Bookshelves are an essential tool in your styling arsenal. Book collections are the no-brainer way to add personality to a room. But sometimes you need a breath of fresh air and this week’s Idea to Steal is just that.

What if, instead a cacophony of random titles, all those different colors and fonts screaming at you, you just turned the spines around?! Suddenly, you have a soft, neutral and monochromatic look.



My dear friend Kirsten of Simply Grove actually caught a ton of flack for this concept when she debuted it back in 2010, but my how things change!

Nearly three years later the look is popping up everywhere. And given that I love pretty much every idea Kirsten ever has, of course, I’m loving this too. In fact, we already tried it in a little corner of the loft. I’ll be sharing a sneak peek on Instagram later today!

What do you think? Are you a fan of the anonymous bookshelf idea?

image 1 piero lissoni showroom // image 2 by joshua simpson for remodelista // image 3 by alexis toureau for maison & deco

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. As a book-lover I have to say it’s a bit of a ridiculous idea. How on earth would you find the book you’re looking for?

    1. Very true–I can see it being infinitely frustrating if you just want to find that one book. Perhaps this look is just for a smaller book collection and/or a special occasion where you want to achieve a certain look!

  2. Gotta agree with Kate in regards to practicality, however, I do like the stacks on the coffee table!

  3. I wonder if there’s a way to make this idea practical. Like, say, making it a goal to re-read all of your books, and turning around only the ones you’ve read. I’m a huge fan of paper and I’d love to see all those neutral pages in their varying ombre facing out toward my room, even if it were only for a short period of time, like a season.

    1. That’s a great compromise–and it’s a great way to keep track of your progress!

  4. I agree with Kat and Kate. It looks nice for design purposes, but it’s laughable for those who actually read their books. I could see this look in a store display or in a hotel vignette, but not in a home. It defeats the goal of making a house a home. It does look nice, though.

  5. i love it! but i can’t get enough of clean, neutrals spaces….. and this makes my inner ocd child very happy.

  6. I agree with Kat and Kate- impractical BUT..I love the idea! It would look absolutely stunning when staged, with other props in a boutique or a quirky cafe. This interior is an equivalent of high heels – completely impractical and uncomfortable, but the look, THE LOOK, darling! Worth all the pain!

  7. Terrible! Someone just don’t like reading! So difficult to find anything in this mess!

  8. Fashion is sometimes so silly! if you want neutral space = don’t buy books! You don’t want bacteria in your house 😉