My name is Emily and I have a problem, a book buying problem. Not for me, of course not.. I don't read :) I have a problem buying books for my kids, they looove reading and I love to encourage this over giving them more toys. However the problem is all of these books have to go somewhere, so I am sharing a few of my Creative ways to store & display books in your home. I figured if I have this problem, there is other well intentioned parents who are filing their kids brain with stories and words, while simultaneously filling up their house with books. Unless you have a whole room dedicated to books, (maybe with multiple stories and a ladder, which I need to visit and sing on like Belle did in Beauty and the Beast) this book situation is a problem in your home too. These ideas of course are also great options for not just kid's books, I do read but most of the time it is a book on my phone or tablet. I have gone to that side, but my kids still enjoy the physical books.
Seriously, I have three book worms. My daughter is especially obsessed with books, reading them, writing her own, or thinking about them. She is almost 9 but has already read Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, she actually daughter herself to read before Kindergarten. My oldest son Caleb is in first grade and has become a great little reader who is happily powering through chapter books now. My youngest Gavin is in Kindergarten and is just at the point of reading small words, he was so excited for kindergarten because he is the only one in the house who cannot read. Luckily for me they all still enjoy us reading a good book together as a family.
Since we had Nora we have kept their books in the living room or sun room, the common areas of the home. Because crawling babies and toddlers with books means they all have to come out of the shelf... ALL THE TIME. It was nice to be able to visually see when one of those messes were being made and stop it before it got out of hand. Oh the days of toddlerhood. As Nora matured and began getting her own books the "common area" in the sun room for all of the books was not working anymore. She needed her own space.
I created this small seating area and reading nook out of two tall and vertical bookshelves. Stacking them on each other. I added the cozy pillows, and the seat cushion is simple patio chair cushions. Nora wanted a window seat and this is as close as we can get with her smaller bedroom windows.
The key to any bookshelf situation it so not overfill them, because it will appear too cluttered and also it is difficult to pull out the books. If you are wanting to have a decorated and functional bookshelf like this my recommendation is to stagger the direction the books are in. Lay some down and stack them on top of each other, another shelf put them on the left, then the next switch it up to the right. It is also fun to add non book items. The items can be used as a book end or to simply add some fun colors.
For Nora's bedroom shelf I added special trinkets that are personal to her. Items she has painted, pictures her cousin drew for her, pictures of Nora or her brothers. Smaller things like that really allow the space to feel personal and also has the bookshelf for like a part of the decor instead of just a storage area.
Another great way to hide away book is to create or get bins to go under the bed. This can be a really useful space that typically gets unused. I created this one out of wood pallets, but there are a ton of options in stores as well for under bed storage. I think books laying with the spine showing would be a really functional way to make this storage idea work without preventing anyone from seeing what book they want.
However, Nora is not the only reader in our home now. Both of my boy's are just getting into books in a big way. I put this little reading nook in their bedroom that I redid last year. Truth be told, this spot will need to be altered to allow more books soon. We are bursting with more books now that Caleb is reading chapter books.
The great part about this nook, is it can be altered very easily. I created most of this bookshelf area out of wood crates. I painted the inside of them a dark green color, the same accent color in their bedroom. It adds just a tiny example of using the bookshelves as a portion of the room decor.
With kids bedroom especially you can also get creative with book ends or fun bins. I found these adorable car boxes at a thrift store and they were a fun addition.
The boy's theme is transportation in their bedroom, with a vintage feel so this covered wagon fits right in. It was actually made from Dale's Grandfather so it is very special. Again using the same technique I explained of staggers books with varying heights and direction of them within the shelf is key.
This next tip is not going to give you a lot of storage, but shows an example of how to decorate with books. I always have a few books on top of this fireplace insert I have in my bedroom. I typically will have a handful of books I am either reading or plan to be reading, which I keep up here. Because the decor in my bedroom is all light and bright sometime the spines of the book do not fit with the decorations. So I simply turn them around to show just the pretty and neutral pages.
This would be too complicated if I had a ton of books here, to then have to turn around to see if it is the book I want. But because I only have a few here, this idea works really well as a decorating option. This way I can have the books I want here without worrying about the color scheme. Reading should be about the story not the pretty book spine.
I have used this dresser for a ton of different things, none of which has had it ever hold clothes. When we first got it secondhand I used it as out TV console table. Then it moved into the dining room where I stored some napkins and a few other kitchen specific items. However, the bottom drawers for years houses a lot of our kids books. This is a great option to have those books out, easily accessible but not cluttering up the living room.
I do not have a picture of it with the books inside, because this has since been moved downstairs into our newly decorated family room. Which I hope to be able to share with you all soon, it is still a work in progress with big time renovations to be had. But for now the basement family room is functional and I fancied it up to be more homey. I am thinking after the rush of the holidays I can finally clean it up (my kids playroom is also in the family room) and take some decent pictures to share with you all.
This bookshelf I made from a simple storage shelf, You know the ones, you probably have one in your basement or garage. It is metal and ugly, I added some wood pallets that i stained a dark walnut. The pallets added such a beautiful and rustic element to this shelf it became a legit piece of furniture. The nice thing about how I have the books set-up in this is that even though I am storing about 30 books here it does not look it. I only have a few on each shelf and have them laying in different directions. Spreading out the books within the shelf and not overfilling the shelf allows that nice balance of function and pretty with storing books.
I know these are only a few Creative ways to store & display books in your home but this is what works for my home to help coral my kids obsession and my encouragement of all things book related. As my kids get older and their reading becomes different, possibly on a tablet instead of a actual and physical book the need for storing of the books will evolve. For now these ideas work great for our family. I will admit we have about 3 boxes of books in the basement that Dale and I have not been able to put in our home yet. But truthfully, we also do not have time to read them, so no harm, no foul here. Since I can only share so many creative ideas with you all I decided to ask my home decor blogging friends what they so with their books. They shared some great ideas that I wanted to share with you all, that is what it in the slideshow below. I can only share my ideas, so bringing in other peoples as well gives you a ton of options to choose from and decide what works best for your home!
How do you handle having books in your home? Do you try and incorporate it into the decor or just let the overfilled bookcases do their job? Either way works!