7 beautiful ways to display your books

Overrun with books? Here are some great ways to display them in style

If you're anything like me, books will be one of the few objects that manage to escape strict bouts of decluttering. Decluttering is a near obsession. I don't like to have lots of ‘things' around me. I tend to live by the famous William Morris quote: ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not believe to be beautiful or know to be useful'. So unless something fulfils one or both of these criteria, I like to pass it onto someone else who might enjoy it, giving it a new lease of life through doing so.

Books are different - they are both beautiful and useful - and I have lots of them. Inevitably, they do tend to multiply and can cause some clutter issues of their own, so I'm always on the lookout for attractive ways to display my books. Here are some great ideas that I think you might like.

1. Under the stairs

The space under a staircase is often underused, so it's ideal for bookshelves. Bespoke shelving that fits perfectly would make the best use of the space.

2. On the landing

passage area with book shelves and white walls

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

A landing is the perfect spot for bookworms to store their collection. Adding shelving here keeps your books out of the main rooms, but also creates a feature where there often isn't one.

3. Keep them on a shelf

white wall with books shelves and books

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Floating shelves let books be the focus, as you can't see any distracting hinges. If it's a book you really love, you could even display it with the cover facing out.

4. Store upwards

stoe room with pool table and books

(Image credit: Future PLC/Armelle Habib)

If you're hoping to reread any of your books soon, stacking them isn't the best way to store them, as you'll have an adult version of Jenga on your hands. But barely visible shelves will give you the look without the chaos and create a characterful addition, as this room proves.

5. Make a display

book shelves in dining room

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Boxed shelving units are excellent for storing books alongside other objects, and work well along a short wall. You could also use them to divide a room if no wall exists (make sure you secure them to the ceiling or floor so that they are stable, though).

6. Step up

staircase side space used as bookshelves is interesting design

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Display your favourite books to full effect by making a feature of your staircase. A joiner will be able to build shelving units against the wall. This interesting design feature can also be used to house fascinating objects and quirky curios.

7. Use your window sill

books kept on window sill

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

If you still have some books with no home, sneak a few onto a window sill.

And of course, I'm dreaming of the day when I have my very own library...

Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.