Entryway with Books and Decor

My favorite ways to use books as decor in your home.

I love a good book and have accumulated quite the book collection. As a book lover, I firmly believe a home without books is like a room without windows! Books bring warmth, texture, and personality to our living spaces. They aren’t just meant to be read; they can also be powerful decor elements. Today, I am sharing some of my favorite ways to use books as decor in your home.

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Styled Bookshelves Ideas:

Books come in an endless array of colors, textures, and sizes (did I mention I’m a sucker for a pretty dust cover). So why not use them as decor pieces?? With books, you can play with height, dimension, and color palettes and add depth to shelves, tables, and mantels. The possibilities are endless. Stack books horizontally, arrange them by color, or turn them spine-in for an easy way to add more texture to your home.

  • Mix and Match: Combine your books with cherished items like framed photos, plants, decorative boxes, or sculptures. Try to keep the shelves two-thirds full, allowing room for the eye to rest.
  • Show Your True Colors: Forget strict organization by author or genre. Arrange books by color scheme to create a dynamic rainbow effect or a soothing, monochromatic look on your shelves. If bold color is not for you try grouping all of a single color neutral together. Neutral books stacked together can calming and restful.
  • Stack Them Up: Break up rows of books with horizontal stacks, adding height and visual interest. 
  • Turn Those Pages: Flip some vintage books around to expose their aged pages and add a touch of vintage charm. Vintage books with beautiful, worn covers or interesting typography can also be displayed individually as tiny pieces of art. If you can find leather-bound books at a flea market that interests you, don’t pass them up!

Coffee Table Books

Beautiful flowers and books on a vintage end table.

Coffee-table books (or end tables) are probably my favorite! Here, I display different types of books but concentrate on books with beautiful images. I like that they are conversation starters, and the more interesting books invite guests to browse and explore. Just like other types of home decor, books not only add visual interest to your decor but can also help tell your story. They reflect your interests, hobbies, and experiences. Books as decor can add a touch of quirk and personality to your space.

A side table with coffee table books and a small vintage lamp.
  • Pile ‘Em High: A curated stack of coffee table books becomes a conversation piece in your living room. Choose books focused on something you are passionate about. Art, travel, fashion or design books come to mind.
  • Tray Chic: Corral multiple coffee table books on a decorative tray for a more organized look.
  • Go Big: A single, oversized coffee table book can make a bold statement by itself. 
  • Show off those travels: I love to leave printed family photos inside books about the places I’ve traveled. It’s a great way to remember those special places.
  • Vintage Finds: Vintage art books or a unique photography book with a beautiful cover will add a touch of history and texture to a small table or bookcase.

Nightstand Decor using books:

Books can add a sense of warmth and lived-in comfort to a room, bringing texture to your nightstands. And if you have a lot of space… what about a book nook?

  • Nightstand Stacks: A small stack of current reads adds a cozy touch to your bedside. Add a pretty candle, picture frames, or fresh flowers to complete the restful vibe. 
  • Bookshelf Oasis: A dedicated bookshelf turns your bedroom into a reading sanctuary. Add a comfy chair or a window seat to complete your book nook.
  • Underbed Storage: Keep your TBR (“to be read”) pile neatly stored in decorative boxes or baskets that slide under your bed.
  • Use Books as your nightstand: Stack enough of your beloved books together into a book tower and they can BE your nightstand!
Nightstand with candles and books.

Recipe Books in the Kitchen:

Books are an affordable decor element with endless styling possibilities. If you have an amazing cookbook collection, let’s get it shown! You can rearrange and repurpose recipe books to suit your tastes. In our rental properties, I like to highlight a local cookbook on a stand for our guests to thumb through.

Easel featuring a cookbook
  • Everyday Inspiration in the kitchen: Create a focal point. Display your favorite recipe books on open shelving and thumb through them when looking for dinner inspiration.
  • Vintage Charm: Old cookbooks have beautiful covers and illustrations. Display them with a mini easel to make them part of your kitchen display. This works really well if you decorate for the holidays. 
  • Corral Countertop Clutter: Keep regularly used cookbooks on the counter in a decorative basket, a pretty dough bowl, or a stand for easy access. All would be great options for using books as decor in the kitchen.
Cookbooks stacked on open shelves in a kitchen.

Cocktail Recipe Books:

I am a huge fan of a pretty cocktail and cocktail recipe books let me dream of fancy concoctions. Using them as decor makes me happy. Styling a bar cart or an actual bar with a few recipe books can be a fun way to add a personal touch.

  • Bar Cart Beauties: Showcase a selection of cocktail recipe books on your bar cart. Choose ones with aesthetically pleasing covers or interesting themes for a touch of personality.
  • Mixology Inspiration: Prop open a cocktail book on a bar tray next to your spirits for easy browsing and recipe inspiration when entertaining.
  • Open Shelving in the Kitchen: If you have a dedicated bar area in your kitchen, display your cocktail books on open shelves alongside your glassware and favorite spirits.

Finding Interesting Book Decor:

Etsy, Amazon Used Books, and even eBay can be great sources for beautiful books. Yard sales, thrift stores, and a neighborhood antique store can also be a treasure trove for decorative books with quirky character. You can find a wide selection of genres to fit your aesthetic preference, including historical books with weathered spines, colorful kid books to add a playful touch, beautifully bound classic literature for timeless elegance, or old reference books offering old-world beauty. With a bit of creativity and patience, you can discover hidden gems at these places and transform them into stunning pieces for your home decor.

My Favorite Books as Decor:

Styled Shelves with books, frames and a peace sign.


Rattan Table and a stack of coffee table books with a plant on top.

Floral and Flower Coffee Table Books:

Entry Table with Books and mirror.

Photography Favorites:

Travel Books for Decor:

Styled Books Shelves showing books as decor.

Let Your Books Shine

Remember, when it comes to decorating with books, let your passions guide you. Bookshelves, nightstands, coffee tables, even your kitchen—there’s space for your favorite reads in every room. Show off your favorite authors, interests, or treasured heirlooms with decorative books and create a home that’s uniquely you!

Are you ready to make books part of your decor? Send pics if you do.

Until next time,


You may also enjoy:

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