Hickory Chair had the most beautiful display of painted book covers at this years High Point Market- artwork really. The mixture of colors and patterns was captivating and visually stunning. I've seen similar things done plenty of times before in retail environments and visual merchandising displays (currently recalling J.Crew and Anthropologie displays, specifically) in order to fill the space and create an overall aesthetic look that is neutral or fitting with the design scheme without being distracting due to an array of spine colors and titles. I've also seen this done in homes on large scale bookcases for the same reasons and, frankly, although I love the idea and the look, I am on the fence. There is a fine line between creating a beautiful visual artwork installation in your home and merchandising your home to look "overdone" not to mention the whole argument of preserving the beauty of the book its self. However, being said, I am so completely on board with this for small scale displays such as desks, end tables, coffee tables, consoles, etc especially when dealing with necessary "uglies". The possibilities of what you could use are endless and create quite stunning vignettes.
I have many beautiful books such as an heirloom Bible and a collection of American classic novels I would never dream of covering up, however, I do have a set of "uglies" by my desk that I am totally going to cover up after creating this post. Let me introduce you to them:
Eeek, I know. A bunch of design reference books from school that I like to still keep around because, well, they were expensive, I am not ready to get rid of them, and, occasionally I like to refer back to them if needed. But, they are ugly. Really ugly. Already used when I bought them, they are beaten, torn, dirty, and have neon "used" stickers on them I can't peel off. So, yes, these babies are going to get covered to minimize the visual "clutter" at my desk....as soon as I can decide on what I want to cover them with:
beautiful printed paper
an artistic sketch on white butcher paper
vintage pages and maps
brown paper with elegant calligraphy titles
linen and burlap
fun patterned fabric scraps
and, then, perhaps even use some wax seals for added scholarly flair?
ahh...decisions, decisions. What is your stance on covering books? Do you have any "uglies" you need to cover? If so, here is an awesome tutorial I found:
Sometimes It's Okay To Judge A Book By Its "Uglies" (and then recover it),