If you know me, you know how much I adore interior design coffee table books. Whether they inspire you with images of beautiful interiors, practical advice or tell you more about your favorite designers, coffee table books are the perfect accessory in any home. I often get asked how I style my own coffee table and the answer is simple: stacks and stacks of books. Why? Because one stack of books just isn't enough.
Ever since I thought about owning my own home one day, I started collecting beautiful books full of beautiful homes. I have always been obsessed with home decor and different design styles and I loved that each book showed different ways that people lived. It was fascinating to me as a design enthusiast how each design style was just so different. I had yet to develop my own style but looked to these gems for interior design inspiration.
Types of Coffee Table Books + How to Make Them Work Together
I now have a collection of my favorite coffee table books, most of which are interior design books and I reference them often. When not in use, they hold their own place as decor in my home. These books are beautiful and should be out for all to see.
If interior design books aren't your thing, there are tons of options out there that can work. There are books for the travel junkie, books about your favorite design icon, you can even put out books about dogs. The one thing to remember is that in order for these books to be on display, you need them to be decorative books. That means either the dust jacket needs to be aesthetically pleasing or removed to unveil the simple book underneath. You'll find this works best if you can find 'naked' books with a complimentary color palette... like varying colors of cream, beige and tan. Start looking at other people's coffee tables and how they style them for a little inspiration.
Not Just for Coffee Tables
And a note on the 'coffee table' portion of the coffee table book... just because they are called 'coffee table books' doesn't mean they have to live on the coffee table in your living room. A good book can go almost anywhere so put some on your entry console table, put a few stacks of coffee table books on your open shelves in your kitchen, put one large book on the side table in your guest bedroom. Books are the perfect way to bring a little personality to any space. The books you choose say something about you so choose topics that resonate with you.
Here is a list of some of my best coffee table books and a bit about them to get you started
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AD AT 100 | A CENTURY OF STYLE
Architectural Digest is a must. AD100 is a beautiful volume which is a great choice for any empty shelf.
Architectural Digest is 100!!! Happy Birthday to you AD! For their major milestone, Architectural Digest is sharing some of the world's most incredible homes and gardens from the last hundred years. They have dove into their archives (I would love to be a part of that!) and chosen a collection of homes to share with us from past to present. Celebrity homes are celebrated from the likes of Barack and Michelle Obama, David Bowie, Truman Capote and Michael Kors. Iconic designers and architects like Frank Gehry, David Hicks, Axel Vervoordt, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Elsie de Wolfe are showcased. And photographers such as Bill Cunningham, Horst P. Horst, Simon Upton, Francois Dischinger, Francois Halard, Julius Shulman, and Oberto Gili are saluted with their beautiful photography.
Beautiful design isn't just pleasant to look at; it improves the quality of our lives. It helps foster the traditions, rituals, and ceremonies we create in our homes
Athena Calderone has created one of my favorite books Live Beautiful and if you aren't already, follow her instagram account. She is incredible. Calderone believes that "Beautiful design isn't just pleasant to look at; it improves the quality of our lives. It helps foster the traditions, rituals, and ceremonies we create in our homes" and we couldn't agree more. Live Beautiful not only gives us design inspiration, but Athena breaks down her process to help you incorporate these ideas into elements of your room.
MADE FOR LIVING
Amber Lewis's book has beautiful design elements that you can apply to your own space. She showcases her relaxed, California style while giving advice on how to layer decor, mix patterns and select the perfect shade of paint to create a perfectly lived-in look. Did I mention this book has over two hundred and fifty gorgeous interior photos?
Kelly Wearstler has design fans across the globe and Evocative Style is a beautiful coffee table book. Wearstler is one of the top designers of our time and is sharing her opulent interiors in this book. She is celebrated for creating luxurious interiors that have an old-world Hollywood feel paired with modern sensibilities. Many of the projects shown in this book have never before been photographed and we are so happy she decided to share them with us.
Other books you'll find on my coffee table and why I love them
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THE HOUSE THAT PINTEREST BUILT
We all look to Pinterest to find inspiration when starting a new project but how incredible is it that Ms. Diane Keaton does too?! She is known for her own design style in dressing and now is giving us a peek into her sprawling dream home. Another reason to love this book? The black simplicity of the cover fits into almost any book stack. Oh, and published by the world renowned Rizzoli, you know this book is good.
THE PARISIANS | TASTEMAKERS AT HOME
Author Catherine Synave is a journalist and art historian. She has created an interesting book full of irresistible style. This book shares the private work of top designers. Twenty-five designers invite us in their private French residences with each distinct point of view in their unique homes. And another Rizzoli book is always a good thing.
JOSEPH DIRAND | STUDIO
Joseph Dirand is one of today’s most sought after architects. He combines minimalism with classic French design in incredible interiors. Dirand’s interiors are instantly recognizable and this book commemorates his work. Residential interiors, hotels, restaurants and fashion houses are shared in the pages of this gorgeous book. You may notice a theme here... Rizzoli. And no, this is not a sponsored post!
PORTRAITS OF HOME | DISC INTERIORS
DISC Interiors is an interior and furniture design firm based in Los Angeles. This book shares Krista Schrock and David John Dick’s ability to create simple designs that work seamlessly with modern life. DISC’s use of earthy tones, leathers and vintage furniture balance their interiors beautifully. Ok this isn't funny anymore, Rizzoli should be sponsoring this post. Seriously though, they just publish really great coffee table books.
Regardless whether you choose to use my favorite coffee table books in your own personal stack or select your own, these books are a great way to bring a little personality and inspiration into the home you love. You want to choose books that not only look great on your coffee tables or side tables or fireplace mantels but you also want to select books that you want to grab and flip through. So, pour yourself a glass of wine, grab a book and find some inspiration for you own home's potential. Seek some friendly advice from some of the most sought after designers. Get yourself a practical guide on the best way to tour Spain. Whatever resonates with you will work in your home.
We would love to see your personal stack so don't forget to tag @elementdesignnetwork and share your books with us!
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CHECK OUT HOW I STYLE MY COFFEE TABLE BELOW