13th June 2017


The coffee table book; a thing of wonder. Style meets substance. Tantalising typographic, or striking image-based covers that impart gorgeousness into our lives with a single glance.

The big question – do you ever read them?

Who really does??!

If I’m honest, I’m not even a magazine ‘cover-to-cover’ girl anymore. I’m a fair-weather participant; stunned by crisp imagery, enjoying a quick dip or swift browse. I definitely engage with the content, particularly if it’s a creative genre. The weight of the thing; the wanderlust photography; deliciously chic styling. The organisation within totally appeals to my self-proclaimed OCD. And I do love a glossy, weighty paper. (Yes, really).

My favourite thing about the mighty coffee table book is its ability to impact and shape an interior. If you’re choosing to complement a scheme, it’s absolutely imperative to throw out the rule-book and to totally choose a book by its cover.





Image source: Eichholtz

Coffee table books are a great device to compliment your interior look and feel. You’ve decided on yellow accents in your space – choose a book with a yellow cover to bring some zing to your shelf or table. Love a bit of rose gold? Choose something with a copper foil print on the cover. If in doubt, choose a monochrome book to add ‘punch’ to a space. Black accents are a tried and tested way to create depth and definition.


  1. STACK

Work from largest to smallest to add height and interest to your table, sideboard, console table or shelving. Vary the colours used but aim to stick within a certain palette.

  1. STYLE

A coffee table book is a great base for grouping smaller accessories; candles, vases of flowers, trinket trays, decorative boxes or sculptural pieces. Use the book to ground the grouping of objects.



As with table styling, use a coffee table book (or several, stacked) on your shelving or console. It can be a great way to add varying height and a focal point, which is the ideal. Complete with scented candle.


It is a great conversation piece. Especially if you choose something a bit quirky. Failing that, it’s the perfect place to perch a cup of tea (although ‘OCD me’ says ‘always use a coaster’)!

Here’s my top ten pick of books to improve your life (and your interior), right now:

1. Louis Vuitton / Marc Jacobs: In Association with the Musee Des Arts Decoratifs, Paris
2. Brancusi New York: 1913-2013 Hardcover – Illustrated, 1 Dec 2013
3. Gucci – The Making Of
4. Vanity Fair 100 Years: From the Jazz Age to Our Age
5. Ibiza Bohemia
6. Alexander McQueen
7. Parisian Interiors: Bold · Elegant · Refined
8. Tim Walker: Pictures
9. Tom Ford
10. Louis Vuitton: The Birth of Modern Luxury

And that’s all for now folks. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to sign up to the mailing list to ensure you receive the latest information and blog posts. It would be great to hear (or see) how you’ve styled your coffee table books too, so please get in touch.

Girl signing off,

Sarah x



    I saw you tweeting about blogging and I thought I’d check out your website. I really like it. Looks like GIRL ABOUT HOUSE has come a long way!

    Building a mailing list like you are is so important too, I think people would really like to be signed up to what you have to share.

    Good job on the social buttons, social media is so powerful these days

    You should consider installing an SEO plugin like Yoast or something, theres loads of good free ones.

    Keep making great stuff!

    • Thanks so much for your comments, Maximilian. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and respond – your suggestion about using an SEO plugin is really helpful. I’m not so hot on SEO, despite doing lots of reading on it, so any advice is much appreciated! I hope you enjoy the material to come and share with colleagues and friends. Do you have a blog? Many thanks, Sarah

  • I’ve always wondered how to add a coffee table and what their real purpose is. I love the look of the Louis Vuitton one- think I will start my own coffee table collection. Looking forward to reading more!

    • Yes, the LV is amazing and works beautifully with a neutral, classic scheme (always a winner)! If you do start a collection, I’d love to see how you style them!

  • I do love a coffee table book! Love the look of vanity fair 100 years. I have 2 small children so unfortunately have no space for an elegant coffee table and book…are there any for a smaller side table?
    Living the blog already!

    • Hi Laura, thanks for the comment. Yes, children don’t always mix so successfully with certain items (cream rug, glass things)! For side tables, I always like to use pretty notebooks as a base for accessories. Again, colours should be selected to complement the rest of the space. There are some fab marble varieties at Anthropologie at the moment. I will be doing a post on the power of the notebook soon, so there should be some top tips in there. Hope this helps x

  • Girl About House – do you hope to create a book one day? That would definitley be one for my coffee table!

    • Totally! That is the absolute dream! Thanks so much for the vote of confidence!x

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