Do or Don’t: Hide Book Spines

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via My Paradissi

I will come right out and say, I don’t like the styling trick of books facing backward on the shelf. Prioritizing beige over ease of access to books is squarely in the realm of impractical design. I hope it is a trend that dies soon. Now, I’m going to show you bookshelves that embrace books as they are, and bookshelves that use backward or slip-covered books for textured monochrome variance. I want to be totally clear that I love the work of all of the stylists! I chose really admirable images on both sides of the book spine debate.

But look at the top image. So many books. Thick ones! What are they? If they want a book from the top shelf, do they have to stand on a ladder and pull out each book until they find it? Do they listen to the vinyl, or is it decorative? So many questions.

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Waiting on Martha

These bookshelves are in a gorgeous office. I want so badly to touch those chairs that I could be distracted from the urge to turn those books around.

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Love Grows Wild (Liz Fourez) on Glitter Guide

I obsessively scanned the typing on those covered white books and I believe I see canon hits like War and Peace, The Odyssey and Huckleberry Finn. Since the books are labeled, I can get behind the matching white dust jackets. (Although, if I ever read War and Peace, I will definitely leave it resting on my coffee table for a few weeks as a subtle brag.) The backward books I don’t get, because they look antique and all have pretty blue or brown spines; show them off!

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SS Life + Style (Stephanie Sterjovski)

Again, this looks great. Again, I think there is already enough of white accessories and breathing space that I’m curious to see how those books would look if they were allowed to fully show their hot pink and black covers.

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via Domino

Stephanie Sterjovski’s condo is super cozy, neutral and minimalist, so I get why the books should be quiet. You almost can’t see them, but there’s about 27 on that shelf. The white or black ones are showing spine, and the paperbacks are in a short-ish stack, so their spineless orientation seems more approachable than if there was a big row of backward books.

OK, now in the other direction:

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IG @stephgphotography

I noticed most of the bookshelf inspo I’m drawn to has a lot of books, but they are thoughtfully grouped by color for harmony. This one seems boho and busy with all those amazing plants, but there’s nothing overwhelming about it because of the color palette, non-patterned pots, and the white wall backdrop.

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Tumblr
Katerina Pimenidu

In this proper home library, the books appear to be grouped by genre, definitely not by color. I think it works so well with the modern, sleek design around it because it is floor-to-ceiling and in a defined space. There are so many books that the disbursement of color and bumpy ridge-lines end up feeling balanced and even like artwork.

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Lea Jessen on Bolig

This bookshelf has an approachable vibe, so you believe the people who live there really read their books. It’s not trying too hard, but if you look carefully the books are thoughtfully organized and they do play nicely with the gallery wall color palette. Every little detail is repeated in some way for cohesion.

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DecorFix

DecorFix created this image for their how-to on bookshelf styling. I will end here, saying it is possible to have a pulled together or even pared-back bookshelf with readable, accessible book spines. Don’t make your books face the wall. They don’t like it.

What do you think? Do you (or would you) hide your book spines?

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My Ideal Life Vision Board

“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” — Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Trendy or not, I love the KonMari Method. It’s less about organization or getting rid of clutter, and more about exercising your intuition to create your ideal lifestyle.

As part of the KonMari tidying process, Marie Kondo encourages you to gain clarity and motivation by holding an image in your mind of the kind of home you want to live in, which lines up with the lifestyle you want to live. In her follow-up manual, Spark Joy, Marie Kondo elaborated,

“Our goal in tidying should be to create a living environment filled with the things we love. […] If you have even one photograph that makes you feel ‘Yes, this is the kind of space I want to live in,’ it will completely change how you feel about tidying up.”

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I pin tons of images for inspiration, but more than a year ago, I created this Pinterest board. It is a vision board of carefully selected lifestyle priorities for my home. I created Polyvore images for the main rooms of my home, like my living room inspiration above. I don’t update it frequently, because my values around living in my home for this phase of life, and the way I love for my home design to feel, have remained mostly consistent.

Lapuan Kankurit: www.lapuankankurit.fi

One of my intentions for the year (and which has always been a goal of mine) is to live in a home with a sauna. This means buying a house! The traditional family sauna image is from a Finnish textile company, Lapuan Kankurit.

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On a smaller scale, I’d like to keep sprucing up the playhouse we got this summer. It’s not a treehouse like in my ideal image, but it has the same feeling of the kids spending long afternoons imagining, climbing, and playing outside.

Do you have a material, digital, or mental image of your ideal home that you come back to over and over? Do you feel like your home represents the lifestyle you want to live?

 

 

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Last but not least, thank you to all those who serve and support the armed forces. I am a pacifist at heart, but I know that the armed forces are vital to ultimately protecting lives, and also, that they do much more than battle. Here’s a good introduction to Veterans Day for kids, for parents and educators, or for adults (ahem, me) who can never remember if its Veteran’s or Veterans.

My brother is currently serving in the U.S. Navy, stationed for one year far from his wife and two young children. I hope he always feels loved and supported, and that my sister-in-law, niece, and nephew also feel buoyed. Love you guys!

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Drama-Free Dressing for School

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For the first month of the school year, my husband and I had morning battles with our 6-year-old about appropriate school clothes for first grade. When we said, “Go get dressed,” she’d come out of her room wearing a leotard and ballet flats. Veto! And then we had an exasperating back-and-forth of which clothes were appropriate for the weather and school activities. A simple rearrange of the dresser drawers drastically reduced our morning drama. I have two easy tips for you. Continue reading “Drama-Free Dressing for School”