As an interior designer, you may design bookcases into a room and then find that your clients also need books to fill them. This is a common issue for second or third homes where the client does not have time to shop for an entire collection of books for their property. It is also a problem in the era of the Kindle and other electronic readers when people don’t buy as many physical books but they still love the look of them on the shelves.
As a designer, you may wish to acquire books for a project in a particular color or texture, while your clients might have particular authors or genres in mind. Fortunately a custom book collection company does exist to help satisfy both you can your clients. Juniper Books has been building book collections that please both homeowners and their designers for years.
One of the most perennially popular and classical styles for a home library is to use antique leather books. The beauty of leather bindings comes from the quality of their production centuries ago, the subtle palette of their colors, and the authentic patina of wear on their spines. Many homeowners think that antique leather books in English are not affordable; however I have been building book collections of antique leather books in English for clients in all price ranges. While importers of Swedish and Danish leather books would like you to think that their leather books are the only ones available, this is far from the truth and it is silly to spend money on indecipherable Scandinavian medical books when you could have a beautiful set of Charles Dickens for nearly the same price.
Modern leather books published by Easton Press and the Franklin Library offer a brighter and more contemporary look using leather bindings and are extremely popular. One reason for their broad appeal is the high quality selection of titles available. Nearly all of their publications are popular literary classics, important histories, and other publications that make their owners look smart and well read! After handling thousands upon thousands of these books, we know that virtually no one who buys these books ever reads them – and perhaps they shouldn’t as they hold their value much better if unopened.
Modern cloth bound books are a very economical library design option and can be used in many different ways. They can either be displayed with their jackets on or with them off. Leaving the jackets on creates a more modern contemporary look, but their glossiness can create challenges for lighting. If your client is a book collector, they will want the jackets left on as the jackets constitute much of the collectible value of modern books. Taking the jackets off generally creates more evenness across the book colors. We love to play with creating color patterns and breaking up the visual space of bookshelves by arranging books in horizontal stacks, diagonal leaning books, and other variations that make the shelves more accessible and casual..
A true library design consultant will work with you to find the style and selection of books that meets your needs and not just try to sell you what they have in stock. This is essentially an occupation that I invented in response to the need from homeowners and interior designers. If you try to get books in bulk from a regular bookseller, they will generally try to push the books they want to get rid of on you. My approach is very different and most often involves acquiring books specifically for a client in the exact binding style, colors, and subjects requested.
Decorative books are a visual product and I am a big believer in showing the client what they are going to get before they receive it. We photograph books and combinations of books many times and provide these previews to our clients as many times as it takes to “get it right.” We also provide digital cataloging services for our clients and many other value added services that provide reference tools and protect the value of a book collection if the information is ever needed.
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