

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to wonder around the house to gather our books and maybe a few trinkets to see what we can come up with. I’m also dying to have Greg take care of those pesky wires dangling from the back of the TV (ugh!).

Do you have any special collections you like (or would like) to display in your home? Share it with us in the comment section…

Inspiration photos courtesy of DecorPad, Lonny Mag and Jonathan Adler.

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  • Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I love hardback books! Especially big, huge coffee table ones. Too bad they usually cost and arm and a leg. I think I’ll stick to collecting vintage coloring books (hehe).

  • Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I love books. I’m a without a doubt a total bookworm. There’s nothing better than a good book and some Earl Gray tea.

    I love the loft book display! That’s so unique. I would hate to dust it though!

  • Reply
    Mindy @ Heart Maine Home
    February 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    My husband has a collection of old engineering books that belonged to his great-grandfather, plus a couple old editions of plays (he was into theater in college). We put them out on a bookshelf in our living room, coordinated by color and stacked with other trinkets — shells and rocks we’ve collected, wedding and honeymoon momentos, etc. You can see it all here!

    I love the orange, teal and pink book collection with photos in front — beautiful!

  • Reply
    Beth H.
    February 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Because of your post, I’m now thinking about doing a whole wall in our dinning room with the shelves u mentioned and start collecting hardback books. I LOVE that idea! I think my husband will too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I love the second photo. Making my bookcases look uniform is somewhat of an obsession of mine so this post is great for me!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    My husbands grandparents for Christmas last year gave us three of their old cameras, we both love photography. I want to get more, but am struggling with displaying them. We have an entertainmet unit that is kind of as open as yours & I hadn’t considered using it to display our cameras… for thought.

  • Reply
    Krista from Hopeless Chest
    February 8, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with. I’m constantly rearranging the shelves around our TV!

  • Reply
    February 9, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Here’s something for your TV wires since they’re partially exposed in your entertainment shelf πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      February 9, 2011 at 12:04 am

      Oh my goodness! Those are adorable! Thanks for the link πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    February 9, 2011 at 7:59 am

    We use the standard cable zippers for our wires. I also saw Sabrina Soto once do a metal panel that all the wires went through that she then painted the same color as the wall. It blended really well!

    We have a ton of books, hardback and paperback and I LOVE the loft look! We have four bookshelves that I am constantly rearranging to change things up. I really want to do the look where all the books are arranged by color, but I ‘shop’ my shelves frequently and I’d never be able to find anything!

  • Reply
    Eric @
    February 9, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with for both arranging the books, as well as hiding the cables. Have you considered moving the two tall towers together, and making the unit more asymmetrical?

    • Reply
      February 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm

      Hmm, we haven’t tried that. That’s something to think about… thanks for the idea πŸ™‚

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