There is something so special about picking up a thick, beautifully bound coffee table book. You have the joy of browsing through the pages and there’s also the aesthetic appeal of seeing it lying on a coffee table. I’ve always loved the fact that coffee table books offer both inspiration as books and beauty as decor. Unsurprisingly, I’m most partial to coffee table books on interior design especially those that focus on Scandinavian inspired simple, warm and calm interiors. Beautiful books that show and inspire us with considered interiors that are created with intention and simplicity.
Since you’re here, I’m guessing that’s the style of interior you’re drawn to too. So I thought I would share some of my favourite coffee table books on interior design that embrace this style of decor. All of these books have so much aesthetic appeal with beautiful imagery and covers and the pages are packed with inspiration and ideas to make your own. While there are so many photos to drool over, many of the books have inspiring text too with interviews, essays, practical tips and more. Each book is different, but they all embrace simplicity and taking a considered approach to creating a home you love.
It’s a long-ish list of coffee table books because I’ve shared all the ones that are worth having. It includes some slightly older books, some recent releases and one that’s yet to be released. Once you’ve had a look, I think you’ll find it hard to pick a favourite as they are all so stunning!
Best coffee table books on interior design
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1. Curate: inspiration for an individual home
Lynda Gardener & Ali Heath
This beautiful book is all about creating a home that reflects your personal style and will inspire you to create a timeless interior of your own.
Curate embraces the ever popular neutral aesthetic and embraces natural imperfections. The book explores the main design elements that bring a space to life: palette, nature, textiles, lighting, a combination of old and new, storage, collections and art. Ten aspirational homes show this in practice, including a converted warehouse, one-bedroom studio, bijoux apartment, historic cottage, country estate, new-build barn, remote shack, period townhouse and rural retreat.
2. home for the soul
Sara Bird & Dan Duchars
Home for the Soul is all about creating a cosy, warm home with soul while being sustainable and focusing on conscious design. We all know how important this is but we can sometimes get stuck in not knowing how to do this. Home for the soul will give you lots of ideas and inspiration.
The first part of the book shares ideas for the elements of a stylish yet sustainable home, from lighting to linens, while in the second part, the book visits soulful homes and their owners to discover how they have created interiors that are beautiful yet responsible at the same time. Home for the Soul looks at sustainable, renewable and reclaimed materials, using traditional skills and choosing organic and hand-produced homewares. There are practical tips and ideas for upcycling, thrifting, mixing old with new and more.
3. still: the slow home
Still, as the title suggests, is all about slow living. We all have more stuff in our homes than we need but it’s not just about stuff. It’s equally about our lives bursting with commitments, to do lists and deadlines. This books helps you reflect on your own choices and encourages you to embrace a slower, more considered approach to your home and life. This book will also inspire you to live more intentionally by paring down to your things to only keeping what you love.
Still is a beautifully photographed book that encourages readers to take on the philosophy of the slow movement which involves living sustainably, choosing local, organic and whole. The book includes 20 inspirational interiors designed according to the SLOW principles. The owners explain why they chose this path and how it has benefitted their lives.
4. the interior design handbook
This book is different from many others on this list in that it doesn’t include beautiful pictures of finished homes but instead has stylish hand drawn images that give practical advice. Think things like how big a coffee table should be relative to the sofa, choosing the right window dressing for your windows, the rules of colour and more, all with a Scandi design aesthetic.
This is very much a handbook and I would say that it would be the most useful for you if you can’t make your space work or if you’re new to interior design and are drawn to the Scandi look. Having said that, it is a useful book for anyone (unless you’re an interior professional) as this book shares the secrets of successful interior design that works best for your space, taste and lifestyle. There is so much in here so I’m sure everyone will learn something.
5. scandi rustic: creating a cozy and happy home
Rebecca Lawson & Reena Simon
This book is all about creating a hygge home that is cosy, relaxed and inviting. The book starts by exploring the key elements of Scandi rustic decor: colour, lighting, texture, materials and finishing touches. There is an emphasis on natural materials which is a huge element of Scandi decor. Then the book goes on to show us some beautiful Scandi rustic homes with ideas to make our own.
If you’re drawn to Scandi interiors with a more rustic vibe, this book has lots to offer you. But really, anyone wanting a hygge home that exudes warmth and gives you a feeling of happiness, will be inspired by this book.
