styling with your favourite books

love your books via perfectly imperfect living

‘Books are not furniture, but they have a great way of furnishing your home’.

I’m not sure who said this quote first, but I really like it. Books are also like lovely friends.

Like most of us these days, I seem to spend an awful lot of time lost in the visual delights of the online world via Instagram and Pinterest and blogs. Especially  Instagram. Isn’t it like a trip down the rabbit hole?

love your books via perfectly imperfect living

One image leads to another, which leads to another which leads to a blog which leads to another image which leads to a podcast which might lead to another lovely Instagram account which leads to another blog. And on it goes for the very easily distracted amongst us. (Not that I’m looking at anyone other than myself here!)

love your books via perfectly imperfect living

However, despite the modern & giddy delights of my iPhone or iPad, which I love, and the instagram world which keeps me connected and my imagination fuelled, online is just not the same when it comes to my interior books and magazines. I’m a simple old-fashioned girl at heart. I like to turn the page, savour the image, feel the beautiful paper, bookmark my favourite ideas, and thumb through my favourites for inspiration time and time again. Reading on a screen just doesn’t give you this, no matter how fabulous it is in other ways.

love your books via perfectly imperfect living

Plus, I love having my books and magazines around me all the time. As in, all the books, not just one slim piece of technology with access to all the books. Throughout my house there are piles on side tables, on my desk, beside the bed, on my dining table, and on shelves in various rooms. They may not be furniture, but they are a part of the furniture, as it were.

love your books via perfectly imperfect living

And, as per my last blog post, given that I have a healthy penchant for knick knacks, I like to turn the book piles into little vignettes.

Basically this means that I arrange them by not really arranging them at all – favourites or latest on the top, some leaning, some lying. I usually co-ordinate the books to the display in some way, usually by spine colour. Sometimes I will remove the dustjacket cover in favour of the more simple book spine underneath.

And then, because the stacks are a great way of adding some height to your vignettes, I incorporate my other treasures amongst them.

love your books via perfectly imperfect living

love your books via perfectly imperfect living

If you ‘frame’ things visually with props such as trays, platters, books, boxes, bell jars or old drawers, it will make it much easier for you to mix diverse objects together so that they make visual sense and your collections will tell a story.

love your books via perfectly imperfect living

This might mean a candle or bowl of flowers on top of the stack, and perhaps one or two other treasures. On the bookshelf it means there are things popped in front, small pictures leaning against books etc. Above all, the books are still easy to access and read, and together with all your other bits and pieces, the arrangement adds interest and personality to the room.

I love to collect beautiful interior design or floral or garden design books. I linger over almost every page, every image, gleaning every detail. I always find it funny that you can read a book a hundred times and apparently not notice something, until suddenly whatever that ‘thing’ is, it becomes your focus, and you look at that same image or page with a whole new perspective. Good books have that effect. I also love that even though you may not be totally in tune with that author or those ideas or that type of interior, if a book is written from a personal perspective and you know that it was written from the heart, then ultimately it convinces you on some level.

Ultimately, my books are a constant source of inspiration. They not only look good, and act as a stage for my displays, but they can even be read! Ha!

Amanda xx

(styling by Amanda Holland, photography by Anna Briggs and Amanda Holland, for perfectly imperfect living)

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1 Comment
  • Levonne Smith

    May 28, 2018 at 8:31 am

    I just love all the cameos you have created in your home with books. I am travelling in Italy at the moment and will be away from home (Whangarei) for two months ending in France. Oh you will say how lucky are you! Yes and I love it but I do so miss my books and being able to edit and rearrange my iconic treasures. In the apartment we are in overlooking the Mediterranean in San Remo I have put away all the doilies and ribbons round the vases and regrouped the kitchen utensils to make better patterns and arrangements on the wall. Tomorrow some wild flowers will join a nice jug instead of the milk and a NZ magazine will be on the shelf with some fruit and some leather bracelets I bought in Florence. How to be at home for a week at a time. Thank you for your lovely post which makes me all the more keen to return in winter and play with my books and artefacts again.