Adventures in Decorating: A Novel Concept

It’s time again to check in with our intrepid intern, Caitlin Giddens, as she helps style her friend Amy’s new pad… You can check out their past adventures here. Enjoy!


By Caitlin Giddens

Let’s be real. 20-somethings suffer from all sorts of problems, including a shortage of space in their apartment or, in the case of my friend Amy, duplex. This leads to the design obstacle of displaying collections in a tasteful but resourceful way.

Sure, we’d all love to splurge on gorgeous wall art that completes a room. But I’ve got a coffee addiction to feed and the looming threat of college loans. Plus, I’ve overspent on the collection needing displayed: books. My accumulation of novels takes up too much space for a shared Uptown apartment. But the thought of hiding my treasures beneath the bed brings me pain. Jane Austen deserves more than that after elevating romantic standards for all women. And I would hate to offend Ernest Hemingway. Dude had a hard enough time.

So to save money (and to show off my novel collection), I’ve employed my beloved books as decor. This isn’t a groundbreaking concept if you’ve ever seen a Pottery Barn catalogue. But there’s a reason it’s oft-employed — It works! So I’ve encouraged Amy to turn her own books into objets d’art. See my suggestions after the jump…

The Cover Collection: Consider this the literary take on the gallery wall. The easiest way to achieved it is to remove covers from paperbacks (if you can bare it) and display in simple gallery frames (as seen at the top of the post). I’m awfully fond of IKEA frames as they are cheap and sturdy! For a more subtle approach, you could also mix a few covers in with other art and beloved photographs.

The Floating Bookshelf: The combination of a stack of stylish hardbacks and the Conceal Book Shelf By Umbra from The Container Store nets an artful wall display.

The Book Side Table: Copy this classic trick (and introduce a jolt of color into your room) by stacking your brightest books. Pretty + functional.


  • Good ideas. make good use of what you already have.

  • Interesting? That is a novel idea.