The Best Coffee Table Books for Every Type of Design Enthusiast

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Finding the perfect coffee table book can be a difficult task. You're tasked with discovering what book fits both your room's aesthetic and, more generally, you. We believe a good coffee table arrangement says something about the person who lives alongside it — something about your interests, aesthetics, or sense of humor.

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Creating your coffee table arrangement starts with finding that book — the one that speaks to both your interior design style and interests — so we're helping you find your one with our comprehensive guide to coffee table books. Whether you're looking for something on the history of your favorite interior design style or images to inspire your next vacation, we've found 21 of the best books to jump-start your coffee table arrangement.

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For the Interior Design Buff

A book on interior design can easily bring your room together, adding cohesion between your coffee table and the rest of the home. Opt for a book that offers a deeper look into your chosen (or favorite) interior design style or create a collection that plays with color and topic. Perhaps you'll even find inspiration for your next home project.

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  1. Design, Second Edition: The Definitive Visual Guide, $45

For a comprehensive look at design and how it's evolved, there are few better options. Through timelines, designer profiles, and beautiful imagery, ​Design, Second Edition​ grows the reader's knowledge, each page offering a unique look at the world of interior design.

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2. Marfa Modern: Artistic Interiors of the West Texas High Desert, $50

Get inspired by this former water stop that has become an enclave for artists. Explore 21 homes, each with a look unique to its designer, that have made Marfa, Texas an artist's haven.

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3. The New Farm: Contemporary Rural Architecture, $28.48

For the farmhouse-inspired home, consider this book, which gives a look at how current designers are combining farm living with modernism. Take a peek inside 16 farms around the world to see how designers are melding old and new.

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4. The Impossible Collection of Design, $895

While this book is a serious splurge, the monstrous collection (18 lbs!) has been coveted for its in-depth look at designs of the last century. Starting with the Art Nouveau of the 20th century and working towards today's digital age, ​The Impossible Collection of Design​ explores the change of time and design through everyday objects. Given the price point, this book also includes white gloves and a signed canvas tote.

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5. Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details, $22.99

If ​Mad Men​ inspired your home makeover, consider this coffee table book that gives a better look at the famous interior design movement. While this book focuses on the decor and furniture of the 1950s, it doesn't skimp on any of the home's details, delving into even the smaller aspects like walls and flooring.

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6. Georg Jensen: Scandinavian Design for Living, $26.75

This book follows the life of Danish silversmith Georg Jensen, exploring everything from his creative process to his business approach. Author Alison Fisher explores how one silversmith came to create one of the leading decor companies, and the impact his pieces had on the evolution of interior design and Denmark's place in it.

7. Small Architecture, $15.99

As larger properties have become somewhat of a rarity — especially for city-dwellers — small-space designers have emerged, showing how any space can be turned into a home. ​Small Architecture​ looks at some of the most remarkable small homes, where architects have challenged themselves to create "small but perfectly formed buildings." Take a peek inside small homes around the world to learn how to give a small space a big personality.

8. Architectural Digest at 100: A Century of Style, $82.99

To celebrate its 100-year anniversary, ​Architectural Digest​ released this coffee table book that quickly became a favorite. It explores 100 years of interior design styles — including the spaces of those like the Obamas, Michael Kors, and David Bowie. Plus, the muted cover makes it a beautiful addition to just about any coffee table.

For the Jack-of-all-Trades

While you're interested in interior design trends and history, you find yourself intrigued by all things home. You're keen to give function to your beautiful home, creating a place that isn't just pretty but practical, begging guests to ask the question, "What can't you do here?" Whether it be advice on how to make a room cozier or a guide to turning your space into the spot for hosting, these books can serve as inspiration (and guides) to create a home that does it all.

9. The Monocle Guide to Cosy Homes, $45.61

Forget homes that are polished to the point of being cold, this ​Guide to Cosy Homes​ knows that a house is meant to be lived in. Monocle offers guidance on how to make your space homey, with tips for decorating and pictures for inspiration.

10. Pure Colour: A Pure Style Sourcebook of Colour Inspiration, $39.95

Stylist Jane Cumberbatch delves deep into color philosophy in her book ​Pure Colour​. This book, divided into five color-palette sections, gives readers an understanding of color intentionality — teaching how choosing a color can be a thoughtful process.

11. Resourceful Living, $23.91

In an era of fast fashion and short-lived interior design trends, writer Lisa Dawson wants us to consider how we can be more ethical and resourceful as we create our dream space. ​Resourceful Living​ offers tips for rethinking spaces and furniture pieces as well as images to get you inspired.

12. Pacific Natural: Simple Seasonal Entertaining, $26.90

Get a look inside the mind of designer Jenni Kayne in her book ​Pacific Natural​. The lifestyle designer teaches how to host and entertain, no matter the time of year, using your unique space to create memories with friends and family. Expect table design inspiration, recipes, and gardening tips.

For the Historian

Explore history through images and excerpts in these coffee table books designed to inform and inspire.

13. Unseen: Unpublished Black History from the New York Times Photo Archives, $21.03

When a photo editor at the ​New York Times​ discovered unpublished photographs, she and her coworkers began their search for more unpublished work and the stories that went with them. What started as a photo series for print and online has since become a book, with "Unpublished Black History" giving readers access to even more never-discovered images and stories.

14. Queer X Design, $13.99

In this book that covers over five decades of LGBTQ+ activism, you'll find an exploration of signs and iconography that powered the LGBTQ+ movement. This book explores history through design and "tells the story of queerness as something intangible, uplifting, and indestructible."

15. Breaking Ground: Architecture by Women, $51.86

Meet the women behind some of the world's greatest architectural works in Jane Hall's ​Breaking Ground​. This book begins in the 20th century, featuring the works and stories of architects like Julia Morgan and Lina Bo Bardi, and takes us through the present.

For the Art Inspired

For many, a home can't be complete without art. Art adds a personal touch and history to a space, and an artist's collection of work can often serve as inspiration.

16. African Artists: From 1882 to Now, $51.99

This comprehensive book serves as an exploration of African artists and their work of the past century. The work of over 300 artists, from paintings to photography to performance art, can be found here.

17. Taschen Andy Warhol: Polaroids 1958 - 1987, $49.99

Andy Warhol gives readers a look at his life and friends in this collection of Polaroids. With familiar faces — from Mick Jagger to Debbie Harry — and eccentric colors, this collection feels like stepping inside Studio 54.

18. Georgia O'Keefe: Living Modern, $44

Georgia O'Keefe's style could be seen in more than just her work. Her clothes, home, and way of life reflected a sense of modernism that is explored in this beautiful book by Wanda M. Corn.

19. Hayao Miyazaki, $37.49

Dive into the worlds created by Hayao Miyazaki in this beautifully illustrated coffee table book. Here, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at some of Miyazaki's most famous works, including original sketches and design materials for everything from ​Kiki's Delivery Service​ to ​My Neighbor Totoro​.

For the Green Thumb

The green thumb has a knack for cultivating beautiful gardens and bringing the outside in. These coffee table books offer advice on maintaining and styling your indoor plants as well as more general looks at our outside world.

20. Wild at Home: How to Style and Care for Beautiful Plants, $16.89

Build out your sunroom, windowsill, or sunlit corner with Hilton Carter's guide to growing and maintaining plants inside. Here, you'll find not just advice, but also inspiring images showcasing stunning greens and elaborate designs.

21. Plant: Exploring the Botanical World, $59.95

Find plants local and far in this guide to the botanical world. ​Plants: Exploring the Botanical World​ features over 300 breathtaking images of plants familiar and not.

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