For no real reason, I spent an hour reorganizing the books on my living room IKEA EXPEDIT bookshelf. Book chaos was transformed from this (photo taken last June):
Notice anything? Rainbow!
I’m sure it’s something I’ve seen somewhere before, but I can’t cite any specific image as the inspiration for my color party. I didn’t even know if I’d have enough of each color to run the gamut, but it ended up pretty even. (I know that I could stand to find more purple and blue spines at garage sales).
I doing that rainbow project, I decided to group all of the black-spined books on the smaller Sauder shelf to neutralize that corner of the living room. (Psst, if you missed it, this is the shelving unit that was falling apart before I saved its life last spring. Still awesomely strong.) Grouping these darker books together in this corner of the room helps to disguise the shelf as a whole, simplifying the room (I think, at least). At least the right side of it looks sleek and refined. I clearly need to find more to fill in the left, and find other homes for the red books and those storage containers.
In any case, looking through all of the books again made me realize that I had some great reads on my hands. And what’s really great about those reads are the stunningly-designed book covers. Many of the books have been acquired on the cheap, either hand-me-downs from friends or abundant collections yard-sale-priced at 25-cents-each. Some I’ve read, others I haven’t, and few are nice coffee table books, but more are just inexpensive filler to make my home feel more like a library.
Why is it that I’ve tossed all of these lovely books on the shelf, only exposing the spines, when the covers are usually the most artful part of the book? The colors, the illustrations, the typefaces are so intricately created that I think they deserve to be treated as art. Do you see where I’m going with this?
I chose a few of my favorites, and forged ahead with plans to make them work in a set of 4 small IKEA RIBBA frames that I already owned (and that total frame cost = $10!). Lucky for the two of my pics required no cutting; the Spanish Dinner Party cookbook was small, and thin enough to fit on the mat in the frame without an issue. The Little Thai Cookbook had a dust jacket that I removed and framed on its own.
The other two books, The ’50 Ford and Fiery Angel needed more work.
The ’50 Ford, for instance, was a larger size book with a cover than I 75% loved. Illustrated on the lower quadrant of the book was a man’s face that’s always kind of creeped me out, so my lack of attachment to the whole cover made it easier to chop it up so it would fit in the mat. It also allowed me a little flexibility in being able to center the image in the frame; I like the composition of the car and it’s headlights with the rainbow.
For Fiery Angel, a hardcover that was too large to fit in the frame as a whole, I used a razor blade to slice the cover from the binding. This actually this worked pretty well because it allowed me to put the coverless book right back on the shelf so I could still enjoy the orange-red pop of color on the spine. Win-win, depending how you look at it (dodging tomatoes thrown by bibliophiles).
Because I just finished hanging the shiplap on the wall in the dining room, I decided to try these dark brown IKEA RIBBA frames beside it to help tie it into the furniture and decor even further.