10 May 2009

Decorating with Books

I found a new use for my beautiful, old china cabinet as a bookcase for my collection of favorite books that belonged to my beloved Grandpap.


Books aren't just paper and ink to me. They are memories. Their value goes far beyond the price on the jacket cover. (Which is why I'm rarely able to part with one.)


Memories of the people who gave them to me...
The grandparents who wanted to share their love of reading from the moment I was born...
Memories of the Grandpap who was almost entirely self-educated through his love of books...
Memories of easy times spent laying on the beach...
Memories of more difficult times when I sought help from the pages of a book...


Because of the glass front and the lighting, it's nearly impossible to get pictures without reflection or glare, so I opened up the cabinets so you can see inside.


Because of the shelves and vertical framing, I treated each section as an individual window.



What do you do with your books?

Related posts:
What my hutch used to look like
Family room redesign by Layla
Updating a sofa on a budget

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The winner of the $50 gift certificate from Dayspring is...Conny from The Heart of my "Haus". Congratulations! Email me and we'll get you set up.

25 comments {Click here to leave a comment}:

Kathie @ my net finds said...

I love it, great job Kimba!!! Thank you for posting, the timing is perfect! I am having trouble finding a bookcase (that isn't made of cheap materials)and now I think this idea is much better :-)

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I don't have many old, hardback books (my grandma sure does!), but the ones I do have I keep on the built-in bookshelves. I have tons and tons and tons of paperbacks, some from college (English major), some fiction, parenting books, etc. Those all seem to just get shoved in the random bookshelf we have, or sent to the used bookstore. I don't really know what to do with the paperbacks I don't want to part with....

Sarah Mae said...

Oh Kimba, this post is the way to my heart. I LOVE books - must have them on display just like you have (although I have an old bookcase). My husband doesn't understand why I don't get rid of them, but they are like my babies.

Lovely what you have done! :)

Hopefull said...

That looks beautiful - every little touch

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

I really loved this post...I'm a "book-y" too, and I love how they became art for you. And the accessories you chose to display them with are PERFECT!

Marie said...

Love what you did with your hutch! You've given me some inspiration today. My living room & dining room are share one big room. My hutch is across the room from the entertainment center/shelving unit. So I've tried to decorate one with books, etc. and the hutch with plates, etc. I like how you've arranged your books and mixed in decor. Beautiful! Thank you.
Blessings,
Marie
blog: http://emmacallsmemama.com
email: marie@waltercom.com

Gina @ The Shabby Chic Cottage said...

You know I never even considered adding books to my china cabinet. I'm a writer for goodness sake! This looks fab! I'm so going to add in some for interest!

Denise @ A Room With A View said...

I've bought books with no intention of reading them JUST because of how pretty they were and how nicely they'd match my decor!! Nice post. I have some antiques looking for a home. Better get busy.

Vanilla Lavender said...

Lovely!

Jill said...

I decorate with mine too...they are great "fillers" and I also can't part with them!

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Being from a publishing family, we have tons of books. Not to mention that my husband has a million books all of his own that he likes to keep on hand for studying different topics. :-) Love your hutch! It looks great!

Holly said...

I do keep some of my books. I understand about hanging on to the memories attached. . .We don't have a lot of space, so the books I decide to let go of, I donate.

I love the covering on the back of your china cabinet shelves! :)

Melissa said...

I feel the same way about books as you do...and can hardly ever get rid of them. I love to read...so I can justify that as well. Unfortunately, I really don't have a place to store my books right now. My husband and I are wanting to buy a nice bookshelf, but are having trouble finding one. :( I love how you've made use of your china cabinet!

Melissa :D

Ruth Ann said...

I have a china cabinet similar to yours and I use the bottom shelf to store my cookbooks on it! I love the way it looks with books in it!

Themis0307 said...

Found your blog through SITS. This post had me at hello. I love books! Not many understand that books have personality and LIFE! Thanks for posting!

Conny said...

WE LOVE BOOKS!!! and I love Kimba - and I love her give-away - that I won!!!! I rarely win anything so I'm sooooo excited!!!

Caroline said...

Oh i love decorating with books!! My bedroom is full of them in arrangments!

FOR THE SAKE OF TIME said...

Kimba - What a treasure those books are from your grandfather. Family momentos make a home. They draw you closer in to the place where you find peace with yourself and with the family you belong to.

Thanks for sharing.

Charla

debianne said...

I also have my books in a similar old china top that I found at a garage sale for $5.00.
I have all my grandfathers books. He loved romance books written by Myrtle Reed and he underlined in them and wrote in the margains. I love seeing his thoughts all these years later (he's been gone over 35 years!)

Astrid said...

I have wayyyyy too many books. I've already got a library in my house that is loaded with books and I still have more books in boxes that haven't been opened in ages. I'm actually trying to figure out what to do with all of them...most of them are in German. I'm sick and tired of hanging on to books that might be enjoyed by someone else. We've lugged them half way across the world- it's time they find a new home.
Anybody got any suggestions on what to do with a ton of German books?

Meredith said...

I display mine, by color, in long half bookshelves that span one wall in the living room. I also hate parting with books, but try to force myself to take a few of my favorites to the used bookstore every so often--I've found so many books that I love there, and I feel like I need to "pass it on".

I've never understood buying fake books for decorating

HeathahLee said...

LOVE that hutch! And you know I'm so sappy sentimental I LOVE the story behind it and all those books!

I have books here and there throughout the house used for decorating, but not near as much as I'd like. I will have to come up with some more ideas!

Southern Fried Gal said...

Oh goodness - confessions! I decorate with my books. I don't like to read but DH does so we make a great pair - ha! I love to buy old books at estate sales but I am more drawn to the cover and color than the content - sick, eh?

Becky said...

I love books too. I love to read them and then put them on my bookshelf. My latest purchase is a book titled, "Liquid Mirror" by Kelly La Sha which is great about creating positive energy in your life. Having books around me makes me happy and promotes my good energy, is my philosophy.

Todd said...

Love the fleur de lis!

You're doing some great things with those books Kimba. Awesome ideas.

Love the layout of your blog, too.

Keep up the great work!