HGTV Jasmine Roth home office design

Big HGTV secret coming at ya! And maybe it’s something you’ve never even noticed. But have you ever been watching a show on HGTV, and when they cut to the big design reveal, you see that any and all books in the space are turned around backwards?

As styling shelves became even more popular in interior design over the years, the number of times books were shown turned with spines facing inward really ramped up.  So people at home started displaying books this way, and it actually became pretty popular!  But do you know why books are turned around backwards on HGTV shows?!

So what’s the HGTV Secret?

It’s a really simple answer: copyright!  That’s right, this isn’t some breakthrough of a design trick. Although it’s actually kind of a hot button issue with book lovers who aren’t fans of hiding the titles. It’s because the network would have to get copyright clearance from every single title in order to display them.  And that’s not very realistic considering each design could have at least 10 books in them!

Look at me here (below) in Season 1, Episode 8, “Have a Big Kind Heart and Stay Weird” … I’m even holding them backwards!!!  See?! If it has a title, it can’t be shown.

HGTV Jasmine Roth explains a HTV Secret revealed

So there you have it!  Tell all your friends about the HGTV secret!  And while we’re talkin’ about books facing backwards, let’s take a walk down memory lane of some of my favorite book styling moments from Hidden Potential

This was such an EPIC bookcase in Season 2, Episode 11, “It’s My Dream Home Now.”  We needed a quite a few books to style all of these shelves, and yep, they’re all turned backwards!  I think while it may not be practical for such a large bookcase if you need to access the books often, the pages facing outward do look nice here on the blue paint color.

HGTV Jasmine Roth book shelf design secret

That same house also had this cute coffee bar we installed for the homeowners. No spines shown here, either!

Jasmine Roth on HGTV design secret

Another example above, this one from “Come Sit With Me” in Season 1.

So whether you’re in the “spines facing out is better” or “pages facing out looks cool” camps, bookcases and shelves need to be styled! I’m pretty obsessed with styling shelves – it’s kinda my thing – so here’s some of my favorite finds to help get you started.

Shop Books

Electronics Hider Books (Horizontal) // Electronics Hider Books (Vertical) // Trimmed Book Spines // Modern Decorative Books // Personalized Book Cover Jackets // Custom Book Decor // Paper Mache Book Box // Decorative Book Box (Set of 3)

Shop Pots & Planters

Yellow Lily Planter // Hand Painted Cement Planter // Dipped Pots & Vases // Dotted Planter // Indigo Table Vase // Chevron Pot // Scalloped Planter // Green Ceramic Pot // Hand Carved Planter

Shop Bookshelf Decor

Decorative Bowl // Embossed Ceramic Frame // Gold Terrarium // Woven Votive Holders // Wood & Horn Frame // Clustered Ceramic Set // Wooden Picture Frame // Scalloped Picture Frame

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