26 Eye-Catching Coffee Table Books That Will Elevate Any Space‍

From Design Inspo to Captivating Photography:

26 Eye-Catching Coffee Table Books That Will Elevate Any Space

“A home without books is a body without a soul.”  - Cicero

Books have been an essential part of human culture for centuries. Not only do they provide knowledge and insight, but they also engage our senses, satisfy our curiosity, and make our imaginations more vivid. Books are a beloved treasure for many people, and they can also serve as affordable décor items that add a personal touch to your home. 

One way to easily incorporate more books into your design style is through coffee table books - large-format hardcover books filled with gorgeous photographs on subjects ranging from art and architecture to travel and fashion. Not only do they add an aesthetic appeal to your living space but also offer guests something interesting to flip through while enjoying a drink. They can also spark conversations about shared interests or inspire us with unique ideas we've never considered before.

Of course, little did Cicero know when he spoke the above words just how many options there would be available to choose from today! Don’t fret, I’ve rounded up 26 options for both captivating content and stylish design. Whether you are a passionate reader or a passive one, not only will these look fabulous on your table or shelf, but hopefully give you some great ideas for making your home an even more beautiful space.

Nature inspired coffee table books, from flowers, coastlines, beaches, surf photography Japanese's Gardens

  1. The Flowers: Art & Bouquets

The perfect book for the flower enthusiast! Author Sixtine Dubly has lovingly curated and compiled a collection of floral images from some of the most renowned artists, photographers, and designers around the world. The book is an ode to the beauty and versatility of flowers as art. Each page showcases a different arrangement highlighting their unique features and characteristics including insightful captions that provide readers with a deeper understanding of each flower's symbolism and history in art.

  1. Coastlines 

From the sun-kissed tropical beaches of Hawai’i to the majestic icy fjords of Greenland, and from the verdant mangrove swamps of the Cuban Cayos to the enchanting forested islands of Vietnam, coastlines and waterways hold a special place in our hearts. Not only are they cherished havens for water enthusiasts, but they also serve as invaluable habitats for countless species.

Within the pages of Coastlines, you will embark on a mesmerizing visual journey through these magical aquatic realms. Immerse yourself in the splendor of hundreds of awe-inspiring photographs, capturing the essence of locations both near and far.

  1. Beaches
“Gray Malin is renowned for his dreamy photographs from around the world, which would inspire wanderlust in even the deep-rooted homebody.” —Fortune

Gray Malin has emerged as the preeminent artist of choice for Hollywood's elite and fashion connoisseurs alike. His awe-inspiring aerial photographs, captured from doorless helicopters, offer a unique and mesmerizing perspective of beaches worldwide. These images serve as playful and breathtaking celebrations of light, form, and viewpoint, evoking a profound sense of summer bliss.

  1. Surf Photography of the 1960s and 1970s

In an era where surfing has reached unprecedented levels of popularity, it is only fitting to reflect on the years that propelled this sport into the mainstream. Originating from the skilled Hawaiian Islanders over five centuries ago, surfing gradually gained momentum on the mainland during the 1950s. It transformed from a mere sport into a way of life, captivating the admiration of people worldwide. During this pivotal period, LeRoy Grannis emerged as one of the key figures who shaped the image of surfing. Having been an avid surfer since 1931, Grannis embarked on a photographic journey during the early 1960s, capturing the essence of the longboard era in both California and Hawai’i.

This edition pays homage to Grannis's awe-inspiring and highly sought-after Collector's Edition, meticulously curated from the photographer's personal archives. It serves as a testament to his unparalleled talent, showcasing his most vibrant and captivating work in a compact and accessible format. From the sheer bliss of riding the perfect wave at San Onofre to the heart-stopping wipeouts at Oahu's renowned North Shore, Grannis's photographs encapsulate the raw beauty and exhilaration of the surfing experience.

  1. The Japanese Garden

This beautiful volume features 100 of the most exquisite and unique Japanese gardens from all over the world, spanning 800 years of history and showcasing amazing artistry that will leave readers in awe. Each page is filled with spectacular photographs and detailed descriptions, offering an immersive experience into these breathtaking landscapes. From traditional Zen gardens to modern interpretations, this book offers a diverse range of garden styles while maintaining the essence of Japanese aesthetics. Whether it's a vibrant city park or a secluded temple garden hidden in the mountains, each featured garden has its own story to tell. Readers can learn about the cultural significance behind each element of design and how they relate to Japan's rich history and philosophy.

