decor books every design person keeps on their coffee table
and a few they used to keep... and a few more they’re going to invest in very soon.
Published Aug 18, 2016 5:00 AM
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Times may change, but when you shell out big money for a coveted coffee table book, they don’t. Our old favorites are still some of our current favorites, and are filled with tips and advice still worth reading years after they’ve been written. Keep reading for 23 coffee table books that are major throwbacks (like from the early, early aughts), books your design-minded friends have already pre-ordered, and every book in between.
The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes
Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves
If you don’t own Emily Henderson’s book, published in 2015, we kind of can’t be friends. It focuses on styling, or how to actually arrange your belongings, instead of the usual decorating tips. Did we mention it’s a New York Times Bestseller?
The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living
There’s NO way your cool, minimalist friends don’t have Kinfolk’s home book (and probably their previously published “Table” book that focused on entertaining). Haven’t flipped through yet? The stunning photographs of 35 homes from around the world will be mega inspiring.
The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well
Written by Deborah Needleman, the founding editor in chief of domino, of course. Needleman’s book, published in 2011, features stunning watercolor illustrations and useful tips for making your home your own.
Paris versus New York: A Tally of Two Cities
This book is a given for anyone who has lived in—or simply appreciates—the cities of Paris and New York. The humorous comparisons and observations made between the two locations are topped off with eye-pleasing graphic designs.
The Big Book of Chic
My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living
Circa 2008, we were all reading about Jonathan Adler’s journey to greatness and falling in love with his lighthearted approach to design all while flipping through the pages of the lime green book you see here.
Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy
Frank Lloyd Wright
Design and architecture geeks know. Frank Lloyd Wright is the most famous American architect and probably influences more of your modern life than you realize. It was also written by his former apprentice Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer with full access to the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives, so you know it’s good.
Before we were being willing brainwashed by Marie Kondo’s tidying up tactics, we were reading this book byErin Boyle
. Find small space solutions, DIYs, personal essays, and more.
In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs
If it’s inspiration for your home that you want, chances are you already own Grace Bonney’s first book, Design*Sponge at Home. Her latest book spotlights inspiring women instead of spaces. It launches on October 4 and you better believe all your friends will be scrambling to lay a copy at the top of their coffee table collection (after reading it, of course).
Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People
This particular book explores the homes and gardens of notable people in the fashion, music, art, and society. Think beautiful homes, interesting people, and photos taken by the best of the best photographers.
Portraits: 50 Paintings You Should Know
Humans of New York: Stories
This book is a follow-up to his first, Humans of New York. Expect more in depth stories that will give you all the feels and provide endless conversation starters. Both books are a number one New York Times Bestseller—for good reason.
Because you have to have at least one fashion design book, right? If you agree, Pradasphere is a great one to invest in. Images of advertisements, clothing, shoes, and the materials used to create the dreamy designs are enough to inspire anyone.
Living with Pattern: Color, Texture and Print at Home
This is one to pre-order, like yesterday. Textile designer Rebecca Atwood’s first book will be released August 30 and dives into mixing and matching prints, patterns, colors, and more. Whether you’re a minimalist who prefers neutrals or eclectic maximalist who loves color, there will be advice you can use in your own home.
The Things That Matter
Time to throw it back with Nate Berkus’ 2012 book that never fails to inspire. If you’re a fan of Berkus and design, this book is a must-read. Learn his story, how he crafted his style, and see into his home—then learn the same about 12 other homeowners with a variety of types of homes and aesthetics.
Paris in Color
Black and White (and a Bit in Between): Timeless Interiors, Dramatic Accents, and Stylish Collections
Published in 2011, back when a black and white color palette was not a given and minimalism wasn’t a buzzword, Black and White (and a Bit in Between) provided pre-Pinterest b&w inspiration for your home.
Another yet-to-be-released book that is sure to be a coffee table staple is Sophia Amoruso’s second book, which is a more visual experience compared to her first novel, #GIRLBOSS. Read it October 4, pairs well with rock music and a chic sofa.
Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home
Because, duh. Emily Schuman’s second book expands on her first, which sought to help readers define their style, decorate their homes, and entertain easily. Find DIY projects and tips you haven’t already read on her blog.
A Short Book About Art
Your friend who pretends to hate art museums probably has this sitting on their coffee table, as it helps non-art people learn how art is made, interpreted, and displayed—aka the basics. All without scary jargon and a cool cover.
domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home
(Want more coffee table books? We have 35 perfect ones to gift.)