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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Designing With Books

Collecting books is one of my great passions, so much can be learnt about someone, by a casual glance through their bookcase. Here are some ideas about making your collection a bit more decorative. Enjoy!

1. I love to use books to create warmth and personality in a room. The different topics speak about your interests and values.

2. I like to use books stacked on tables to lift and provide height for lamps or framed pictures, they provide a wonderful opportunity to give height and scale to your collections.

3. A lovely corner in a Living Room is an ideal spot to create your own personal library, if you don’t have a whole room you can dedicate to it. A comfortable chair, a small table and a lamp and you are good to go.

4. When organizing your books, be a little freer, don’t be ties to anything as rigid as the Dewey Decimal System, what about organizing by author, topic or even by color. Just be sure to have some order, there is nothing worse than spending hours trying to find your favorite tome.

5. One of my favorite rooms of all time is a small Library that I turned into a Dining Room for eight. It created the perfect backdrop for intimate dinners surrounded by works of wonder.

6. Paperbacks? We all have them; I like to cover them all in heavyweight paper. Usually I use an off white, but I have been known to use splashes of color, or what about alternating black and white for a stark, rhythmic look, or even choose a different color for each or your favorite authors or subjects (my Dianna Vreeland books are all in red of course).

7. My favorite places to buy books? Nothing completes a trip to New York without a trip to Potterton Books or Rizzolli, San Francisco of course has Stouts, and who can go to Santa Monica without a quick stop by at Hennessy and Ingalls for a few “essentials”? Paris I always stop in at the Librairie Des Antiquaires for an amazing selection of antique books on the decorative arts, and in London Thomas Heneage Art Books, can take me a whole day.

8. The internet is also a great resource for all sorts of books too, some of my favorite sites: Amazon.com (I am addicted to the 1-click option), Alibris.com is a search engine that combs the collection of a huge group of independent booksellers across the nation, and of course Ebay.com (who knew I need a book on how to create my own parade float)?

9. My favorite book is Old World Inspiration for American Architecture published by the Portland Cement Company in 1929. It is a constant reference for historical precedents, a constant inspiration.

10. I love to give and receive books that I or my friends have already read. There is something romantic about poring over pages that others have already gleaned, it like sharing the experience together.


cellopatch said...

Wow what a great blog site. I'm learning sooooo much about design. Though it sounds like you might need a 10-step program for all these books (maybe 12 steps would be needed). It ain't pretty bucko. Though you do know alot of celebrites......

Mark Cutler said...

Thanks! I really don't think my books are a problem, I think that they are sooo great to have around, they allow you to get inspiration from all of the greatest minds out there

Anonymous said...

I really love decorating with books as well. It adds a personal touch and can be a great conversation starter! I like to change them around every so often so that friends and family have something new to look at that maybe they have not seen before!

Icy said...

My problem is finding enough room for all the books I own. Billy bookcases from Ikea are a good, cheap alternative if you can't have them built into a room (one day I'll have a dedicated library). Adding glass shelves to the bookcase is a great way of displaying other items.