Hawaiian coffee table inspiration, Book titles include "Aloha, Tiki, Island Wisdom, Lei Alaia, to Hawaii.
  1. The Aloha Shirt Book 

Introducing the ultimate guide to the timeless Hawaiian shirt, the most vibrant and comprehensive book ever published on this enduring fashion trend. Immerse yourself in a visual feast, as this beautifully illustrated masterpiece showcases hundreds of captivating images. Delve into the fascinating narratives that lie behind these marvelous shirts, which have become cultural icons, evoking the enigmatic allure of the islands. They effortlessly capture the essence of our unique local culture and lifestyle, embodying a casual, relaxed, and fun vibe.

Not only cherished by professional collectors, but also adored by millions of vacationers and fashion enthusiasts, these shirts are currently experiencing a remarkable resurgence in the world of fashion. This book serves as a testament to their enduring appeal and showcases their newfound popularity.

  1. Tiki Modern Tropical Cocktails

Long romanticized since the midcentury, the tiki cocktail has often been overlooked as something only found in suburban lodges and family resorts. However, it is now stepping into the spotlight, captivating sophisticated spirits enthusiasts, skilled mixologists, and adventurous foodies alike. In her book, Brooklyn-based rum expert Shannon Mustipher, grabs our attention through invigorating flavors, exquisite spirits, and visually stunning presentations through a plethora of easy to create recipes.

  1. Island Wisdom

More than just a picturesque paradise, Hawai’i boasts a rich culture deeply rooted in tradition. Kainoa Daines, a renowned Native Hawaiian and cultural expert, has dedicated numerous years to enlightening visitors about this time-honored wisdom. Now, in collaboration with esteemed journalist Annie Daly, he endeavors to share this invaluable knowledge with you.

Prepare to embark on an inspirational and gratifying journey. These teachings, which have withstood the test of time, encompass various aspects of life, from achieving balance and harmony (known as "pono") to preserving and safeguarding the land ("mālama āina"). Island Wisdom is a captivating exploration that not only imparts the wisdom of Hawaiian elders but also delves into regional folklore and ancient teachings. Complemented by stunning local photography and illustrations, this book serves as a vibrant celebration of Hawaiian culture, language, and values.

  1. Lei Aloha

Brimming with vibrant photos of the most famous flower garlands of Hawai’i—the lei—in dreamy island settings, Lei Aloha tells the story of the flowers, craftsmanship, and community of lei culture, offering a window into this beautiful world where life is a little slower, flowers are abundant, and personal connections run deep. Local style icon Meleana Estes continues the legacy of her native Hawaiian grandmother, who was well known for her intricate and stunning lei. Sprinkled throughout the book also are anecdotes about the fascinating history of flowers, lei, and island traditions.

  1. Hawaii: A Decorative Book

This modern decorative book serves as a stunning addition to any room's decor, be it a coffee table, bookshelf, or even as part of a book stack. Combine three to four of these decorative books to create a striking visual statement. 

Not only does this book possess an alluring exterior, but its pages are intentionally left blank, offering you the versatility to utilize it as a journal or scrapbook as well. Whether you wish to jot down your thoughts, capture precious memories, or unleash your creativity, this book provides the perfect canvas for your expressions.

Modern Tropical coffee table book ideas. At Home on the Water, Modern Tropical, Escape, Miami, and Surf Shack at the book titles.
  1. At Home On The Water

The concept of a retreat, a serene sanctuary away from the pressures of everyday life, has become increasingly alluring in recent decades. However, the idea of owning a second home is far from new. Since the late 1800s, affluent families have been constructing retreats in coastal regions as a means to escape the frenetic pace of city living. These homes, nestled by the water, have long been revered and cherished for their unique ability to rejuvenate the soul. In the presence of an oceanside abode, one cannot help but be captivated by the breathtaking view, prompting moments of deep contemplation.

  1. Modern Tropical

Contemporary tropical residential architecture has evolved from a locally influenced aesthetic to a global inspiration for renowned modern architects and designers. Nestled in exotic settings, adorned with pools, vibrant foliage, and colorful gardens, these homes epitomize a unique way of life. Often characterized by their elegance and minimalism, these houses serve as exemplars of intelligent and exquisite design, offering a plethora of ideas for homeowners seeking to infuse their own abodes with the allure and sensitivity of tropical or subtropical climates, regardless of their geographical location.

  1. Escape

Escape, Gray Malin's captivating coffee table book, takes readers on a mesmerizing journey from remote islands to bustling metropolises. This exquisite collection of full-color destinations not only showcases the beauty of two dozen unbelievable vacation spots but also serves as an inspiring catalyst for travel enthusiasts and explorers alike, urging them to embark on their own unforgettable escapades.

