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Organizing Bookshelves By Color

Organizing Bookshelves By Color


Bringing color into a living space isn't just about painting the walls. It's also about paying attention to the way the objects in a home relate to one another. A full spectrum of color resides on most bookshelves, but it takes a good eye to make an average shelf into a work of art.

If you're really lucky, you can find a complete set of color-coded books at a thrift store. A few collections that come in a colorful series: Wallpaper's City Guides, many of the old color-coded Penguin books, and World Book Editions. For inspiration, check out the Rainbow of Books Flickr Group.

colorful_bookshelves.jpg by Chotda

How to Organize Your Bookshelves By Color

  • Take everything off your shelf and separate books by color.
  • Create color-coordinated piles and divide your piles into warm and cool colors.
  • Arrange each set of books on the shelf by hue. For instance, line pale yellow books up next to darker yellow books, transitioning from yellow-orange into orange.
  • If you're really anal, you can create sleeves for your books and code them by color (fiction=yellow, textbooks=blue).

 
 
Color Coded Self Print Booksby Marcus Ramberg

Some argue that the color-coding system isn't the best way to organize books, since it abandons alphabetical or genre ordering. But for visually-oriented people, color cataloging can be easier to use than other systems, as long as you remember a book by its cover.

Green Booksby Steve Rhodes

Color Coded Bookshelfby hinke

National Geographicsby dcfox

Colored Booksby Amodiovalerio Verde

Title by hey mr glen.


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16 Comments
Showing 1 - 16 of 16 Comments

zebraphobe

I do this. It looks so much nicer. However, I organize my books by type by shelf (novels, reference/fiction, cookbooks, coffee table) as well, so each shelf is organized individually by color instead of the whole bookshelf. That way I can actually find the book I'm looking for without trying to remember only that it is orange and having tiny pocket novels next to giant coffee table books.

I do it for my closet too. (But again, dresses/tops/pants are and sorted within that criteria instead of just the whole thing.)

More links:

katedavis on TeamSugar

chotda on Flickr 1 and 2

Abecedarian

Times Emit at AptStudio

Joe at BeardedJoe.com

Design Sponge 1 and 2

retsof

It would be nice to have that luxury, but due to limited (full) shelf space books here are mostly organized by size.

tenkerasu

i would love to do that...if only i could find all my books and make sure they actually have colours on them... ^^

lostmy

I love this idea so much and the second photo is one of the first photo's I favourited when I opened my flickr
account!
The trouble is it won't work with my Terry Pratchett collection, those books have just so many colours!!!
:)

silver

I do find the idea delightful, but I have books arranged by topic in different areas of the house. No way to bring them all together. Still, I love the pics of those who have done it. :)

Sylke

Some of my friends have done this too:

I think it looks great but it wouldn't work for me at all as I am going by contents.

bunigrl33

I did this with my CD collection before ditching the jewel cases in favor of an album. My books are separated by genre and then sorted either alphabetically or by size. So many of the spines are multi-colored anyway.

retsof

Well, there you go. You solved your own problem, bunigrl33. Don't organize your books by color on the spine. Organize them by palette or pattern on the spine.

eighthmuse

I don't even have enough books to make any semblance of a colour rainbow . . . a quick inspection, however, reveals my fiction is blue, brown, yellow, black, white . . .

Hm, a bit monochrome, but maybe I can try to arrange it so it'll look like a CL palette from far away.

And then again, I could always buy more books. ;D I would love to have a largeish number of books in varying colours, otherwise I'd be organizing them like this right now.

Sylke

A couple of palettes going with my bookshelf photo further up:
Blue books
Greenish books

SuperDuder

This looks wonderful.
I gotta try this. My bookshelf is a mess.
I dont think I have time to do this. But ill give it a shot.

liddle_r

hehehe... at times, I did my cd's like this

kostheory

my cd rack looks like that right now! and here I thought I was the only one. I should've known better.

rosclarke

You know, I can almost see myself buying books purely to fill out colour sections of the bookcase that needed a bit of help.

glalalamour

I did this once a few years back but got too lazy to keep it all in order. My bedroom's too small for this. :P

phonebook

I think I may try that with my movies...they're in a pile on the floor right now...>_>;

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