6. monochrome home: elegant interiors in black & white
Monochrome homes are effortlessly chic and timeless. But as this book shows, monochrome isn’t just black and white; it’s also every shade of grey in between. Whether thats a rich brownish-grey or a greenish sea-grey or any other grey. This is a great book if you’ve been tempted by the monochrome look but weren’t sure how to pull it off.
The first part of the book is about the monochrome palette and the palettes are called: in black and white, grey matters, shades of pale, dark looks and in the mix. The next part explores examples of lighter, brighter interiors and then darker, moodier spaces. Finally the the book shows us 13 inspiring homes in the various monochrome palettes.
7. the kinfolk home: interiors for slow living
Kinfolk home is all about slowing down and simplifying your life which will help you create a more considered, beautiful and intimate home. It features inspiring photography of 35 homes from across the world, each where the owners have created a space that is authentic to their values and their living style. While each home is different, they have all been put together slowly, carefully and with intention.
Kinfolk home is a beautiful coffee table book that I keep going back to. It features interviews and essays in addition to the photos. All together, the book is inspiring for anyone who wants to create a simple and considered home. While there aren’t too many tips, there are a lot of ideas in here that you can take away for your own home.
Lauren Camilleri & Sophia Kaplan
Plants are such an important part of home decor but if you’re anything like me, they all die! So if you’re in the same boat, plantopedia will help. It’s not only a beautiful book but it profiles over 130 plants and gives you ideas on how to care for them including troubleshooting tips and tricks.
Plantopedia focuses more on green plants rather than flowering plants so it’s ideal if you’re looking to add simple greenery to your home. It covers foliage plants, succulents and cacti as well as some rarer plant species. The photography is minimal and beautiful so not only is this a handy book for indoor gardeners but it will look great on your coffee table too.
9. this is home
This is the second book on this list by Natalie Walton and that’s no coincidence. This is Home is all about simple living and focusing on your values to create a home that is authentic to you and truly makes you happy. There are clever ideas to make your own and this book also shows that you don’t need big budgets to create a beautiful, happy home.
This is home steps inside 15 homes across the world to meet the people who created them. The book aims to discover if there is a common thread running through homes that make us genuinely happy. Filled with stunning photography, inspiring stories and practical tips, this book will inspire you to nurture your home. I find myself dipping in and put of this book very often and it never stops inspiring me.
10. remodelista: the organized home
Julie Carlson & Margot Guralnick
While this book isn’t exactly about home decor, getting decluttered and organised at home is the foundation of a beautiful home. Without that, no matter how stunning your decor, it won’t look great and neither will the space feel calm, cosy or cohesive. This books gives lots of tips, tricks and ideas for organizing every room in the home. It also gives ideas on typical problem zones like closets and medicine cabinets.
This book may be slightly better suited to US readers who have larger homes than those of us in UK/Europe. I say this because in the US, as the homes are bigger, they often include laundry rooms, walk in closets etc But I still think no matter where you live, if clutter is a problem, you will definitely find some tips and ideas to steal. The book is beautifully presented so makes a great addition to your decor too, no matter where you display it.
11. japandi living
This book hasn’t been published yet (coming in Sept/Oct) but it sounds really promising. As you know the word Japandi is a union between the words Japan and Scandinavia. Both these interior styles embrace the concept of less in more in their own ways. They compliment and work so well with each other that a new style called Japandi was born. It is characterised by a combination of beauty, functionality, and clean lines with a lot of attention to materials, textures, and natural touches.
There is such a strong sense of calmness to Japandi homes and this book is all about how you too can create this interior style in your home. Japandi living includes more than 200 images to inspire you and offers practical tips and ideas. If you aspire to a simple, minimal and calm home then this book and the Japandi style of interiors could be for you.
Here’s where you’ll find the books in the UK and US:
curate (US here) | home for the soul (US here) | still (US here) | the interior design handbook (US here) | scandi rustic (US here) | monochrome home (US here) | the kinfolk home (US here) | plantopedia (US here) | this is home (US here) | remodelista (US here) | japandi living (US here)
Of course all of these coffee table books on interior design don’t just belong on the coffee table! They’ll look great scattered around your home, perhaps on a window sill or a shelf or on a bench or even piled up on the floor. The only rule for me when displaying these books is that they should be visible – they’re too beautiful to be hidden away. There are so many ways to display them so that they add to your decor and remain within arms reach for whenever the mood strikes you to browse through them.
Which of these books are you most drawn to?
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Image credits: top 2 images via alvhem