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5 Clever Ways to Style Coffee Table Books

Coffee Table Decor

Displaying a collection of design-forward coffee table books is one of the simplest ways to showcase your interests to your guests and beautify your living space. The best books will serve as a reflection of you and your tastes, often covering topics like travel, fashion, and art. They should be filled with inspiring photography and be worthy of an afternoon read while you’re relaxing on the sofa.

If you’re looking to add some personal touches to your home, there’s no better way than by picking out some dreamy coffee table books. Of course, just because they are called “coffee table” books doesn’t mean they need to be confined to the coffee table. Below, you’ll find some unique styling ideas to showcase your favorite books around the house. Stop by our Charleston furniture stores to browse our entire selection of books as well as other home decor.

Book End

Leaned Against the Wall as Art 

Coastal homes celebrate light and open space, which is why many are built as open plans with large windows. The larger the windows and the fewer barriers between rooms, the better in terms of letting light and air circulate. With large windows, you can appreciate the stunning nature around your home and let the sun drench your rooms in a warm glow. If your home doesn’t have large windows, you can still mimic the effect by using minimal window treatments, like airy voile curtains, and by adding glass doors. Adding large mirrors is another way of bouncing light around your space. 

Stacked Tray

As a Tray

Instead of leaning your books next to each other, stack three or four that are a similar color and use them as a tray or pedestal. Add magazines, plants, candles, a small sculpture, matches, or a framed photo on top of the books to create a stylish display. With this technique, the coffee table books serve as an anchor point, highlighting the presence of your favorite objects and elevating them from your furniture.

Dark Brown Cabinet

On Shelves

Styling coffee table books in your built-in shelving units or china cabinets is not groundbreaking, but it is effective! You can either lean your books together vertically, stack them horizontally, or use a mixture of both methods to create interest on a shelf. You can get more creative with the way you organize your books – by color is always an eye-catching choice. If you want, you can even make your books float in the center of your shelves with bookends like our Charbel Bookends.

White Nightstand

On the Bottom Shelf of a Nightstand

With certain nightstands, like the Edward Nightstand and the Escape Drawer End Table, you’ll find a shelf underneath that is perfect for stacking books. Not only do they fill out the negative space in an aesthetic way, but you’ll have easy access to an interesting read when you are lying in bed. You can use the books to add some extra color into your room or tie together themes that are already present.

White Dishes

In the Kitchen 

Some of the most beautiful coffee table books feature pictures of food, so why not put them in the kitchen? Whether they are cookbooks that you can use for inspiration for dinner recipes or large books filled with beautiful food photography, bringing a bit of literature into the kitchen is a good idea for many reasons. You can even get a cookbook holder to keep one book always open. Flip through your books while eating or cooking – just don’t spill food on them!

Find Beautiful Coffee Table Books at GDC Home

Whether you’ve just moved in and are looking for the perfect books, candles, and decor for your coffee table and shelves, or simply want to refresh your space overall as we head into spring, our interior designers are ready to help you at our Charleston home stores. At our three furniture store locations, we have a large inventory of furniture, accessories, and books to create a beautiful, personalized home. Start by browsing our website and stop by one of our Charleston home stores when you’re ready to bring your vision to life.

Shop the Look


Edward Nightstand

Inspired by sailboats, this nightstand brings a playful coastal sophistication to the bedroom. Canvas stripes provide a beachy element while camel leather adds refinement.

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Talya Sculpture

Talya Sculpture

Intertwined, organically shaped loops finished in a lightly antiqued metallic gold and set on a granite base.

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Serving Tray

Cable Chain Tray

Frame made from 100% cast iron, this tray is finished in gold leaf with noticeable distressed details and a mirrored bottom.

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Charbel Bookends

Set of two bookends featuring textured faux white coral on crystal bases.

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Explore more of our latest styles and keep up-to-date with design trends by following GDC Home on our social platforms below. View our gallery and use the hashtag to find your next design inspiration!