How they look is nearly as important as what’s in them. Obviously, they can go right on top of a coffee table—obscuring the piece of furniture entirely, if that’s your objective, or simply adding a dimensional flourish atop a table you like—where guests can pluck one up and flip through it while you finish up making that drink in the kitchen. But as coffee-table-book lovers know, more always seems to be better. Rather than stashing the overflow in your bookshelves, where they might never be read from again, consider one of these eight ways to decorate with your largest, loveliest titles. (Note: You can always disassemble when you’re ready to read one.)
As Towering Partitions
In architect Richard Meier’s Manhattan living room, books spill over onto every available surface. Reaching almost to the ceiling, they are architectural structures of their own, creating half-walls right where you need them (especially applicable to small rooms needing delineation).
Stacked Into Side Tables
They’re extra-sturdy backed up to a neighboring wall, but you could do the same for nightstands and cocktail tables—just top one with a lamp or a plant or, okay, that cocktail you just brought in from the kitchen.
…or Coffee Tables
Same structural direction, different result: A grouping of coffee-table-book stacks will together form a coffee table of scale—and you can even top them with a flat surface for a more complete look (however, less easy access to reading material).
Stacked Into Accent Columns
A sole stack, built up well beyond side-table height and up, up into column territory does become a safer play when you’ve got an invisible spine tower shelf holding them up.
As Toppers on a Decorative Bench
Less for added functionality, and more for looks (though you certainly could sit on them), books heaped atop benches can be an artful wall to decorate a blank wall or entryway.
Leaned Up as Wall Art
If you’re digging the whole shallow-shelf movement, which makes it easy to move around artworks on a whim, add the most decorative of your coffee-table books to the mix.
Stowed Under (or in Arm’s Reach of) a Reading Nook
The handiest of options, this move means you’ll have reading (or page-flipping) material on hand right when you need it.
As Window Treatments
Better than blackout curtains? (We’re only kidding a little bit). Original story from ArchitecturalDigest.com