  1. Miami: A Decorative Book

Miami is a city of art, culture and creativity. Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and known for its rich architectural history and vibrant nightlife. It’s also the hometown of me - Barbie from Studio Palomino!

  1. Surf Shack: Laid-Back Living by the Water

Take a glimpse into the residences of devoted individuals who have embraced surfing not just as a sport or passion, but as a way of life. Among these enthusiasts are Blake and Heather Mycoskie, the founders of TOMS, renowned hotelier Sean MacPherson, and Julia Chaplin, the author of Gypset. Their homes have been carefully curated to exude a relaxed and effortless vibe, providing a much-needed respite from the crashing waves.

Through a collection of vibrant photographs showcasing intricate design elements and stunning coastal landscapes, this book transports readers from the sun-kissed shores of Malibu to the idyllic beaches of the Rockaways, and from the captivating shores of Japan to the breathtaking coastlines of Australia. In doing so, it captures the essence of a lifestyle that we all yearn to embody - one that is filled with soulful experiences and a sense of aspiration.

Design Inspo set one: Allegra Hicks, The Finer Things, Made from Living, Live Beautiful, Living with Pattern are the book titles.
  1. An Eye for Design

The famous fashion, interior and textile designer Allegra Hicks describes the intricate relationship between fabric and pattern designs in an interesting new light. Through her original designs, informative essays, and exciting photography of interiors and landscapes, she suggests fresh ways to make any interior design more lively. From sumptuous silks to rustic linens, she discusses how each fabric can be used to create a unique look. Her expert advice on color combinations, patterns and textures will inspire both beginners and seasoned designers alike. We promise this book won’t sit on your bookshelf or table for long!

  1. The Finer Things: Timeless Furniture, Textiles, and Details

In this book, Christiane Lemieux shares her insights on what makes furniture, textiles and details… well, timeless. She draws from the knowledge of the world's greatest experts in interior design to explore how we can create beautiful spaces that stand the test of time. The book covers a range of topics including furniture styles that have definitely proven they are more than just a trend such as mid-century modernism and French provincial designs. Lemieux also delves into materials like leather and wood which have been used since the beginning of human evolution.

  1. Made For Living

Designing a room with the perfect ambiance ultimately depends on how you skillfully layer your decor. By artfully combining various elements such as pillows, objects, patterns, and lighting, you can achieve a polished and balanced look that is neither too modern nor too outdated, but just right.

Renowned for her eclectic approach and inspired by the laid-back California lifestyle, Amber Lewis imparts her expertise in Made for Living. This comprehensive guide offers invaluable advice on a wide range of topics, from selecting the ideal paint shade to fearlessly mixing patterns, and even choosing the perfect stone finish for your countertops. With the help of these pages, you will be able to create a home that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also designed to be lived in and enjoyed to the fullest.

  1. Live Beautiful

Live Beautiful is a captivating exploration into the art of interior design, brought to you by the esteemed design expert and interior designer, Athena Calderone.

In it, Calderone delves into the transformative power of beautiful design, emphasizing its ability to enhance the quality of our lives. Drawing upon her extensive network of interior decorators, fashion designers, and tastemakers from around the world, she unveils the secrets behind meticulously curated interiors. Furthermore, Calderone generously invites readers into her own personal sanctuaries, providing a rare glimpse into her creative process.

  1. Living with Pattern: Color, Texture, and Print at Home

Oh how I LOVE a good pattern! Thankfully it has become an increasingly popular way to add a touch of personality and style to any space. In her coffee table book, author Rebecca Wood offers readers a wealth of inspiration and insight on how to do just that. From choosing the right patterns and colors to mixing and matching different styles, this book is full of practical tips for anyone looking to give their home a fresh new look. There is also an eye-catching display of pattern usage from all over the country for you to take inspiration from for your own projects!

Coffee book design inspo set two: Book titles include: Sharitecture, Houses, Hadid, Kelly Wearstler, and Chic Stays
  1. Snarkitecture

Snarkitecture is an architectural studio that has been making waves in the design industry with their innovative and highly imaginative work. This book, titled Snarkitecture, features 70 of their most fantastic projects, showcasing the studio's creative vision and unique approach to architecture. For those who are fans of this design style or are simply interested in exploring new and exciting coffee table books, this publication is a must-have. The book includes a broad range of projects from Snarkitecture's portfolio, including installations for high-profile clients such as Calvin Klein and Kith. It also explores the collaborative relationship between the two founders, artist Daniel Arsham and architect Alex Mustonen, giving insight into their method for designing each installation while also highlighting the studio's unique aesthetic and philosophy towards architecture.

