My Favorite Stylish Coffee Table Books.

Stylish Coffee Table Books

I have been meaning to write this (accidentally very long!) blog post for a very long time now as it’s been a big reader request and when it comes to coffee table books I have built up quite a collection,and have a lot of opinions, too. Nothing makes me happier than a thoughtfully chosen stack of books. And if you’re wondering what a coffee table book is, to me it can be any book that’s great for casual reading… something you can flip through. Some are oversized and lavishly illustrated, some are more compact, some (okay most) are beautiful, some inspire… you get the point! Coffee table books are a wonderful way to add personality to your space and they also make for a great gift.

My Favorite Stylish Coffee Table Books

This is going to be a longer post as I have so many to recommend. I’ve broken things out into five categories: New York + Travel, Art, Design + Interiors, Fashion, and Photography. We will start with travel + New York specific books. I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or proud that I own every single book in this roundup. Art and design books are definitely my weakness and I’ve been collecting them since my twenties. Also, apologies that a few are out of print and now wildly expensive… they weren’t when I bought them!

Stylish Coffee Table Books: Travel + New York

Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City

Equal parts science and art, this book explores the geographic history of New York. So cool.

The Encyclopedia of New York

A literal encyclopedia of everything that’s happened in New York from pop culture to politics.

The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons

This set is also one of my favorite gifts to give as I love the New Yorker’s cartoons so much!

Humans of New York

If you love the instagram account, you’ll love the book. The book features 400+ photos & stories.

Surf Club

I bought this book after staying at the Surf Club in South Beach this past March.

In The Spirit of Beverly Hills

This is such a fun and glamorous look at the rich and glamorous heritage of this city.

The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows

The Beverly Hills Hotel is one of my most favorite hotels and such an incredible, inspiring place.

Where Architects Sleep

The perfect gift and an incredible bucket list of the best (architect approved) hotels in every city.

Stylish Coffee Table Books

Stylish Coffee Table Books: Travel + New York

Andy Warhol Polaroids

Warhol loved snapping casual pics of all his famous friends (and himself). This rounds them up!

Art House

The 5 residences designed by art collector Chara Schreyer’s and interior designer Gary Hutton.

Reading Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol loved books and illustrated many! This is a look at his innovations in printed books.

Picasso’s Women

Picasso’s depictions of  the eight women who played a prominent role in his life and art

Damien Hirst: The Complete Spot Paintings

I’ve always loved Damien Hirst’s spot paintings – this book features the full collection.

In Shadows I Boogie by Harland Miller

I am a big big fan of his clever canvases inspired by book covers – this is a comprehensive catalog.

Hunt Slonem Bunnies

Hunt Slonem’s bunnies are my favorite (I collect them!) So obviously this book is a favorite.

Hunt Slonem When Art Meets Design

A beautiful peek into Hunt Slonem’s fantastically decorated and meticulously restored homes.

Jasper Johns

A look at one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, and his use of iconography.

For Art’s Sake

A peek inside the glamorous homes (and art collections) of the most important art dealers.

Stylish Coffee Table Books

Stylish Coffee Table Books: Home + Design

These books will make you wish you were an interior designer… or maybe that’s just me! Dreamy interiors, home design, gorgeous prints and patterns, and so on and so forth.

AD 100 Years of Style

A celebration of the magazine’s 100 years – SO much beautiful home decor inspiration.

Live Beautiful, by Athena Calderone

Athena’s instagram is a favorite of mine and this book is packed with lust-worthy home decor.

Rattan

You know how much I love rattan everything! This book is informative + also beautiful.

Living With Pattern

My sister’s beautiful book about incorporating more pattern into your home.

Schumacher: S is For Style

A look at Schumacher’s iconic prints and patterns (and how to integrate them!)

Emerald

You know I love emerald green: this is a look at some of the most beautiful emerald jewels.

Essential Eames

A celebration of Charles & Ray Eames and their many significant accomplishments.

The Finer Things

Straightforward, but this book is truly a guide to the finer things. I reference it a lot.

Living With Color

Color can be so tricky and my sister breaks it down in a really approachable, accessible way.

The Book of Palms

This is more of a science book, but beautifully illustrated and you know how I feel about botanicals.

The Selby is in your Place

Todd Selby’s portraits of dynamic and creative people in their home environments.

The Eye

A look at how the world’s most influential creative directors develop their vision.

de Gournay: Hand painted Interiors

A comprehensive look at de Gournay’s stunning hand painted wallpapers and textiles.

fashion + people book recommendations

Stylish Coffee Table Books: Fashion + People

Lee

A beautiful look at one of the first style icons before there was ever street style, etc. Love her.

Chanel Set of Three

A set of three books showing Gabrielle Chanel’s impact across fashion, perfume, and fine jewelry.

Yves Saint Laurent Style

A retrospective of Yves Saint Laurent’s forty years of design. (The companion to the exhibit!)

Impact

A celebration of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America)’s fifty years

Ralph Lauren In His Own Fashion

An illustrated biography of Ralph Lauren (and his many empires).

Jewels That Made History

A must, for any jewelry lover! Documents the most important jewels worn from Cleopatra to Lady Gaga.

Vogue The Covers

A stunning collection of Vogue’s covers from over the past 125(!!!) years.

The Authentics

A peek into the private worlds and homes of some of the most creative trailblazers around the world.

Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People

I have a few of these Vogue books and this is the best one. The homes! The gardens! The fashion.

Vanity Fair 100 Years

A look back on the past 100 years… culture, art, + more all the way from the jazz age til now.

photography book recommendations

Stylish Coffee Table Books: Photography

Herb Ritts LA Style

The work of one of the most iconic photographers of the beautiful people of the 80s + 90s

Arthur Elgort: The Big Picture

Elgort’s first book! A look at his world-renowned fashion photography alongside his personal work.

Slim Aarons Women

As he called it: “attractive people, doing attractive things in attractive places.”

Slim Aarons Once Upon a Time

An absolutely beautiful book, love stepping into the dream world of Slim Aarons.

Arthur Elgort’s Models Manual

This one is hard to track down but it’s amazing. The perfect topper for your stack of books.

Richard Avedon Photographs

A retrospective (1946-2004) of one of the most-respected fashion photographers’ work.

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Comments

  1. These are gorgeous! Thank you for the range of recommendations too! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Abby says 1.19.21

    I have been wanting that Emerald book for awhile now but has it always been $700???? Thank you for a great roundup!

    • grace at the stripe says 1.19.21

      NO! It’s wild, when they go out of print, the price goes up. I noted it above, wanted to share my collection but many have been put out of print and are super expensive. Wanted to include anyway as I’m sure there are other ways to track down a copy.

  3. Maggie says 1.19.21

    I decided that I needed coffee table books last summer and bought two Gray Malin books – Italy and Escape.

  4. Natalie T. says 1.19.21

    Nice roundup and different book post! I think we’re all trying to make our homes more beautiful and coffee table books epitomize that. They’re great conversation starters. I’d add Joanna Gaines’s Home Body, the Grace memoir and the Sartorialist books to the mix. Great inspo. I have Calvin and Hobbes books for fun. They make me laugh.

  5. Mia says 1.20.21

    Dolly Parton’s Songteller is a must have coffee table book for Dolly fans!