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
Equal parts science and art, this book explores the geographic history of New York. So cool.
A literal encyclopedia of everything that’s happened in New York from pop culture to politics.
This set is also one of my favorite gifts to give as I love the New Yorker’s cartoons so much!
If you love the instagram account, you’ll love the book. The book features 400+ photos & stories.
I bought this book after staying at the Surf Club in South Beach this past March.
This is such a fun and glamorous look at the rich and glamorous heritage of this city.
The Beverly Hills Hotel is one of my most favorite hotels and such an incredible, inspiring place.
The perfect gift and an incredible bucket list of the best (architect approved) hotels in every city.
Stylish Coffee Table Books: Travel + New York
Warhol loved snapping casual pics of all his famous friends (and himself). This rounds them up!
The 5 residences designed by art collector Chara Schreyer’s and interior designer Gary Hutton.
Andy Warhol loved books and illustrated many! This is a look at his innovations in printed books.
Picasso’s depictions of the eight women who played a prominent role in his life and art
I’ve always loved Damien Hirst’s spot paintings – this book features the full collection.
I am a big big fan of his clever canvases inspired by book covers – this is a comprehensive catalog.
Hunt Slonem’s bunnies are my favorite (I collect them!) So obviously this book is a favorite.
A beautiful peek into Hunt Slonem’s fantastically decorated and meticulously restored homes.
A look at one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, and his use of iconography.
A peek inside the glamorous homes (and art collections) of the most important art dealers.
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.
A celebration of the magazine’s 100 years – SO much beautiful home decor inspiration.
Athena’s instagram is a favorite of mine and this book is packed with lust-worthy home decor.
You know how much I love rattan everything! This book is informative + also beautiful.
My sister’s beautiful book about incorporating more pattern into your home.
A look at Schumacher’s iconic prints and patterns (and how to integrate them!)
You know I love emerald green: this is a look at some of the most beautiful emerald jewels.
A celebration of Charles & Ray Eames and their many significant accomplishments.
Straightforward, but this book is truly a guide to the finer things. I reference it a lot.
Color can be so tricky and my sister breaks it down in a really approachable, accessible way.
This is more of a science book, but beautifully illustrated and you know how I feel about botanicals.
Todd Selby’s portraits of dynamic and creative people in their home environments.
A look at how the world’s most influential creative directors develop their vision.
A comprehensive look at de Gournay’s stunning hand painted wallpapers and textiles.
Stylish Coffee Table Books: Fashion + People
A beautiful look at one of the first style icons before there was ever street style, etc. Love her.
A set of three books showing Gabrielle Chanel’s impact across fashion, perfume, and fine jewelry.
A retrospective of Yves Saint Laurent’s forty years of design. (The companion to the exhibit!)
A celebration of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America)’s fifty years
An illustrated biography of Ralph Lauren (and his many empires).
A must, for any jewelry lover! Documents the most important jewels worn from Cleopatra to Lady Gaga.
A stunning collection of Vogue’s covers from over the past 125(!!!) years.
A peek into the private worlds and homes of some of the most creative trailblazers around the world.
I have a few of these Vogue books and this is the best one. The homes! The gardens! The fashion.
A look back on the past 100 years… culture, art, + more all the way from the jazz age til now.
Stylish Coffee Table Books: Photography
The work of one of the most iconic photographers of the beautiful people of the 80s + 90s
Elgort’s first book! A look at his world-renowned fashion photography alongside his personal work.
As he called it: “attractive people, doing attractive things in attractive places.”
An absolutely beautiful book, love stepping into the dream world of Slim Aarons.
This one is hard to track down but it’s amazing. The perfect topper for your stack of books.
A retrospective (1946-2004) of one of the most-respected fashion photographers’ work.