I have never really given too much consideration to re-covering books until recently when I was styling a client's bookshelves. Out of the three extra large bins of books, there were only a few she would let me use because she didn't like the binding colors on the rest. My first thought ran immediately to India Hicks' living room in her Hibiscus Hill home, where she used craft paper to cover a bunch of her books for a more cohesive look:
A few mixed in here and there I'm totally on board with, but I still can't decide whether or not I would fill an entire set of bookshelves or built-ins with them. For me, the binding, font color and overall wear and tear of each book is part of what lends character. With that being said, I still admire photographer Matt Albiani's take on India Hicks' craft papered books in his New York apartment, originally featured in Domino:
You could easily -and inexpensively-recreate this look yourself at home. A 6 foot by 180 foot roll costs less than $2 at Lowes:
Nautical charts and maps are another great way to add a ton of interest to your books. I love this display from the November 2011 issue of Coastal Living, in which vellum maps were used to cover books:
For a similar look, you can buy HUGE nautical charts (think 3 feet by 4 feet) for less than $30 a piece online. NauticalCharts.com and Maryland Nautical are two of my favorite resources-great quality and so inexpensive!
Leftover wallpaper, gift wrap and sheets of craft paper from Michael's are all great options, as well. These marbled beauties from Kate's Paperie are beautiful:
What do you think? Are you for or against re-covering books? Inquiring minds want to know :)