Our Top 5 Tips for Styling With Books

By Oliver Burns

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April 2, 2020|Luxury Design

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  • true home to Oliver Burns is a treasure chest of thoughtful accents and pieces that together transform a space from ordinary to extraordinary. When adding the finishing touches to our luxury residences, we handpick a discerning selection of books to tell a visual story behind the design and inject personality into the space. Thoughtfully chosen books styled on coffee tables or artfully arranged on bookcases has the ability to add much needed warmth and character to a room. During this period of self-isolation and social distancing, many people are now spending more time than previously in their homes. With this in mind, our team share their insider tips and tricks for styling your home with books to create an inviting space.
Image via Oliver Burns

Charmaine Sitton, Office & Accounts Manager

I love the effortlessly chic look of a beautiful bookcase which gives the illusion that it has just been spontaneously thrown together. However, in reality some forethought and consideration is required in order to achieve this effect. The key is to embrace imperfection and variety, playing around with the display until you achieved the desired arrangement. Storing books horizontally and vertically and alternating the position of book piles between left, right and centre creates visual interest and variation.

Image via Oliver Burns

Julie Anderson, Senior Interior Designer

Interspersing books with objet d’art such as a piece of sculpture or a decorative ornament creates a visual pause and prevents the space from looking cluttered. Some of my favourite pieces are by Rory Dobner, Fornasetti and Jonathan Adler whose distinctive and unique designs add a touch of eclecticism.  I also love the effect organic materials such as a sea fan or flowers adds, creating a sense of lived-in authenticity.

Image via Oliver Burns

Joe Burns, Co-Founder

The eye is naturally drawn to odd numbers so styling books in piles of 1, 3, 5 and 7 is instantly more visually exciting than a symmetrical arrangement. With this in mind, stick to several small piles of books rather than a bigger stack to ensure the overall effect is artful rather than chaotic.

Oliver Burns Interiors

Lydia Eales, Marketing Manager

To create a sense of height and scale within a room, use stacked books to form a pedestal to showcase your most treasured pieces. This trick can be used to create a focal point on a shelf as well as a coffee table, elevating a piece and creating dimension without making it look cluttered. Mixing high and low items also works well, such as a tall candle stick or a display of crystal decanters alongside or on top of coffee table books.

Sharon Lillywhite, Brand Director and Co-Founder

An excellent way to showcase your favourite books or a particularly beautiful cover is having one or two facing forwards on a shelf. A great conversation starter, another way to make a focal feature of a book is to leave it open on a double page spread, inviting guests and visitors to flick through. Books by Assouline, Taschen and Rizzoli are so exquisite they easily double up as works of art. The best part of all is that books can be easily changed up to reflect the season or your interests, creating an ever-evolving inspiration board.


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