Hands up if you’re a collector? Of art, vintage bags, blue and white ceramics, vinyl records? Whilst I confess to being an accumulator of many, MANY things, the coffee table book is my primary penchant. I love words. I adore images. Coffee table books combine, so artfully, both these areas. And often with the most gorgeous covers!
Whenever I’m styling an interior, I aim to incorporate books. I even wrote a blog post on styling with the coffee table book, which you can read here. And whilst choosing a book by its cover has never felt so apt, I also love a good nosy inside for some serious inspiration. Even the humble cookbook feels very design-focused today with some beautiful options to covet for a run of open-shelving. They’re the perfect festive gift too!
HOW TO CHOOSE A COFFEE TABLE BOOK
With so much choice and new editions constantly in print, how on earth do you choose where to invest?
I discussed this in a previous post – stating size, design and colour as key objectives when it comes to selecting a coffee table book for styling. However, I also do occasionally enjoy the content (!) and often select based on personal interest and the engagement-factor. Image quality should be considered, especially if you’re seeking inspiration, and I’m also a huge fan of weighty paper!
In this post – a bumper edit of all things coffee table book – I have organised my favourite finds by category. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are always new recruits waiting in the wings, but hopefully it will offer some insight into the best available finds (as fast as you can say ‘Prime Now’).
The interior design coffee table book. Yes, this is first up – ‘quelle suprise’!
I find other designers’ work incredibly inspiring and enjoy reading their insights and ideas behind their projects. Also, the images are often AMAZING! From french farmhouses to sleek, minimalist projects, these books can echo or contrast beautifully within your own interior spaces.
ART & ARCHITECTURE
I cherished every moment of my Art History degree – it’s such a joyful and inspiring subject! I also studied architecture which ignited my passion for interior details – Corinthian columns, Modernist ribbon windows and decorative architraves. This has not waned and I still love to curl up with a cup of tea and an arty read.
Introducing artists’ coffee table books into your interior scheme is both effortlessly cool and a relatively inexpensive way of showcasing art. Who says it should be limited to the walls?!
I regularly cheat on furniture with fashion. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I approach the second floor of Selfridges with equal gusto to the London Design Festival. These genres cross-pollinate extensively, with much showcased on the catwalk appearing, in one guise or another, in the home. Sartorial concepts and decisions can also feel heavily interior-inspired.
With so many brilliant fashion books to choose from, these are my true coffee table faves. The perfect base for a decorative bronze sculpture or Jo Malone candle.
I am many things but a chef I am NOT. Too fastidious to pull out every wok, pot and pan in the cupboard. Too much of a control freak to casually throw herbs and spices around a-la Jamie Oliver. I’m not even that fussed about a gourmet meal at a Michelin star restaurant (I’m really just in it for the decor)!
What I lack in ability, I make up for in cookery book collecting, having amassed quite the stash. I just love the content – the detailed recipes, beautiful pictures – the creativity. A great cover helps too! Here are some of my favourites;
When it’s raining outside, drift away to sunnier climes with a coffee table book dedicated to travel. There are so many beautiful books to choose from, capturing the sights, sounds and smells of bustling cities, remote villages and tuk-tuk trails. Inspiration for your next trip or simply a little escapism – here are my top picks;
Do you ever find your days are filled with ‘photography pauses’ and <she stops, mid sentence, to take a photo.>
Is your iPhone memory held ransom to multiple shots of the same vignette? Or do you simply appreciate a great image? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions then the photography coffee table book is calling your name. There are some absolute gems to behold;
COFFEE TABLE BOOK: THE EDIT
I hope you enjoyed exploring some new finds and old favourites in my comprehensive guide. As I mentioned above, the coffee table book is a great gifting option and something I turn to time and time again. With festivities approaching, it felt the right time to share.
I would love to hear about your book – or books – of choice. Whilst, from a styling perspective, the Tom Ford is a real go-to for me, I always enjoy discovering something new. It’s great to keep moving forward with design choices!
Girl signing off,