15 September 2011

are books as a design element a thing of the past?

Last week The Economist broke the story that IKEA will be revamping its classic Billy Bookshelf by making the shelves deeper. Perfect, the article states, for "ornaments, tchotchkes and the odd coffee-table tome—anything, that is, except books that are actually read." The article goes on to explain that e-books have overtaken hardcover sales and that the Swedish furniture company is adapting to a future with fewer physical books in our homes. 

Say it isn't so! OK, I can (maybe) understand why people are indeed opting for the convenience of an e-book while standing on a commuter train or crammed into a tiny airplane seat (though I still love the feel and smell of a real page), but I can not and will not accept that books will no longer serve as a prominent design element in our homes. Yes, I may be more of a bookshelf enthusiast than some, but you have to admit that books, whether stacked on the bedside table, organized masterfully in a bookcase, or piled precariously high on the floor beside a chair add a warm and interesting feel to a space. Displaying books is the easiest decoration trick in the book, and it personalizes a home. The colours and sizes and textures profuse a room with a cozy and comfy and welcoming feel. 

So I was incredibly relieved to read Reluctant Habits' interview with IKEA PR gal Marty Marston, who said, "I hate to dispel those who think the bookcase is dead. We do not see it that way. We really see books as decorative. Books will still continue to be something used to adorn. They’re rich and they’re textured.”

Whew. Books in design are not a fading trend. OK, I guess I can fish my IKEA catalogue out of the recycle bin. Or I could just bookmark the online version.

Images via here and here. 

1 comment :

  1. Kelly I'm right there with you! Real books have so much character and add such a personalized touch to each home..How could we discontinue them?
    Good post!


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