Cool coffee table books to purchase


Two art coffee table books and cup of coffee


Coffee tables have become a popular spot to pop your books on – especially in recent years. In fact, this piece of furniture has become the most modern way to display some of the best books out there. Maybe you’ve seen a stack of hardback books neatly piled up on your friend’s table, and you’ve noticed how well they complement the contemporary wall art hung on the walls. And now you want to experiment yourself!

But what is a coffee table book exactly, and what are the best coffee table books out there? We tell all in this blog, just read on to find out; you’ll be the proud owner of one (or a pile of them) in no time!

What is a coffee table book?

Three decorative coffee table books with black and white 'YAY' mug

A coffee table book is (usually) a large, beautifully illustrated book that smartens up your décor. They are typically hardcover books, and ones that add to the style and character to your room, and are intended to be read pretty casually.

Generally speaking, a coffee table book is all about the aesthetic. You place these arty books for all to see on top of your coffee table, proudly presenting them so your house guests get a glimpse of your favourite hobbies and interests.

Of course, you’ll want to flick through these books and study the different photographs of fashion catwalks, art and other subjects, but you’ll also want the front covers to complement your décor! When you think of cool coffee table books you quickly set the scene of a modern space filled with quirky ornaments and minimalistic artwork – and this soon could be what your living room looks like…

The best coffee table books

A stack of the best coffee table books on brown and gold table

When it comes to finding decorative books for your coffee table, it’s much different from choosing your standard novel at a book shop. Why? Well because it’s all about judging a book by its cover – which, we know, we’ve been taught not to do for centuries! But you need to ignore this ethos for coffee table books, because those you present on top need to be attractive, and catch your friends’ attention as they sit down on your sofa.

There are so many different styles of books to add to your home, but what are the best coffee table books out there? We’ve made a list of the greatest editions that cover our three favourite topics: art, photography and fashion!

Art coffee table books

Black and white Sculpture art coffee table book on laminate floor

If your love lies in art, you’ll want to spruce up your space with art-inspired books, or biographies of your favourite designers. Because these type of books show your dedication to your one true passion, and you’ll get to learn even more about the beloved artists you look up to!

So, here’s a handful of the best art coffee table books for art lovers everywhere:

  • de Gournay: Hand-Painted Interiors – by Claud Cecil Gurney

A brilliant read featuring a bright floral cover, with work that mirrors (and takes the same spirit of) William Morris’ artwork by combining textiles and artwork.

  • Frida Kahlo: The Complete Paintings – by author and editor, Luis-Martín Lozano, Andrea Kettenmann (Author), and Marina Vázquez Ramos (Author)

A detailed book showcasing the brilliant work by iconic artist, Frida Kahlo, featuring a selection of her famous paintings, with commentary about each one.

  • Art: The Definitive Visual Guide – by editor, author and consultant editor, Andrew Graham Dixon, Ross King (Foreword), and Ian Chilvers (Consultant Editor)

A beautiful, fuchsia-coloured hardback book that includes pictures of over 2,500 influential sculptures and paintings, featuring everything from cave paintings to modern art!

  • Dalí: The Paintings (hardcover) – by authors Robert Descharnes andGilles Neret

This book is the biggest study of Salvador Dalí’s paintings to date, filled with this artist’s famous pieces, with captions from the two authors about the meanings of each. The gold book cover and black and white photograph of Dalí in the centre will definitely catch your house guests’ attention! In fact, it’s one of the best, decorative books for a coffee table.

For photography lovers

Pile of 6 decorative photography books for coffee table

Photography is present in our everyday lives, whether we see shots of our favourite artists in magazines or beautiful landscapes on holiday websites.

Whether you love taking photographs yourself or just admire those taken by other people, if you’re passionate about photography, there are coffee table books to suit your every preference. So, add a bit of your personality to your décor and find books that feature images you enjoy!

These are some of the best coffee table books if you love photography:

  • Face Time: A History of the Photographic Portrait - by Phillip Prodger

This book is one of the cool coffee table books to read (and have sitting in your living room)! It focuses on photography through time. It shows how photography has changed but one thing always remains the same: one of the most popular subjects in photography is us!

  • Escape – by Gray Malin (photographer and author)

A book bringing calm to your living space, both from the front cover and the photography/text that lives inside! Malin’s front cover is of one of the many exotic, blissful beach photographs he’s taken over the years, giving you an insight into the rest of the book before you’ve even opened it!

  • A Pound of Pictures - by Alec Soth

A stream of consciousness book highlighting Mack’s love for recording and collecting pictures – which many of you will be familiar with, detailing what goes into producing photographs of all kinds. Plus, the beige and textured front cover complements other coffee table book styles perfectly!

For fashion enthusiasts…

Blue and white photography coffee table books on glass table

Got an eye for fashion? Do you love everything related to fashion and the history of it?

Well you’re probably wanting to introduce fashion to your interiors. And you’re in luck; there are cool coffee table books that will really set the scene.

These are the top coffee table books for fashionistas everywhere:

  • The United States of Fashion: A New Atlas of American Style - by The Editors of Vogue, with a Foreword from Anna Wintour

The clean, white book cover (with typical Vogue-brand lettering and a collage of images) invites you to learn all about the transitions in fashion post-COVID-19. This fabulous book includes interesting commentary from fashion icons across the nation, as well as images that represent what fashion means to them.

  • DIOR in Bloom – by authors Jérôme Hanover, Alain Stella, Naomi Sachs, Justine Picardie, and Nick Knight 

Add an elegant touch to your home with this incredible book. It’s all about the influence flowers have had on DIOR fashion and fragrance.

The colourful, floral design of paint-dripped flowers on the cover makes it one of the most decorative books for a coffee table, and will work really well with modern, minimalistic homes. Or, if you have floral prints dotted across your walls, this might match perfectly – or uplift a more understated room in your house!

  • Vivienne Westwood Catwalk – by Alexander Fury

Fashion lovers out there, you probably own a Catwalk book already – but this one is extra special, featuring photographs of Westwood’s innovative fashion styles over the years.

The book’s colourful front cover, with a quirky, chequered pattern, works so well with minimal walls and simple spaces. Our tip – always place this one at the very top of your book pile!

  • Ralph Lauren: In His Own Fashion – by Alan Flusser

This book takes you through an illustrated biographical journey of the American fashion icon: Ralph Lauren, discussing his amazing work, influence and rise to fame.

The book’s dark hardcover has chic, gold embossed lettering, suiting a range of interiors, and works wonderfully with your living room wall art!

Discover interesting prints and other décor ideas

Three framed Tall Boy Prints contemporary art pieces on living room wall

Now you know the best coffee table books to add to your living room, your space will feel uplifted in no time! 

To source other handy home interior tips, head over to our design and décor blog where you’ll find all sorts of inspirational information that will help transform your living space.