Design tips for the bookworms

By Teja Lele Desai
  (Source: Getty Images)

A room without books is like a body without a soul — this saying by Roman philosopher Cicero couldn’t be truer. Especially in today’s pandemic-ridden times that have forced us to stay indoors. After all, books are to the mind what exercise is to the body, and perhaps it’s time to turn our attention to our best friends: books.

There was a time when you packed books into your bookcase, and forgot about them. Over time, all those books — novels, comics, magazines, and coffee table books — aimlessly piled across rooms. Putting them together in a bookshelf can help create a new décor element that shows off your choices and fixations.

Designing a bookshelf is both a science and an art. Since there are no fixed rules, you have to use your creativity to make your shelf look the best it can be.

We give you seven ways you can get started:

Group by colour. You can give your bookshelf a colourful look by grouping your books according to colour. If you have several green-coloured books, place them according to their shades. Start with the darkest green or with the lightest green and continue till you reach the very end. Then add the next colour, and so on. Try to group books that are of the same height together to create a homogeneous look.

Highlighted background. How about painting the back of your shelf with a dark colour like charcoal grey, aqua or white, if that fits in with the rest of your design? You could even paste wallpaper of different colours and get a shelf that really stands out. Experiment with gift wrappers or coloured fabric in the background to create a background that is the perfect background for your book collection.

Go for an eclectic mix. A lot of people opt for books lined in a row. Why not mix them up? Place some books flat with their titles observable and put an artefact on top of them to give a touch of elegance. Make some space in-between books that are propped up straight for another accessory — think photo frames, candles, dried flowers, and more. Do this all along your bookshelf.

Space-saving options. If you find that a traditional bookshelf is taking up too much space in your medium-size home, use innovative ways to stock your books. You can try mounting your shelf high up on the wall — an impressive style statement. The backs of doors can also be used to store books.

Horizontal and vertical. To stand out of the crowd, place your books in both horizontal and vertical rows. If you do this, make sure the height and number of the two blocks of books is symmetrical.

Add some art. Decorate your bookshelf with artwork. You can place postcards, frames or even small sculptures in the spaces between blocks of books. How and where you place the art work will depend on the shape, size and style of your shelf.

Make it movable. Craft your bookshelf in such a way that it is mobile. In this way, you can shift the location of your bookshelf at will. A mobile bookshelf will obviously have to be small or of medium size. It can also function as an impromptu table or small island.

Think of your bookshelf as a blank canvas that you can play around with — much like how an artist paints. A selection of books, curios, candles, collectibles, and artwork can transform a potentially dead wall into a game-changer for any room. So, bring out those books and get started with putting them together to enhance the look and feel of your space. Your room will thank you for it!


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