8 Novel Ways to Use Books in the Kitchen

Books, and not just cookbooks, can spark the imagination and make a kitchen feel like a home.



Books play such an important role in what makes a house a home. They take us to faraway places, provide endless inspiration, help us plan family meals and spark our imaginations, and I’m all for finding places to keep them handy in every room in the house. The kitchen may not be the first place you think of for a little library. Here are eight reasons why you should.
 


1. The More At-Home Library Spaces, the Better

“I love putting books in a kitchen, and they absolutely do not have to be cookbooks,” says interior designer Rebekah Zaveloff. “Kitchens can include study nooks, so why not put a mini library in the kitchen?” This family kitchen has cozy bistro style. Keeping favorite novels, art books, travel guides and design monographs to enjoy with a cup of coffee in the nook makes good sense.

Note: To keep books in good shape, maintain adequate ventilation around the range, and put them far enough from the stove to minimize dust and grease buildup.
 


2. Books Keep You Company

“I always design a place for old friends in the kitchen … both to gather together in person and with the ones I find in great books,” says designer and renovator Laura Schwartz-Muller. In this California kitchen, the book spines in the wide, built-in bookshelf add color and a selection of literary friends to choose from when the homeowners want to settle into the banquette with a good book. 
 


3. They Are a Nice View at the End of a Galley

Rather than a view of bulky appliances or a wall of cabinet doors, this kitchen offers floor-to-ceiling shelves enlivened by books.
 


4. They Aren’t So Kitchen-y

Incorporating open shelves into kitchen islands has been trending recently. The shelves not only keep books handy, but they also ease the transition from living or dining room to kitchen within an open floor plan, and help make the kitchen look less utilitarian.
 


5. They Can Take Up Less Space Than a Narrow Broom Cabinet

You don’t need a large kitchen to find space for books. In this modestly sized kitchen, a tall, skinny bookshelf provides plenty of room to keep books at hand.
 


6. They Fit Within a Thick Wall

This pantry already had double French doors. Rather than filling out the side walls with plain drywall, this clever designer used the thick wall to make space for books. The books are easy to browse and add color to the kitchen.
 


7. They Break Up a Monochromatic Scheme

This clever book niche above the sink is an unexpected design element in the contemporary kitchen. It also makes it very easy to grab some culinary help from Edna Lewis, Alice Waters or Julia Child.
 


8. They Bring in Personality

The wall in this kitchen is very yin and yang. The cabinets on the right provide an expanse of warm wood, while the blue lower cabinets and shelves full of books on the left show off a cheerfully colorful personal collection.
 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

2017 Pittsburgher of the Year: Kelly Frey

2017 Pittsburgher of the Year: Kelly Frey

No one would blame the veteran WTAE anchor if she took time off while undergoing intensive breast cancer treatment. Instead, she chose to use humor and grace to educate and inspire others, all while in the public eye.
Green Medicine: The Business of Medical Marijuana

Green Medicine: The Business of Medical Marijuana

For many, medical marijuana is a panacea capable of alleviating a wide range of symptoms. As Pennsylvania begins allowing the drug’s medical use, patients are relieved — and business is booming.
Restaurant Review: Casbah Still is Rocking

Restaurant Review: Casbah Still is Rocking

More than 20 years into its run, Casbah remains one of Pittsburgh’s most relevant restaurants.
First There Was Hot Yoga. Then There Was Goat Yoga

First There Was Hot Yoga. Then There Was Goat Yoga

Believe it or not, yogis have been practicing with goats in the Unites States for more than a year.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Yinzers Eating Chicken Wings Are Going to Be on TV

Yinzers Eating Chicken Wings Are Going to Be on TV

Mt. Washington’s Bigham Tavern is the latest ‘Burgh eatery to host a film crew.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Madeline Bakery and Bistro to Open in Wilkinsburg

Madeline Bakery and Bistro to Open in Wilkinsburg

The French-inspired bakery will feature croissants, cookies, bread and more.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Here are some of our favorite ‘Burgh-inspired gifts for him, her, kids, foodies and more.

Comments


Enjoy a Relaxing Evening of Wanton Destruction at Break Room

Enjoy a Relaxing Evening of Wanton Destruction at Break Room

The Irwin business offers the chance to smash inanimate objections for a little "therapeutic demolition."

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers Can't Ease Their Patriots Pain Until January

Steelers Can't Ease Their Patriots Pain Until January

Much as they’d like to, the Steelers won’t be able to exorcise the ghosts of AFC Championship Games Past, even with a win on Sunday.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Movie Review — Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Movie Review — Star Wars: The Last Jedi

A review of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," the latest entry in the massive franchise.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
New Weddings Website Aims for Equality

New Weddings Website Aims for Equality

A local wedding photographer has created a business to connect same-sex couples with LGBTQ-friendly vendors.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
It’s Back! ‘Restored by the Fords’ Gets Premiere Date

It’s Back! ‘Restored by the Fords’ Gets Premiere Date

The new season of the home improvement show featuring Pittsburgh siblings Leanne and Steve Ford debuts on HGTV in January.

Comments