The HGTV Design Trick That Became An Unexpected Trend

HGTV is all about taking a run-down or outdated house and turning it into something worth living in, as seen on shows like "Fixer to Fabulous," "Brother vs. Brother," or "Rock the Block." Each show has its own premise and quirks, but fans notice — and take inspiration from — some of the common design details across HGTV homes. Some credit the network with popularizing the open-concept layout and Joanna Gaines is often cited as the purveyor of farmhouse décor. But in the realm of HGTV designs, one particularly strange detail has become a minimalist-approved trend.

When HGTV designers are sprucing up a living room or home office, fans of the shows have noticed they never display the titles of the books. According to HGTV star Jasmine Roth, books are always turned backward. Roth claims the design trick is meant for copyright reasons, saying, "The network would have to get copyright clearance from every singlet title to display them" via her blog. While HGTV designers turn their books inward out of necessity, it turned into an unexpected trend seen all over Twitter and Pinterest. Here's why some DIYers love the look.

Backwards book trend controversy

Since HGTV shows aren't allowed to showcase the spines of books, it inspired DIYers and homeowners to do the same. However, there has been controversy over the trend as to whether it's a good or bad thing. Book Riot claims the few DIYers who enjoy the trend like the neutral monochromatic look of the pages being the same color rather than the different colored spines. In addition, it fits a minimalist interior, where bright, funky colors aren't used. Instead, neutral tones take up the space creating a cohesive appearance.

On the other hand, homeowners who enjoy a bit of color in their homes or like reading the titles of books disagree with the backward book trend. According to Food52, showcasing colorful spines are a great way to add interest to a home. Some folks enjoy arranging the books' spines in color to give their shelves a different look. Of course, there's no right way to design bookshelves if you decide to display the pages or the spines — as long as you decorate the shelves in a way that feels right for you.