Thursday, March 4, 2010

Decorating With Vintage And Antique Books

Using Vintage Books As Decorative Objects

Decorating with vintage books can be a darling way to bring color, warmth and charm into any room. While visiting Salmon Brook Shop Antiques in Granby, Connecticut today I was delighted to find many wonderful displays of vintage books.

Plant Stands Make Cute Book Shelves

First there was a sweet plant stand that was now home to a lovely collection of older books. This plant stand had four short shelves which held five books across making for a lovely petite display. For some rooms, like the kitchen or bathroom, a narrow plant stand is just perfect for a small book holder.

Look For Attractive Book Covers And Spines

Another delightful display at Salmon Brook was a collection of vintage books with interesting spines. Many people like to look for books with attractive covers and crisp and artsy details. Grouped together, older well designed books become lovely decorative objects. You may want to look for books in the same color family or choose a few selected colors to display. Another fun way to collect books is by series, such as poetry books or a particular author.

Displaying Vintage Books In A Variety Of Ways

Vintage books can be shelved upright, stacked or even placed on an easel. When shelving books upright you may want to use some wonderful older brass bookends or perhaps themed wooden bookends such as "dogs", "sail boats", "horses", etc.
Sometimes it is hard to find a pair of bookends, so consider using 'singles".

Mix And Match Book Ends

And bookends need not match either. Have fun using different bookends or a collection of similar bookends (all Scottie dogs). You can really save lots of money using "orphaned" bookends".

Vintage Books Can Be Used As A Riser Or Platform

I often used a few books stacked to serve as a riser or platform for other decorative objects. Books that are really too bruised for display can be used in places where you do not see them. Or other objects can be placed in front of them. Lamps may need a lift and books work well to add some height.

Break Up Book Displays With Other Collectibles

Having rows and rows of books can get boring. Vary your book displays by adding other collectibles and objects to the shelf. Also alternate standing books upright with books that are stacked. Some people like to display books by color. I recently did a display with only white or cream colored books.

Of course books need to be protected, so when using several books as a riser for plants, be sure to place a plastic or glass dish under the plant. And be careful!

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

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  1. What a great idea to use a plant stand!
    I love old books, especially the early 20th century ones with the lovely spines.


  2. It is hard to beat a vintage cookbook! Especially ones that show the dishes and table settings that we work so hard to duplicate with our collecting! nancesnostalgia will be listing some more cookbooks this week, grab your cup of tea and stop by! thanks!