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How to

Choose Amazing

Coffee Table Books

How to Choose Amazing Coffee Table Books

Looking for some inspiration on how to freshen up your coffee table? Look no further! Set the stage for a beautiful living room with a classic decor standby: coffee table books. People often think of coffee table books as being restricted to large photography tomes, but think again. Any of your favorite books can make great additions to your decor. Decorating with your favorite books means they will always be within reach when you’re relaxing on your sofa. Here are a few ideas from us at Pottery Barn that will simplify your coffee table book search.

Judge the Book by Its Cover

Is the book cover attractive? It’s going to be front and center in your living room, so consider how much you like it. Also, don’t worry if you aren’t exactly an avid reader. There’s no rule that says you can’t keep books on your coffee table strictly for their looks. Think about choosing books that are a suitable size and color for your table, or ones with jacket art that catches your eye. Books can function as artwork by propping them on shelves so their covers show, so why not utilize that line of thinking on your coffee table too?

Display What You Love

Do you want your books to reflect a part of your personality? You may want to choose a book solely for its jacket, but you might also consider choosing one on a subject that really resonates with you. One easy way to choose the best coffee table books is by their content.

If you love fashion, put an illustrated history of your favorite designer’s work on your coffee table. If you dream of vacationing in a national park or in an exotic location, choose a book with stunning landscapes, so you can take a mini-tour whenever you’d like. If your favorite pastime is decorating your house, fill your coffee table with inspiring design books.

Go Vintage

Are you thinking of choosing used coffee table books? Be sure to look them over thoroughly so you know they’re in good condition - or go for well-read books for a rustic, vintage look. Choose what speaks to you most. When selecting used books, you might want to give them a sniff before you buy them, so you don’t get one home and realize they smells less than pleasant. 

Consider Consistent Colors

Will the colors of your selected books complement those already in your living room? If your living room has a strongly defined color scheme, it’s very easy to have your coffee table books complement that. Books come in every shade of the rainbow, so you won’t have any trouble finding ones to match your living room. If your living room is a symphony of blue and white, a stack of three books with blue and white jackets blends right in. Or completely turn that thought around and add a contrasting pop of color like cherry red.

Combine Form and Function

Maybe you want books that are attractive, interesting and functional. If that is the case, here’s yet another option that may be perfect for your coffee table. Adult coloring books and puzzle books not only add style, but also provide entertainment when you have guests over.

If you choose to include a coloring book or two, keep a supply of art pens or colored pencils on hand. The beautiful part about coloring books is they only get more attractive as you work on them.

Create Dazzling Displays

Take some time to think about how you’re going to display your coffee table books. They can provide great bases for showcasing your favorite decor and creating vignettes with different heights. A collection of bud vases or a piece of coral makes great candidates for an attractive book base. Or, instead of stacking large books on your coffee table, stand them upright and flank them with a pair of stylish bookends. Get creative with your books, show off decor you love and you’re sure to end up with with a fabulously stylish coffee table.