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  • Writer's pictureSamia Verbist

Designing a Coffee Table Book Display

Many types of décor details enhance a room, such as wall art, potted plants, and small sculptures. These elements are the finishing touches that really make a space come alive and show off your personality. Another excellent finishing touch you should not overlook is coffee table book displays.

Bookcase with coffee table book display books
Source: Samia Verbist Interior Design

The possibilities are nearly endless, and they do not require a big investment.

A ‘coffee table book’ is a large hardcover book that is attractive on the outside and gets even better on the inside. You may think of them as designer coffee table books or coffee table art books since they often focus on topics like art, fashion, or design. But there are many options, and you can find selections that fit your interests and style.

Although we have taken to calling them coffee table books, they are not limited to the coffee table. In fact, I like to place them in many areas of the living space, like the bedroom or home office.

Just think how great they look in the background on Zoom!

Let’s take a look at this versatile item and explore some of the latest trends in coffee table books.

What Topics Are Best for Decorative Coffee Table Books?

When searching for coffee table décor ideas, several topics are a natural fit here. Think art, fashion, architecture, design, landscaping, gardens, or travel. For fashion coffee table books, overall reviews like a book on the history of fashion are good. But you can also look for more specific publications, like a dedicated book about Chanel or Dior.

The same applies to other topics. For example, you can look for art coffee table books or seek volumes that focus on a particular artist like Cézanne. Or maybe an art movement like Impressionism.

Some additional popular coffee table book topics include photography, portraiture, cocktails, cuisine, and music. Are you still looking for ideas? Check out this list of the best coffee table books from Architectural Digest.

How to Choose Decorative Coffee Table Book Displays

Coffee table book interior design is about more than just selecting books on topics that interest you. The next consideration needs to be how the book's look fits the palette and style of your home.

There are so many beautiful coffee table books being published today. You can also visit a bookseller to find older books in pristine condition, too.

In this case, go ahead and judge a book by its cover because that is what will show in your display. Take into account the palette of the room where you will place the books and look for covers that complement those colors.

For example, if your room is minimalist and primarily white, the black-and-white Tom Ford book would be an excellent choice.

Coffee table book display with Tom Ford coffee table book, Chanel coffee table book, and Destinations coffee table book
Source: Refinery29

Next, you’ll want to stay with the theme of your home overall – the architecture and design. If you have a mid-century modern home, look for relevant books and style yourself a modern coffee table décor. You can choose books about mid-century modern design or look for covers that honor the style more generally. Or, if your home’s architecture and design lean toward the traditional, your coffee table books should too.

Be sure to think about both the inside and outside of your home. If your living room overlooks a beautiful garden, you could select various books about landscaping that draw on the colors outside.

Where and How to Place Coffee Table Books

Now that you have plenty of coffee table décor ideas, we can consider other spaces that are a good fit for placing and displaying them.

It’s nice to start with at least two or three books – a lonely coffee table book won’t have as much impact.

Coffee table book display with vase, three books, and candle
Source: Decor Steal

Although we call these coffee table books, they work just as well on other surfaces. You can place them on console tables or entry

tables for a big impact. Or create a display on the bookshelf, and I don’t mean stand them up with the spine out.

Arrange them just as you would on the coffee table – lying flat, stacked on top of each other. On bookshelves today, we play with three dimensions, and they are home to photos, vases with flowers, and more, making quite a statement. Let some of your coffee table books be part of that statement.

Consider these stacking tips from Better Homes & Gardens to artfully arrange your books. Place them in descending order of size, so the largest is on the bottom. Include a few or several, and don’t necessarily limit yourself to one stack. Coffee table books look great curated along with other items like floral arrangements, candles, and figurines. This is your chance to share your interests and easily add exciting conversation starters to your home!

Let’s be artistic. Let’s be bold. And of course, let’s be beautiful.

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