Decorating With Vintage Books

I have a slight obsession with thrifting books lately. Vintage books have actually become quite a popular design “go-to” these days. You can style them anywhere! They aren’t just for bookshelves. Think mantels, coffee tables, and even under lamps to give them height. I did just that in my dining room makeover



These days, I’ve been on a crazy hunt for green! I wanted a splash of green in my family room makeover. You can read the initial plans for the room HERE, and get caught up with the current progress HERE. Yesterday, I started styling my mantel. I knew I wanted to make some sort of color statement. I went neutral on the walls, and if you know me well, you know that’s very different for me! So I’m looking to make statements in other ways. I had the idea to just jam-pack my mantel with only green books. I love the idea of showcasing texture through the binds of old books, and the hunt is part of the fun.


I was so sad to see that my favorite thrift store got rid of their book section! I scored the blue ones in the photo above for only a quarter each! So when they directed me to another thrift store down the street, I was bummed to see that their selection was $2 a book! Sounds cheap, but when you’re used to getting them for 25 cents, and you know you want a LOT of them, $2 each is quite a lot. I left that day buying 16 books for $28. (They gave me a whopping $4 discount. Lol.) Someone on Instagram suggested looking at the Salvation Army. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that before! Walked in to find their books were 10 for $1.00! Whaaat?! AWESOME! I took home 45 books for $4.50! 



So I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing with these just yet, but I wanted to show you what I’ve done so far and give you a little tip when hunting down vintage books. I have a mirror on the way that I’m so anxious to hang up here, but in the mean time, this is making me happy…










For some of these, I totally scored books with awesome titles that make me smile. Others I bought soley because the color was perfect. And that’s ok! Surely, I most likely won’t be cracking these open for my reading pleasure. You can almost look at a set of these as if you’re buying green candles or vases. They’re decorative; nothing wrong with that. The key to scoring this many of the same color is this…



It’s easy to pass up books because you see their dingy paper covers, or perhaps the covers aren’t the color you’re looking for. What’s important is the hardcover binding that’s UNDERNEATH the paper cover, so be sure to get on your tippy toes and peak at the top of all of the books because you just might find it’s actually the color you want! Clearly, this book wouldn’t seem to fit my scheme…



But check out the book underneath! The perfect shade of green! And the print is even in gold! Be still my heart!




So don’t forget to look under the paper/plastic covers! And get creative when designing with books! You never know what you might come up with, or what kind of statement you can make with the color alone. When styling, I just tend to pay attention to spreading the variation in color. You may want to create an ombré effect and arrange them from dark to light. That’d be a super cool look when working with shades of only one color. It’s also important to vary the heights of your display to keep it interesting, and mix in some art, a plant/flowers, photos, ceramics, etc. to shake things up a bit. I’m considering making this a full-blown collection and taking these piles all the way up to the ceiling. Can you imagine? 



Thanks for visiting! And stay tuned for the “after” of this room, coming up in a Summer Home Tour! My reclaimed wall is complete and I LOVE it. Just waiting on a few last minute details:)





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