12 Unique Ways to Style Books — How Designers Use Reading Material to Elevate Decor

From vintage trunks to bar carts, suffice to say you won’t be missing your bookcase after perusing this chic selection of unique ways to style books

floating book shelves
(Image credit: Future)

Some of the most stylish people I know are surrounded by books — they’re everywhere. And no, their homes aren't chaotic; instead, books are seamlessly integrated into the decor, serving as usable decorative items that exude an air of class and erudition. Beyond just adding an intellectual flair, books are inherently beautiful, offering glimpses into our interests, goals, and dreams. It feels only natural to leverage them for more than just reading.

However, if books are to take center stage and venturing beyond the best bookshelves, it's wise to be selective. “Books don't just have to be for reading — they can also serve as decor,” says interior designer and TileCloud co-founder, Floss Kelly. Although I of course recommend choosing books to buy that you actually want to read, for display purposes the criteria is a little different. "Choose books with interesting covers or spines that complement your room's color scheme,” Floss suggests.

As an Aquarius, I'm always eager to venture off the beaten path and embrace something new. But don't just take my word for it — listen to the design experts. Each of these inventive book display ideas comes straight from a designer or home aficionado, so feel confident in exploring something different. After all, the world is your library — why not dive in?

And if you're not ready to part with your beloved bookshelves, don't fret! Here are the top 12 bookshelves to make your living room look more expensive.

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Consider the best minimalist bookshelves to seriously elevate your space.

Julia Demer
Style editor

Formerly covering fashion at L’Officiel USA, style maven Julia Demer brings her love of design to Livingetc’s world of interiors. As the title’s Style Editor, Julia's work reflects a sharp eye for detail and an innate passion for aesthetics. Her journey began with a strong foundation in design, honing her craft at renowned establishments like The Row and even establishing her own eponymous fashion brand. Julia’s design background is evident in the way she thoughtfully curates shopping edits, always maintaining a focus on emerging trends while preserving timeless sensibilities. For Julia, fashion and interiors go hand in hand, reflecting her lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of style.