———– BOOKS: Page turning design tips ———–

Energise any room in your home with books! Books make you look interesting!
Discover five simple cheap and stunning design tips using books!


5 ways to liven up a room with books!

Have you ever wanted to liven up your living room, lounge, bedroom or sunroom but are not sure how to go about it…?  Here are a few simple and cheap design tips and if you are conscientious, it is also practical.
 While there is nothing worse than an empty bookshelf or a bookshelf with inane (fill up) objects (worse still photo albums or folders) when can you ever remember seeing a room with a large book filled wall that looked out of place or shabby?
Books are one of the easiest ways to add style to any room easily and books are affordable! 

Wonderful gap fillers, as long as they are books of interest to you it is all positive from there…!  I have on occasion bought old books merely because they looked so lovely I could not resist, however, in general it is better to buy books you will use or that are in and around subjects you find interesting.

Think about your passions, aspirations and lifestyle and buy books accordingly.

Thinking aspirationally; what do you want to take up, indulge in or head towards within five years?  Buy books that will inspire you to start planning for that future, here is the link to a cheap online book seller:  World of Books

They have all kinds of cheap books on architecture, fashion, art, interiors, lifestyle, cooking: there is no substitute for having a book in hand with a glass of wine or a coffee as a relaxation or (selfish “me” time) pursuit.

Buy books that interest you!

If you are judicious about what interests you in life and you buy books that are a combination of images and text, you will almost never regret it. There will always be a time when you wish you had a certain “book” or “type of book”.  I remember buying an old book on France sometime before I was studying because it occurred to me I knew nothing about France or Europe, I thought  “Ummm, France?  I should know something about France”  It sat on my shelf for years and every once in a while I would get it out and be so glad I had it to just look at the images and read a bit of general information.  I still have it because in an odd way it began my thirst for knowledge and art.

Magasine stacks make great shelves or small tables!

 As you can see magasine and book stacks can be used as tables and shelves to counter a dead area.  For example slim oblong walls which are seriously ugly (never allow an oblong wall anywhere near a house plan) can be transformed in this way.  In fact you could have the books or magasines two deep into the room for stability; so much character there and then!

Trawl junkshops for books and bookshelves!

Everyone knows I am a sucker for a great junk shop – I cannot help myself!  There will be something in there that no one else can see the potential of, and it will be a pittance (not always but generally).

So that’s where you go to buy books as well as second-hand book shops.  One of the best ones I have come across is in Airlie Beach Queensland, called Lea’s Book Exchange, “Oh great!” cried the Elephant, “That’s two hours gone; I’ll be at the nearest watering hole”

Bookshelf methods:

Don’t forget the three rule for everything!

Colour, texture, flavour.  In this case books need colour, height, theme or colour, texture, theme.  They need to be what you like (need), in different sizes and in multitudes of colour.

Hardcover books are the best.

Some paperbacks are OK, but hard backed books provide the necessary structure you need to keep everything in place on your shelves.

Magasines are the exception here, they are more or less standard in size.

Junkyards for old floorboards – they make great shelves!

?As luck would have it, Yandina junkyard had plenty of old wide hardwood floorboards to use for the shelving and they had the concrete blocks (six for this project) for peanuts too as it turned out.  After acquiring some furniture restoration steel wool, furniture wax and polishing cloth, the boards came up beautifully. Either retain the concrete blocks as are, or paint them.  See information below.

Just place two blocks on the floor topped with a board, continue building up; four surfaces in total and soon you have a great bookshelf with lots of area.  Put a couple of pictures on the wall above it and it has become an exciting wall that says a lot about you, your interests and your innate style.

Discarded book shelving units are a dime a dozen in junk shops!

Comb junk stores and tip shops for old wooden shelving units, paint them in the colour of your choice (plan this beforehand to make sure it incorporates easily into your overall scheme) and fill with books.

Combine wall paper, paint and an old shelving unit for a unique look!

Or, paint the shelves and the sides (in, out and under unless they are already a great counter colour), then source some stunning wallpaper or wrapping paper – it needs to be thick and good quality otherwise it won’t handle the glue and it will look tacky. Measure out meticulously, glue it to the back wall of each shelf, in this way the bookshelf unit becomes a unique design of your own making.  Your friends will be so envious…!

Paint or paper a small rectangle on your wall!

If the shelving unit has no back wall included you could measure out the perimeter of the unit at the back (corner to corner etc) then paint the wall (in a counter colour) to that exact measurement; place the unit against the wall for a refreshing shot of colour; so stunning and simple.  

Carrie May wrapping paper…

Although, if you choose your books carefully, they should have enough colour.

Buy an old door and use as a shelf!

Similarly, go to a junkyard or tip shop and find an older style door; the older doors from the 1960’s are usually a lot narrower, paint it in the colour of your choice (pastels are big at the moment) and place on two trestle table legs.  Officeworks trestle legs white pair $69.  This large space will allow not only a lot of books in small vertical and alternate horizontal stacks but you could buy let’s say four concrete blocks paint them white also, place them on the table (door) at the very back and you now have another level to put books, a vase of flowers with them and maybe a picture or two to create a beautiful tableau.

Old fruit boxes make perfect shelving units for books!

Go to your local fruit grocer and ask them if you can have or buy some pine boxes that their fruit comes in.  These are so cool!  Normally they are a rectangle.

Place three boxes long ways on the floor with the opening front facing; they can either butt up together or put a sizable gap (200mm) between them which can then be used for more books or decorative items if desired.  Place two more boxes on top of them in the opposite direction (with or without a gap) and then one on top of those two.  This look is a little more rustic but it can be lightened with white flowers in a cute vase, or brightly coloured books, a gorgeous jar of coloured pencils, a small picture in a white frame, big cheap black and white clock; the choices are endless.  Make sure they are secure and won’t all come down at the slightest touch injuring a small child. 

Old trunks have endless uses including for use as book shelves!

Buy an old trunk that has flat ends, turn it up vertically back against the wall and put two stacks of books inside to the top; the outside upper surface could then have a fruit bowl, vase of flowers, a picture.  You would need to secure it to the wall at the top back, especially if there are again small children in the house ? and you don’t want to allow the Elephant another triumph…!

Now it’s time to get started on one or more of these easy design tips…!

Good luck!


Concrete block:

A properly painted concrete block wall will be virtually maintenance free for many years. The main considerations you need to think about are new and unpainted, condition of existing finish and type of concrete block. All of these will require similar approaches when preparing the block for the protective finish coat. Count on split-face block needing twice as muck primer and paint when compared to smooth block.

Preparing the Concrete Block for Painting

Painting concrete block walls always starts with the removal of dust and dirt, efflorescence, and all loose or peeling paint. Both interior and exterior block surfaces require the same attention to details.

Efflorescence Deposits

Plain water will remove loose paint and dirt but efflorescence will need chemicals to be neutralized. Efflorescence is a white powder that can form on the concrete block and is caused by water infiltration inside the block.

New unpainted concrete block walls need to have all dirt and loose mortar removed prior to priming. Painted walls will need all loose and peeling paint removed. Lift off the peeling paint with a stiff putty knife or paint scraper. Then scrub the area with a wire brush.

Also, any greasy or oily deposits will need to be cleaned with TSP, trisodium phosphate, and primed with a stain blocking primer.  House Painting Info

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