How to Style Coffee Table Books + My Top 20 Favorites

Coffee table books are so versatile, working equally well in a bookshelf, on a nightstand, or of course, on a coffee table! Today we’re talking about all of our favorite coffee table books, including design, travel and more.

coffee table books decor on coffee table with flowers shells and vase

Coffee table books might well be the perfect decor accessory! Not only are they beautiful, but they can be used almost anywhere. You can use them to fill out bookshelves, of course, but they work well on any table, too. Today I’m sharing how to pick them, where to buy them, as well as all my favorites!


coffee table styling with books flowers and plants

Books are one of my absolute ‘essentials’ when it comes to decorating. In fact, when I’m styling a coffee or console table and am stumped for what to use to fill it out, I’ll frequently look to a stack of books to do the job. A stack looks especially good with a decorative item displayed on top. You can get more coffee table styling tips here. 

And although many of my favorite design books are ‘on display’ as decor, I frequently go back through those stacks and look for inspiration. They serve a dual purpose, which I love.


coffee table books styled with flowers in rustic vase and candle

Not only do they introduce texture and interest in the room, but they also give an insight into the owner. 

How to choose your books? They should reflect your interests of course, but if you’re using them as decor, there are other considerations as well. First off, they should be interesting to look at. I also like to pick a color palette. You don’t need to only buy books in a certain color, but you do want the books to tie together and feel intentional. Otherwise, it will just be a mish mash.

And make sure they are substantial. A coffee table book is typically 11″ tall or larger. Smaller is fine for mixing in book cases, but for coffee or console table display, the larger is better.


coffee table books styled on table with candle rustic and vase with flowers

Also wondering how many to stack? 2-4 in a stack on a table is about right. More than that is too high, and less feels not substantial enough. Personally, I usually go with 3 as I prefer that ‘odd numbers’ rule when I decorate. 


gorgeous French inspired family room with builtins and rustic vase and books on coffee table

You can also change your books with the seasons, go for a different color palette or subject matter depending on the time of year. Regardless of what subject or color you pick, if they reflect you, you’ll enjoy looking at them. And they’ll bring a finishing touch to your space.


rustic vase with flowers books and candle on coffee table

While the rest of our world is increasingly digital, it seems coffee table books are here to stay and I for one, am thrilled! In fact, coffee table books rose to popularity during the 1950s, and were traditionally featured on a coffee table as a conversation starter or as something to peruse. And that’s still the case.

Plus, they always make great gifts – I always have a few on my holiday wish list!


My Top 20 Favorite coffee table books graphic on Maison de Cinq

  1. Pacific Natural 
  2. Living Well by Design
  3. The Art of Outdoor Living
  4. The Beauty of Home
  5. Patina Homes
  6. Made for Living
  7. Great Escapes Europe 
  8. The Art of Home
  9. Beautiful 

And here are a few other favorites I love!




If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out more decorating inspiration below:

How to Style a Coffee Table: 5 Essential Tips

20 Essential Decorating Measurements 

How to Style Book Shelves: 8 Tips for Easy Shelf Styling

10 Tips for Creating Timeless Interiors 



Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Rebecca Rousseau says:

    Love this post! I also use coffee table books anywhere and everywhere, and you’ve given me some more to check out. Thank you for your wonderful inspiration!

    1. Aww thank you Rebecca! So appreciate your kind words and I’m glad you found it helpful!


  2. Penny Barker says:

    I’ve never really used books as decor but you’ve really inspired me! Headed to buy some now!!

    1. Thank you Penny – so glad you found it inspiring! (I bought some new ones this week while writing the post, haha!)


  3. Excellent article, just curious if you
    have ideas for a round coffee table

    1. Thank you Linda, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And you can definitely include books on a round table!! I would peruse Pinterest for some images that you like but they are absolutely a given on any coffee table! Get more coffee table styling ideas in this post:

      Thanks for stopping by!