The image of a beautifully furnished living room with a stack of books carefully positioned on the coffee table provides a warm and inviting picture. Would you like to recreate this image for your own home? Coffee table books create a focal point in your decor, inviting conversation and relaxation. Let's discuss the best book sizes and options for your home.
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While coffee table books come in various sizes, choose a book that is at least 9 to 10 inches in length. Books smaller than this lack the presence to make an impact and become lost in your decor. The ideal book size will complement your table's size. A larger, heavier book placed on the bottom of a stack of smaller books creates a pleasing aesthetic.
We've just mentioned that coffee table books come in various sizes, so although one size is generally preferred, it helps to know how to choose the right book for smaller or larger coffee tables. Stay with us as we delve into the different dimensions of coffee table books and share some key styling tips to make your table's display look spectacular.
Coffee Table Book Dimensions
Coffee table books are available in the following standard sizes:
- 8" x 8" - this square book size is fun to flip through and place at the top of a larger stack.
- 8.5" x 11" - a standard portrait sized book.
- 11" x 8.5" - landscape orientation, which is great for images that are primarily landscape photos.
- 11" x 11" - a large, sturdy size to anchor a stack of books.
Book Sizes & Subjects
Larger books are the most popular choices as coffee table books. They are best for catching interest and sparking the conversation they are designed to elicit. When choosing books, consider the size, colors of your existing decor, and any book themes you might like to collect. Let's look at a few examples of popular coffee table books and explore how best to incorporate them into your decor.
This small coffee table book measures 7.38" x 7.25" and would make the perfect book for the top of a stack. Click here to find this book on Amazon.
This book has a colorful cover and measures 8.5" x 11". It adds a touch of romance and a pop of color for a feminine style. Click here to find this book on Amazon.
Landscape orientation and a cool ocean vibe make this book fitting for a seaside cottage or beach home. It measures 13.38" x 10.38". Click here to find this book on Amazon.
This large book measures 10" x 11.51", creating the perfect base for your book stack. Click here to find this book on Amazon.
Here's another oversized book to consider for your book stack. It measures 11.24" x 14.25". Click here to see this book on Amazon.
What is the point of a coffee table book?
Coffee table books are intended to display in an area of your home meant for entertainment. They can inspire conversation or provide a way to pass the time while looking at thought-provoking images. Coffee table books invite your guests to get comfortable, sit and stay awhile. The coffee table book is a timeless decor piece with a collectible appeal, easily incorporated into any home's style.
The subjects of coffee table books can reflect the interests or hobbies of the homeowner. Subjects range from photography, landscapes, home decorating, animals, art, fashion, and many, many more. Basically, any topic you can envision can be showcased in a beautiful coffee table book.
Coffee table books also provide a stylish decor addition. They can be used to add color and personality to your home. Place coffee table books in other areas of your home as a base for showcasing other home decors. For example, a stack of books on a guestroom bedside table topped with a candle makes a welcoming accent. For the really adventurous or those with a large book collection, coffee table books can be stacked and used as tables or shelves.
Where do coffee table books go?
What if you don't have a coffee table or don't want to place your books there? You can still create a warm, inviting look without the traditional placement of books on a coffee table. Here are a few other places you can create a display with coffee table books:
- An entryway table
- Dining room buffet
- Kitchen island
- Guest room nightstand
- Home office desk
- Family room bookshelves
For help in finding the perfect coffee table to stack your books atop, check out our post, 15 70's Style Coffee Tables that Will Give Your Living Room a Retro Touch.
How many books should be on a coffee table?
Odd-numbered stacks are the most aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Three is a great number to start with. Place the largest book at the base and add another few books to your stack. Your stack should look planned and tidy instead of a cluttered array.
How to style coffee table books
Coffee table books can be stacked alone or used as a pedestal to showcase other items. Consider a book placed on a shelf to act as a riser for a vase or inside a rimmed tray to elevate a bowl or decorative box above the tray's rim.
Think about the colors of your book stack. You want the colors to compliment each other and your room's decor. You can remove the book jacket and use just the bare book cover if it matches better.
For a round coffee table, visualize your space as a triangle. Stack your books at one corner, a floral arrangement in the second, and a tray or candle in the third. This arrangement creates balance in your display.
Bigger or square tables are best divided into quadrants. Keep your display simple. Four neat stacks of books create a clean, uncluttered display.
Lastly, add some layers and details to your book stacks. Create visual interest and height by adding accessories with your books. Place a tray, candle, vase, or bowl on top of the book stack.
Create Your Inviting Space
With a few interesting book stacks, you can transform your living area into an inviting space that sparks conversation with guests or create a quiet haven for curling up with an interesting book. Coffee table books are both functional and create backdrops for displaying other decor in your rooms. Think outside the box or off the coffee table when placing your coffee table books. Consider other spaces in your home as options for displaying books.
Chose heavy, large books as the anchor for your book stack, then add a few smaller books to complete the look. Use the colors of your books as accents to pull together your decor. Collections or themes are wonderful conversation starters and can help guide you in choosing the books to display. Coffee table books can complement any decorating style or theme from traditional to contemporary.
If you are looking for other inspiration to decorate your living area check out our post, 30 Electic Living Room Ideas That Will Inspire You.