Displaying gorgeous coffee table books is one of the quickest ways to give your living room a design boost. Even better if you add books about design to your modern coffee table design (is that design-inception?)
Here are some of my favorite coffee table books, featuring mid-century icons, Palm Springs style inspo and more retro fun.
I’ve also included tips to help you style your modern coffee table. And of course, cat pics. Charlie and Jane wanted to be a part of this.
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Iconic Mid-Century Design Books
Can’t afford an Eichler house or a collection of authentic Eames chairs? Actually you can, just on a smaller scale. Add a piece of iconic design to your home with one of these coffee table books.
California gets a lot of attention when we talk about mid-century style, but the Midwest gave us brilliant design, too. Mid-Michigan Modern commemorates icons like Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as lesser known regional designers who made MCM magic.
Eames: Beautiful Details is a treasure. With the colorful Eames triangles right on the cover sleeve, this book is more like art. It’s always prominently displayed in my house.
Modern Design Books
These books offer a current take on mid-century design. See how people are styling their MCM houses now. Atomic Ranch is always a good place to start.
Can we pause for a moment to appreciate the following photo? I asked my cats really nicely to help me out, and they actually did! They wandered into my camera frame next to these coffee table books for the purrfect photo.
Palm Springs Coffee Table Books
If you love the mid-century haven of Palm Springs, these books will look lovely on your coffee table.
I adore Palm Springs and can’t wait to visit again. While I probably won’t get back this year, I can pick up one of these fabulous books to get me by. Who’s with me?
Other Fun Retro Mod Coffee Table Books
You can start your outdoor living early with this landscape book.
And if you’re dreaming of the vintage trailer life but you can’t fit an Airstream in your driveway, why not get one for your coffee table? Find lots of irresistible trailer style in these coffee table books.
Finally, I feel like it’s a huge oversight that I haven’t talked about SHAG on this blog before. I love the funky, retro, colorful look of SHAG, created by Josh Agle.
You can start your SHAG collection with one of these fun coffee table books.
And these next two images aren’t books, but I wanted to show you SHAG’s take on the mod cat. Love it.
How to Arrange Books on Your Coffee Table
Styling your coffee table is easy once you find the right books. Gather your books and a few accessories, and keep it simple. I like to err on the side of minimalist functionality over high-styled clutter.
Here are the basic elements I recommend for styling your modern coffee table:
- Coffee table books
- Book topper
- Candle holders
- Mid-century modern coasters
A loose stack of books has a relaxed, casual look. Or you could opt for three or four symmetrical stacks like this for a more formal look.
Add a book topper, like a fun accessory or small plant in a modern planter. Then add candles and coasters to complete the look.
You could also inspire a cozy reading day by setting a book and blanket on your ottoman. Just add a warm drink and you’re all set for an evening of hygge by the fire.