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One for the Books -
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One for the Books

Today marks the first day of the 30th Vancouver Writers Fest. If you’re not familiar with the event, each year the festival invites world-class writers, thinkers, and literary giants (think Salman Rushdie, Roméo Dallaire, and Margaret Atwood among others…) to the city to discuss their work and engage with the local writing community. It is an incredible event that reminds us all of our love of literature and (for us at least) the design potential of the book.


Just one of the affiliated event the Writers Fest hosted this year…


We were definitely inspired by the Writers Fest to post something about books. If you’re anything like us, you may have a stash of books at your home. And by a stash… perhaps we mean a couple bookshelves, a pile beside the bed, a stack in the kitchen, maybe a first edition or two, and a few coffee-table gems. Books, if you have a few or a few dozen, are like little design building blocks or moveable tiles of colour and pattern. More and more we are seeing envy-inducing book displays in homes that make us want to run to the nearest bookstore and stock up!

Books (not counting you e-readers out there) do take up space, and being in interior design we are all about using space in the best way possible. We challenged ourselves to find three book-ish trends that are not only effective at storing/displaying your literary treasures, but easy to execute yourself at home. You may never look at books the same way again!


Colour Coding:

Colour is one of the most visually interesting ways of organizing lots of objects. We honed in on two ways of using colour to organize your volumes: stacking in colour families and creating a gradation. For our examples we used a standard bookshelf (the Billy from IKEA). This strategy is really effective if you have a lot of books (guilty as charged!) as it shows not only how much you read, but also the subtle flow of one colour to another.


Green, red, and blue. Stored on their side, not only is it easier to read the titles of these books, but notice how tidy they look compared to the hint of classic alphabetical order on the next shelf down…


Colour rules: A rainbow-hued gradient catches the eye in ways alphabetical order just can’t…


As objets d’art:

Perhaps you are selective about what books make it into your home… Maybe only the best get to be out on display… We love the idea of creating vignettes on tables and shelves with books as a main player. This is where vintage covers, 50-lb tomes, and design books shine. They are equal parts great to flip through and so darn nice to look at. Apart from making your everyday spaces looks fantastic, it’s also a great way to add a personal touch when staging a home.


Sitting pretty: This architectural shelf makes a lovely black-white-blue-grey-modern statement


To read or not to read: Some books are just pretty inside and out. This coffee table statement adds a bit of je ne sais quoi to the living room



A bit of a basket case:


Baskets are a practical and common storage solution– but have you tried it with books yet? In lieu of a dedicated book-storage area, baskets create an instant spot for easy-to-grab books (also easy to slide in/out of deeper shelves…). We especially love this for spots in the home like the kitchen or bedroom. In these spaces you may not need an entire shelf, but still need somewhere to store  5-10 books. The best part? Choose a basket that fits your style! We just used basic woven baskets for our examples; but definitely explore whatever type/style best fits the space!


Bedside bonus: slip a few books in your nightstand for a sure-fire way to store the best bedtime stories


Kitchenside: a simple basket on the counter provides recipes whenever they’re needed


Well, we hope you’re inspired to get a bit of book-organization done this week. Do you have any creative book storage strategies in your home? Let us know in the comments, on social media, or via email!


A bit about Vancouver Writers Fest: Now in it’s 30th year, it keeps getting bigger, bolder, and bookier. For the last three decades the festival has been held on Granville Island and affiliated venues across the city. The festival program brings an array of authors from local talents to global phenoms together in a celebration of the written word. The festival runs until Sunday October 22– if you’re interested in the event take a look at the Writers Fest website here!


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