I noticed a trend in perusing design magazines over the last year or so. It’s a book trend. The colorful jumbles that graced bookshelves in the past have been tamed, neutralized, and stylized. J Randall Powers may have been the first designer to be associated with this trend, although I am certainly no expert. If you see this photo above, you can see the bookshelf in this bedroom has perfectly aligned books, all in the same proportion, and similar mellow, aged color. It turns out that for this photo, he reversed the books to face pages out, and the art hung on the shelf is highlighted beautifully.
Also becoming popular are shelves in which the books are color and size coordinated, accessorized with beautiful found objects.
My favorite decorative books are vintage books, especially vellum. Unfortunately for me, they cost the earth. There are some great reproductions out there, but they are not inexpensive either. I do own a wonderful old French ledger book with entries in the most elegant script imaginable. The pages range from a lovely ivory to a pale blue in color, and the ink has faded to a chocolate brown. I decided to create bookcovers for my family room books with color photocopies of the ledger pages.
Do you remember book covers from school? Well, I used the same folding principal, except I didn’t bother with the cutting part. I had over 450 books to cover and couldn’t countenance the notion of all that angle cutting, so I just folded the ends on all four sides and slipped the book in.
I love the clean yet detailed look that this treatment give my bookcase. It also highlights my favorite finds and treasures from over the years. You’ll notice above and below that I mixed in brown kraft paper covered books, too. Two reasons? My larger books would not accommodate the 11 x 14 photocopies and those copies got darned expensive!
I found another application for my wonderful ledger pages, too. I rolled them, wrapped them in a variegated silk ribbon and created my own vintage scrolls. Next up – I am going to decoupage them in a frame in my powder bathroom.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day!