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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

The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living ($23.15,

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

Tom Ford Hardcover ($102.21,

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

Small Space Style ($19.72,

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

The New Bohemians Handbook ($18.70,

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