As an interior designer, you’re likely to be well aware of the impact coffee table books can have on the aesthetic of a room. Without the need for extra furniture, it can be the perfect finishing touch.

These can also provide your clients with an extra personal touch related to their personality or interests. Psychologist Paul Harris, PhD, says, “Identity display is the primary motivation for strategically displaying books”.

But how do you choose the best ones to complement the room and your clients, with so many available?

This guide discusses seven of the best coffee table books for decorating, which include:

  • 100 Interiors Around the World
  • Simplicity
  • Living with Pattern
  • Gardenista
  • In Vogue
  • 1000 Record Covers
  • Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Best coffee table books for decorating

100 Interiors Around the World


If your client hires you to design within their home, they’ll understand the value of great interiors. They may enjoy a worldwide trip through pictures of different rooms.

Aside from the inspiration that this book offers, its look is calming and organised. The cover is of a modern library which would suit a table if you’ve styled the room in a similar way.

When your clients entertain guests, the book can show their passion for the visual elements of their abode. It could even be an excellent book for yourself to trigger creativity for your following designs.

(Available on Amazon)


Nancy Braithwaite

Less is more in minimalism, which is more of a lifestyle than just a design choice. A striking cover shows how much art goes into interiors, so the book itself would work well in a room with a clean aesthetic.

The book illustrates the beauty of decluttering. It can add a visual impact to a coffee table that sticks to that philosophy. If your clients like order in their lives, they may also see the benefits of this minimalist volume.

It’s about the ability to focus on essential features without the need for frills or loud colour. You would best place this book in a room with blacks, greys and whites like the neutral cover.

(Available on Amazon)

Living with Pattern

Rebecca Atwood

On the opposite side of the spectrum, this book’s about embracing the artistic nature of the pattern. It outlines how to use marks to create visual furniture and textiles.

If you design a room full of personality, this book can reaffirm your choices with a display of eccentric textures. Sat on a coffee table, it would work well with a colourful or print-filled room.

A creative client would love the exciting cover, which draws attention immediately. They may also appreciate how the book explains how they can use patterns within the rest of their home.

(Available on Amazon)


Michelle Slatalla

One of the best coffee table books for decorating doesn’t need to be in a living room. This book might be a perfect addition to designing a conservatory or garden space.

It shows how nature can complement your space. Similarly, you can use it on a plain table to create contrast. It also provides outdoor inspiration within its pages.

Whether your clients have green thumbs or prefer soaking up the sun, if they love the outdoors, they’ll appreciate this book. It can give them the visually soothing benefit of foliage even when it’s raining outside.

(Available on Amazon)

In Vogue

Alberto Olivia

Is there any more prominent name in fashion than Vogue? The magazine is known for the art direction of its statement covers, and this book shows off the best.

The cover is recognisable easily from a distance, and guests would immediately know what it is.

Suppose you have fashionable clients who take their clothing seriously. In that case, they’d appreciate the runway art on their coffee table. Its aesthetic would stand out most on a white, making the room look just as stylish.

(Available on Amazon)

1000 Record Covers

Michael Ochs

So far, the books have been elegant or sophisticated, but what if you put together a quirky or retro room? Well, this one combines art and music.

It’s a compilation of a thousand record covers representing the cultures of the periods. Music changes between decades, and the visuals move with it.

The book is an excellent source of inspiration on fashion and design or can provide an entertaining visual symphony. It would sit nicely on a colourful table and represent the musical passion of your clients.

(Available on Amazon)

Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Charlotte Cotton

If the best coffee table books for decorating aim to be conversation starters, this is perfect. A collection of photography, which centres on the pieces about female confidence.

The empowering art will engage those interested in images that speak volumes. It’s not just a statement book, and its cover is just as impactful.

Featuring a black and white photograph of a woman smoking, it’s a book that creates intrigue. It would stand out against most tables but work seamlessly in a modern room

(Available on Amazon)

So which coffee books should you choose?

Of course, the choice of books will need to suit both the room and the clients, which might not be easy.

It may help to take the time to get to know them before you design their interiors. A good relationship may help you deliver a service they love.

A happy customer is likely to recommend you to their friends or you can ask them to give you a testimonial. That might help you find new clients that want a similar service.

Add all of your best designs into a portfolio, whether online or a physical book of your own.

Keep your books well-designed with Countingup

As an interior designer, your bookkeeping is likely not as exciting as your coffee tables. There isn’t much you can do to make it more artistic, but you can make it easier.

Countingup is a business account with built-in accounting software that gives you an accessible way to manage finances. The app features help with invoices, so you can create and send the bills to clients wherever you are.

Get started for free.

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