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Books as Home Decor ⎼ a Novel Idea!

When you think of room decor and accessories, your first thoughts might be of vases, wall hangings, and flower arrangements. And while those are definitely wonderful accents to add character and interest to a space, today I share tips on one of my favorite decor items: books.

Books are an easy, affordable, and interesting way to enliven a room. For starters, they come in a variety of sizes and fit on almost any surface. Stack to add dimension and height to accent tables and fill barren shelves. Arrange some on an ottoman or a cocktail table. Or stack a few books on a floating end table to make a pedestal for a piece of sculpture.

Coffee Table Books as Accents

For a truly impactful accent, I love decorating with coffee table books. These books are often oversized with beautiful photography that adds pops of color when displayed. What’s more, these gorgeous books are meant to be enjoyed! Coffee table books work as functional decor that residents can flip through while lounging.

Books to Compliment a Room

Today’s coffee table books are published on practically any subject so it’s fun to select titles that complement a room’s specific use. Below are a few of my favorite titles by room.


Set an inviting scene on the kitchen counter with recipe books. Today’s social media influencers and food bloggers have seriously upped the game of food photography. And many cookbooks feature incredible images rather than just pages of printed recipes. I love standing these on a counter with some kitchen-themed bookends or propped open on a cookbook stand featuring a particularly mouthwatering photo.

Beauty Salon

Because most salon clients in senior living communities are female, coffee table books about beauty, hair, makeup, fashion, and classic movie stars are very popular.


Go Hollywood with books related to movies, television, and famous stars. Residents love to flip through these books while waiting for the main event to start!


Travel books are great for the library. Adventurous residents can feel like they’re travelling the world without leaving the community.


These areas generally end up trending more masculine from a decor standpoint. So it’s fun to use accents and books that trend more masculine. Sports and classic cars are very popular choices.

Living Spaces

These shared living spaces offer many options for books as decor. In lobbies, I like to showcase something local. For example, I just completed an install in Kentucky where I sourced books on bourbon, Kentucky homes, and racehorses. Other options for these neutral spaces include design, architecture, nature, and art.

Memory Care

For these areas in a living community, I suggest books that are full of images, illustrations, and photos while limited on text. The goal is subject matter that is familiar to residents to prompt memory and conversation. If you choose books about real-life people, choose personas who were active in the 1940s through the 1960s so residents have a better likelihood of recognizing them. Animals, nature, travel, and hobbies like fishing and sports are great general-interest book subjects.

Sun Rooms

Since many sunrooms tend to be bright spaces with windows overlooking pretty landscaping, it’s ideal to choose books that relate to nature, gardening, or flower arranging.

Order Now

Many of these titles can be found in The Simple Home store. Just sign up for a free account at The Simple Home to place an order. Browse the store and site to find book titles, decor, and helpful tips to create beautiful, welcoming senior living spaces.


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