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Coffee table books aren't just for coffee tables.
Despite lacking a formal coffee table, we have about a dozen coffee table books laid out around our home.
When chosen carefully, they make for versatile design tools to enhance shelves, consoles and almost any flat surface. You can display tchotchkes atop stacked books or use a large book with a bold cover as a stand-alone design element.
What I love most about coffee table books is their merging of form and function.
There's something deliciously meta about a book on design that serves as a beautiful object in its own right.
These are my nine favorite coffee table books for use as decor.
1. The Kinfolk Home
Beneath this beguiling cover lie inspiring images of meticulously curated homes around the world. This is my fave coffee table book of all time, inside and out.
It also looks great naked (with the jacket off). I've used it as a styling prop all over our home:
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2. Tom Ford
I bet you recognize this one. It's nothing short of iconic. It's massive size (nearly 15 inches long!) and bold white-on-black lettering, make it a stunner. Inside, it chronicles Tom Ford's designs for Gucci and YSL over the years. So, it's a double win if you're into fashion.
3. Small Space Style
This book's tagline "because you don't need to live large to live beautifully," could be my own motto. Written by Whitney Leigh Morris (who's managed to fit her family into a tiny 400-square-foot cottage), it's packed with storage hacks and design tips geared towards small space dwellers.
Design wise, the cover's nothing out of the ordinary, but I like the playful, semi-cursive font on the spine.
It pairs well with The New Bohemians Handbook (see below).
4. The New Bohemians Handbook
Boho is one of my favorite decor styles and this book is full of lush bohemian interior inspo. It has a bit of a New Age bent----there are sections on how to burn sage and use crystals to change the energy in your home. So, if you're not open to good vibes, your eyes may ache from rolling by the time you get to the end...
Still totally worth the read!
It’s also a good choice if you’re looking to add a pop of color to a vignette. The shiny copper lettering on the spine's the icing on the cake.
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5. Plant Style
A helpful resource for anyone trying to figure out which plants will work in your space, both in terms of the plants' requirements and your current decor. It's full of inspiring images of a variety of plants styled beautifully together.
Our kitchen plant shelfie, inspired by 'Plant Style.'
6. Urban Jungle
Like 'Plant Style,' but provides a series of case studies in flawless plant styling from plant-loving homes around the world. This one's inspired me to go off the botanical deep end. Our once minimalist-ish space is becoming an urban jungle. You can never have too many plants, amirite???
My latest plant/planter haul inspired by Urban Jungle.
This book introduced me to a variety of stunning plant species. That lush staghorn fern on our windowsill's my new favorite.
7. The House That Pinterest Built
This is essentially a printed compilation of Diane Keaton's favorite Pinterest images, which inspired her decor choices. I had no idea she had such great taste and flips houses as a side gig!
Just like the Tom Ford book, the bold lettering on the cover commands attention, but it’s the title of this book that drew me in. I've been helping my sister (Cher at House of High/Low) decorate her new home and we've been using Pinterest to curate ideas. I insisted she get this for her coffee table solely for the title, as hers is literally the house that Pinterest is building!
The coffee table I styled for my sister. Keep an eye out for future posts on our progress styling each room of her house!
8. Eat Drink Nap
This is another book I couldn’t resist because of its attention-grabbing font and matter-of-fact title. Beneath the cover, it provides a peak inside the exclusive Soho House (a set of members-only international social clubs catering to those in creative industries). If you royal stalk, you may recall that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had their first date at the Soho House in London.
9. Another Art Book
I love the tongue-in-cheek title. Despite its tame exterior, this book's filled with photographs of provocative modern art pieces, including nudity and sacrilegious images. It may spark lively conversation with guests, but you might want to be careful where you keep it if you have kids. Luckily, Owen judges books by their covers and has zero interest in prying this one open!
That's all for this week! What are your fave coffee table books? Let me know in the comments! Tune in for a future post on how to style shelfies and a review of our Comfort Works sofa covers and how they've held up after a year.
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