The best coffee table books for a chic interior update

The best coffee table books

Muesli

The best coffee table books are more than just a source of information. Yes, these glossy hardcovers offer solid knowledge and inspiration (from fashion to food to travel, there’s a fat tome out there for every interest), but they also add style to tabletops and shelves as decorative pieces in their own right.

Sam Hood, co-founder and chief creative officer at Amara, says a stack of perfectly placed coffee table books in your lounge is a great way to add a little extra flair to a room and create a cozy living feel at home. “Books with particularly eye-catching covers make perfect points of interest,” she says. They are also interesting conversation starters when hosting friends. “Those with stunning illustrations or photographs are easy and engaging for guests to flip through,” adds Sam.

Play around with coffee table book design to see what works best for your space. Stack books of different sizes to experiment with height, or emphasize your scheme by placing a pretty bud vase or scented candle on top. Placing them forward-facing on shelves also gives you a stylish, dramatic display.

Whether you’re a travel enthusiast looking for inspiration for your next adventure, a beauty fanatic looking for some honest insight into the industry, or a cat lover in need of a cat-induced serotonin boost, there’s something for you Red‘s edit of the best.

Check out the best illustrated books, old and new, below that you will enjoy and cherish forever.

Coffee Table Books: Our favourites

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The best coffee table books

For the Love of White by Chrissie Rucker OBE

thewhitecompany.com

£30.00

The White Company is one of our top retailers for smart and sophisticated interior design inspiration. So of course we couldn’t resist presenting this Pinterest-perfect book, which offers an intimate look at founder Chrissie Rucker’s three stylish homes. However, we can’t promise that after reading this you won’t be itching to redecorate your entire house, but…

The best coffee table books

Cereal City Guide: London

prettylittlething.com

£17.00

Whether you were born in London or have fond memories of a visit long ago, you’ll love this in-depth guide to the capital. The sides will reveal hidden gems you might overlook as you stroll through Soho, Brixton and Fitzrovia. It also includes some really beautiful images of the city.

More interested in life in the US? Similar guides are devoted to Los Angeles and New York.

The best coffee table books

Accidentally Wes Anderson by Wally Koval

This enchanting book introduces places around the world that share a whimsical aesthetic similar to director Wes Anderson’s distinctive film style. Movie buffs will love it – but it’s also a great choice if you’re looking to add to your travel bucket list.

The best coffee table books

Tom Ford by Tom Ford and Bridget Foley

This elegant hardcover documents Tom Ford’s major influence on the fashion world between 1994 and 2004, when the famous designer worked for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. Packed with industry tidbits and backstage moments, it’s the perfect buy for anyone serious about fashion and visual imagery.

The best coffee table books

Alexander Mcqueen: Unseen

Thames & Hudson
selfridges.com

£50.00

Another fashion show here, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the late Alexander McQueen and his extravagant (and occasionally controversial) catwalk shows. Expect plenty of drama and flair from this candid book, which features one of the most eye-catching covers on our list.

The best coffee table books

Fornasetti: The Complete Universe

The whimsical, surrealist work of Italian artist Piero Fornasetti is presented in this stunning volume. At nearly £120, it’s more expensive than most on our list, but it’s a real collector’s item. A must for art connoisseurs and design lovers.

The best coffee table books

Mert Ach and Marcus Piggott

bags
trouva.com

£65.00

Featuring some of the best work to date by fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, this book is packed with stunning portraits of some of the world’s most famous stars and supermodels. A special Collector’s Edition is also available, which comes with an exclusive signed print of the duo.

The best coffee table books

Amy Winehouse: Beyond Black

Thames & Hudson
amara.com

£30.00

Amy Winehouse may have passed away more than a decade ago, but her influence still resonates in music today. Adele once said she owes 90% of her career success to the soul singer. A moving tribute to the star, this touching book celebrates Amy’s legacy by revisiting her most iconic songs, outfits and shows.

The best coffee table books

Chateau Life by Jane Webster

Assouline
luxdeco.de

£70.00

Yes, it’s a cookbook – but with such a beautiful cover it would be a shame to put it away on the kitchen shelf. With 60 delicious recipes to choose from, it will expand your cooking repertoire in time for any summer dinner party.

The best coffee table books

Kwame Brathwaite: Black is beautiful

This stunning book examines the remarkable portfolio of photographer Kwame Brathwaite, known for documenting black culture and his black is beautiful Work – Fashion photography and portraiture that celebrates the natural beauty of Black women. Its striking cover, featuring Kwame’s wife Sikolo, is a great representation of the book’s content, which is full of powerful imagery.

The best coffee table books

Cats: Photographs 1942-2018 by Walter Chandoha

Bags, £40
bags.com

It’s almost impossible not to smile at Walter Chandoha’s photographic collection of playful cats and kittens. Unless you’re a dog person, of course…

The best coffee table books

Bedtime: Inspirational Beds, Bedrooms & Boudoirs by Celia Forner

Some boudoirs are more extravagant than a simple bed and dressing table, as author Celia Forner proves in her book. Exploring the decadent bedrooms of queens, emperors and Hollywood film actresses offers a fascinating insight into the places where the rich and famous lay their heads at night.

The best coffee table books

Gray Malin Beaches

If you don’t go on vacation this year, beaches could be the next best thing. Featuring aerial views of sandy scenes from more than twenty cities around the world, you’ll want to pack your bikini in a suitcase and hop on a plane right away.

The best coffee table books

Booze & Vinyl: A spirited guide to great music and mixed drinks by Andre Darlington and Tenaya Darlington

Sipping on a refreshing cocktail while listening to your favorite song is one of life’s simple pleasures, so we love the idea behind it Alcohol & Vinyl. It takes a classic album (like the Rolling Stones) Sticky fingers) and pairs it with an alcoholic drink (a tequila sunrise) depending on your mood. It’s definitely fun for parties.

The best coffee table books

Your Majesty. A photo history 1926–today

bags
selfridges.com

£50.00

This photo book is a beautiful memento of Her Majesty’s historic Platinum Jubilee year. It looks back at the Queen’s 75-year reign, including her marriage to Prince Philip, her early childhood in London and her numerous encounters with famous people, including Hollywood starlet Marilyn Monroe.

The best coffee table books

Quite iconic: A personal look at the beauty products that changed the world from Sali Hughes

A deep dive into the beauty and skincare industry, Pretty iconic analyzes the history and influence of 200 revered products from major brands such as Charlotte Tilbury, Chanel and NARS. A great gift for all the beauty lovers in your life.

The best coffee table books

Amalfi coast

Assouline
amara.com

£70.00

Assouline is a luxury publishing house with a wide range Travel from home The collection focuses on some of the most beautiful places on earth, including Italy’s lush Amalfi Coast. With over 200 stunning photographs of coasts, beaches and cliffs, it’s sure to get you in the mood for travel.

The best coffee table books

We are everywhere: protest, power and pride in the history of queer liberation

gayprideshop.de

£30.00

Whether you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community or working to be a better ally, We are everywhere is incredibly important reading, documenting pivotal events in the struggle for queer rights. Published in 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, it’s perfect for post-Pride month reading.

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