The best coffee table books – loved by real interior designers

The best coffee table books can be hard to find. Here's what the professionals recommend.

One of the best coffee table books, Assouline's Mykonos Muse, on a coffee table
(Image credit: Assouline)

The best coffee table books not only transform a room, but your sense of your own style, bringing inspiration, advice, and new ways of seeing your space.

However, there's been a huge increase in the number of these books in the past decade and not all of them are worth your money. That's especially crucial with the holidays approaching. Coffee table books make for some of the best home gifts out there, but the most expensive can be wallet-busting: I've seen several books on the market for more than a thousand dollars. It pays to know which books are worth buying, and which aren't worth your time. 

That's why I spoke to a wide range of interior designers and stylists for their personal recommendations. These are the books that they not only use to design their clients' spaces, but that they personally own and read for inspiration. 

They come from world-renowned publishers like Assouline, Taschen, and Phaidon, and cover a wide range of interests and styles. When it comes to coffee table decor, these are the staples. 

Best coffee table books 2024

Chelsea Potthast
Chelsea Potthast

Chelsea began her design career in Los Angeles working with a wide variety of clients in both hospitality and residential design. Chelsea returned to her hometown, St. Petersburg, in 2016, and opened her boutique interior design firm, Potthast Design. 

A headshot of designer Keely Smith
Keely Smith

Keely is the lead designer at JD Elite Interiors, with 15 years' experience in art, design, and interiors. 

A headshot of Caroline Kopp
Caroline Kopp

Before founding her own interior firm, Caroline Kopp majored in Art History at UC Berkeley and then on to New York to study interior design at Parsons School of Design. Later in her career, she continued her education with at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. Kopp’s design philosophy calls for a fresh approach to each project, drawing on the best examples of classic and modern styles, mixing texture, color, and compelling silhouettes.

A headshot of designer Grey Joyner
Grey Joyner

Grey Joyner is an interior designer based in North Carolina who embraces maximalism, color and pattern as her signature look in client projects. Whether it's a classic home for a family or a beach house along the coast, Grey loves to create rooms that have multiple layers and stories to tell. She's only been in business for a few years, but is making her mark all around North Carolina. 

A headshot of designer Jessica Dorling
Jessica Dorling

Northwest native and ASID-affiliated designer Jessica Dorling has a passion for expressing clients’ intentions through thoughtful home design and construction. Sustainability, re-imagination, and integration of form and function are top goals.

Coffee table book FAQs

What are the best dimensions for coffee table books?

There's no hard-and-fast rule, but they should be proportionate to your table, roughly a quarter of the size. Too big and they look a little comical, and too small and the effect is ruined. Roughly A3 is the perfect dimensions. 

How many coffee table books should I stack?

One of the designers I spoke to said that the best number of coffee table books to stack is three. One or two just looks like you've left some books out; more than three becomes clutter. Three books, staggered by height, is the perfect accompaniment to a bare coffee table. 

Coffee table books are among the best home gifts out there, but they're far from your only options. It's well worth taking a look at our expert guides to the best glassware and best vases if you're buying for someone who loves design. 

Alex David
Head of eCommerce

As Head of eCommerce, Alex makes sure our readers find the right information to help them make the best purchase. After graduating from Cambridge University, Alex got his start in reviewing at the iconic Good Housekeeping Institute, testing a wide range of household products and appliances. He then moved to BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, assessing gardening tools, machinery, and wildlife products. Helping people find true quality and genuine value is a real passion.