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Perfect Pairs: Coffee Tables and Books for a Sophisticated Living Room

What’s a coffee table without a book to match?

By Ricardo Felix

A coffee table can make or break any living room scheme. It shows off what your house represents and who you are. But what’s a coffee table without a book to match? For the minimalists, maximalists and everyone in between, we’ve found the perfect pairings of coffee tables and coffee table books that will make your space feel stylish and smart.

Brutalist coffee table books
$2,999 at Rove Concepts; $90, Phaidon.

For the Stoic Brutalist

A design philosophy focused on the principle of “less is more”, Brutalism uses minimal material and form to show the beauty of simplicity. The Terra Modular Coffee Table is made of white travertine and takes a triangular form that complements the space between the paired tables. Minimalistic and stunning in design, this coffee table gives living rooms that artistic grit, yet simple elegance. A perfect compliment to this table is The Brutalists: Brutalism’s Best Architects by Owen Hopkins of course. Hopkins brings 200 brutalist local and international buildings to browse and appreciate.

Art Deco design
$2,495 at Design Within Reach; $195, Phaidon.

For the Mid-Century Modernist

A retro aesthetic that takes on aspects of the 1940s to 1960s, mid-century modern style is perfectly encapsulated by the Noguchi table. Iconic since 1948, the sculptural table uses a smooth, wood interlocking form as a base for the organically shaped glass top. Expanding your mid-century tastes beyond the table with Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses by Dominic Bradbury, a visually encompassing book that showcases over 400 of the world’s most captivating homes of the era.

Industrial design media
$529 at CB2; Approx. $33, Taschen.

For the Industrial Nerd 

Focused on minimalism, hard features, and functionality, the industrial design movement flirts with elements of Brutalism, but tends toward a darker aesthetic. The Mill Black Metal Coffee Table brings the aesthetic to life with its Iron frame and raw antiqued finish. Industrial designers all know that knowledge is power, which is why we pair this table with Charlotte Fiell’s Design of the 20th Century, an encyclopedia of industrial design knowledge and visuals spanning across the century.

coffee table books and coffee tables
$749 at West Elm; Approx. $64, Rizzoli New York.

For the Art Deco Host

A burst of energy that can light up a room, this modernized Art Deco coffee table channels the intricate and luxe designs of the 1930s creative movement. The Starburst Coffee table features a supernova foundational element in a Blackened Brass finish holding a glass surface. Elegance and glamour are the lifelines of the Art Deco movement and you can learn more about it with Arnold Schwartzman’s Art Deco: The Century’s Iconic Decorative Style.

Minimalist, curated loft coffee table book
$560 at Ziggy’s at Home; Approx. $64, Rizzoli New York.

For the Loft Lounger

For those who believe in a simpler life, a curated home brings that Zen feeling.  The Klay Coffee Table by Elite Living is the ideal pick. With a powder-coated finish, this round table blends function and beauty in one, while holding all your latte needs. To expand your minimalist home journey, pair this coffee table with Arranging Things by Colin King, which uncovers the interior designer’s process of arranging objects through a series of visual essays and anecdotes.

living room design, products
Request for price at Funsty; $50, Phaidon.

For the Eccentric Maximalist

A kaleidoscope of colour, the Meltingpot Coffee Table bring life and joy into any living room with its artful finish. Made of recycled prototypes and colour tests from Kooij studio, each table is different in pattern. If you love the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock paintings and the fluorescent colours of a Warhol print, this coffee table is the one. Double the colour with Phaidon’s Living in Color: Color in Contemporary Interior Design, featuring delightfully bright spaces from around the world.

coffee table + book
$1,850 at Bonne Choice; Approx. $40, Little Brown & Company.

For the Green Thumb

Embodying a carefree sophistication, the Garrigue Tiled Coffee Table by Roger Capron is a treat for the eyes. This rustic table features handcrafted tiles and pressed leaf print, all individual in shape and texture. To pair, Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere by Zach Klein and Steven Leckart will fully emulate the nature-centric vibe. This book’s contents, a testament to its title, is a showcase of awe-inspiring evergreen photography of friends and family connecting with nature through inspired design.

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