Got it covered
You joined a book club years ago and have since been collecting every best-seller recommended by Oprah. But do you really want guests to notice The DaVinci Code and other overrated novels on your bookshelf? Our guess is no. Cover up those books using a roll of brown 3M Scotch packing paper ($3 at drugstores). The simple paper protects your tomes and gives your bookshelf a minimalist look, allowing other decor accents like vases or knickknacks to stand out.
Everyone has a book that has changed their life. Find an old copy of that book—keep your original preserved—at a used book store (such as 57th Street Books in Hyde Park or Myopic Books in Wicker Park) and tear out a few favorite pages for framing. We found a copy of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man at a college bookstore and framed the title page and a couple of other passages using an inexpensive Ribba frame from IKEA ($15). We found a page in the book with the line, “I shall express myself as I am,” already underlined, which then became a personal mantra as well as a cool, weathered page to display.
Know when to fold ’em
If you have a book you know you’re never going to read again, why not turn it into a sculpture for your wall? We got the idea when visiting Haystack in Lakeview. The vintage store sells book art (open books with folded pages that look like origami-meets-pop-up-books) by local artist Brian Heiser. We tried a DIY version by taking a hardbound used book and folding the corners of each page together to create a point. By folding every page in the book, you create a 3-D diamond shape. Then simply mount the book to the wall with nails. Unless you’re feeling adventurous, it might be easier to purchase Heiser’s more complex designs. (2934 N Broadway, 773-549-1225).