  1. Houses: Extraordinary Living

This jaw-dropping read showcases 400 houses across the globe that are architectural marvels. Phaidon Editors takes readers on an inspiring journey through early modern structures to contemporary designs. Each residence included in the book is unique and features designs that push boundaries. The book also offers informative text about the architects and designers behind each creation. With so many homes featured, readers will be surprised by the variety of architectural styles represented within its binge-worthy pages. From minimalist, sleek designs to historical buildings painstakingly restored to their original grandeur, Houses: Extraordinary Living offers something for everyone’s design tastes.

  1. Hadid: Updated version

The book chronicles the life and work of Zaha Hadid, from her early years as a student to her groundbreaking designs that challenged convention and redefined what was possible in architecture. Throughout its pages are images of some of her most iconic projects, including the London Aquatics Centre and Guangzhou Opera House. Readers will also discover lesser-known works that showcase her versatility as a designer. As one of the most revolutionary architects of our time, she has left an indelible mark on the industry and continues to inspire generations with her groundbreaking work. It’s no surprise she was the first woman to win both the Pritzker Prize for architecture and the prestigious RIBA Royal Gold Medal. 

  1. Kelly Wearstler: Evocative Style

In her highly anticipated book, Kelly Wearstler, one of the most captivating designers of our time, unveils her first publication in a decade. With an unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries, Wearstler invites readers into her latest creations, including her newly designed home, showcasing her inventive and opulent interiors.

Widely acclaimed for her ability to capture the allure of old-world Hollywood while infusing it with a modern pop sensibility, Wearstler has become synonymous with luxurious interiors. Her portfolio boasts an impressive array of decadent designs for residences and boutique hotels, such as the iconic Viceroys, as well as the esteemed Maison 140 and Avalon. Each space she crafts is a testament to her unique style, characterized by layers of bold textures, intricate patterns, and a vibrant palette of rich colors. These elements are expertly juxtaposed with lustrous surfaces, resulting in a whimsical and elegant aesthetic that has been aptly described as mod baroque.

  1. Chic Stays 

Travel the world from the comfort of your favorite armchair or couch! This classic book has been compiled by Melinda Stevens and lets you explore the most beautiful hotels ever created as chosen by popular actors, musicians, models, and writers; described in thirty-five personal narrations. Each description is supported by mind-blowing photographs that you will never get tired of browsing. From private villas in Bali to chic boutique hotels in Paris, it's not just about admiring these beautiful places; it's about experiencing them vicariously as if you are already there.

A heartwarming coffee table book that celebrates a very special bond
  1. Mother and Child by Claiborne Swanson Frank

A heartwarming coffee table book that celebrates a very special bond, this sentimental collection of photographs captures some of those priceless intimate moments including a few by well-known figures you may recognize. Not only are the images beautifully shot, each page reveals a different emotion ranging from loving embraces to gentle caresses, highlighting the unique connection shared between a mother and her child.

Incorporating coffee table books into your home décor is a great way to personalize your space. With the right mix of options, you can create a cozy atmosphere that reflects your interests while sparking new conversations or ideas. Whether you choose to display them on shelves or use them as accents in different areas, books are versatile and timeless decorations that will never go out of style. So why not take some time to curate a collection that speaks to you and brings joy into your life? Start by implementing just a couple of these recommendations and see how they can transform your living space into a book lover's paradise filled with a special piece of your heart and soul.

Explore more from out blog

design

ASID 2022 DESIGN EXCELLENCE WINNERS

Miami-bred and and now Hawai’i-based, Barbie is the Principal of Studio Palomino.  Armed with a business degree and searching for career love, she hoarded dog-eared issues of shelter magazines for years before falling for Interior Design. Her not-so-secret love affair with beautiful furnishings and objects eventually led her West for professional training to bolster her natural talents.

design

Designing properties in tropical locations like Hawaii

Miami-bred and and now Hawai’i-based, Barbie is the Principal of Studio Palomino.  Armed with a business degree and searching for career love, she hoarded dog-eared issues of shelter magazines for years before falling for Interior Design. Her not-so-secret love affair with beautiful furnishings and objects eventually led her West for professional training to bolster her natural talents.

design

DUDE, WHERE’S MY COUCH?

Miami-bred and and now Hawai’i-based, Barbie is the Principal of Studio Palomino.  Armed with a business degree and searching for career love, she hoarded dog-eared issues of shelter magazines for years before falling for Interior Design. Her not-so-secret love affair with beautiful furnishings and objects eventually led her West for professional training to bolster her natural talents.