Get your coffee table book styling on point! Learn how to style coffee table books like a boss with expert tips on arranging, stacking, and accessorizing.
Coffee tables are functional as a great place to kick up your feet when sitting on the couch or set your warm cup of coffee down on a coaster and, in our house, as a place for the kids to color or do activities.
But most people want to decorate their coffee table a bit too. One of the most popular decorative items you’ll see on a coffee table is books. And they are, quite perfectly, called coffee table books!
Coffee table books are usually slightly larger than normal books. They have a hardcover and the contents are usually picture-heavy, making them perfect for casually flipping through.
I prefer to have my coffee table books be home decor or interior design themed because I love to look through pictures of beautiful spaces and get inspiration. I shared my favorite coffee table books in this article. I also love to remove the dust jacket and show off the beautiful covers.
If you’re struggling with just how to make your coffee table book stack look cohesive and styled, you’re in luck today. I’m sharing tons of ideas for how to style coffee table books (both on your coffee table or side table and elsewhere in your home).
This guide for how to style coffee table books contains affiliate links, but nothing that I wouldn’t recommend wholeheartedly. Read my full disclosure here.
How To Style Coffee Table Books
Ideas For Styling Coffee Table Books on Coffee Tables
The most obvious way to style your coffee table books is, well, simply in a stack on your coffee table of course.
If you're struggling with just how to make it look better than just a couple of books on a table, here are a few ideas.
Top stack with decorative item
I love this simple look of stacking a stack of three books with a decorative item, like this DIY clay knot. Putting it next to a small potted plant is the perfect combination.
Top with round tray and decorative vase
Here's another look at the round coffee table in our living room styled with books. This time, I have a round wooden tray on top with a decorative vase and a wood bead garland.
Stacks in varying heights
One great way to use style coffee table books is to create a few different separate stacks of coffee table books of varying heights. Pair the decorative books with one large vase with flowers with a handful of other smaller accents, like candles.
Use a bookend
It may be obvious to use a bookend when you are styling books, but it's not something you see a lot used on a coffee table. I love this look of standing the books up with a bookend leaning against a basket with a plant inside. It adds a touch of life to the coffee table with the plant.
Related Reading - Check out these 9 creative DIY bookends to make your own!
Top the stack with a large candle
One of the most common ways to use beautiful books is to put them in a stack and top them with a decorative object. Here they are stacked under a large candle.
Combine the book stack with a large vase of flowers and a footed bowl on this rectangular-shaped coffee table for a balanced look.
Related Reading - Learn how to make your own footed bowl here!
Use a small figurine on top of the stack of books
Here's another example showing stacks of books with a small figurine on top of the back. I love how they have them styled with candlestick holders for height and a plant on this round coffee table.
Multiple stacks of books next to a round tray
I love this idea of arranging a couple of different stacks of coffee-table books in a coordinated color scheme on both levels of this coffee table. To fill in the empty spaces, she pairs the books with a round tray to hold a candle and plant and an empty wooden bowl.
The stack of coffee table books on the right looks great with the antler layered on top.
Layer with a wicker basket on top
You can also top the large books with a rattan basket. Adding wicker is one of my favorite ways to bring in some extra texture for a modern boho feel.
Other Ways To Use Coffee Table Books In Your Home
Even though we're calling them coffee table books, there are so many other things you can do with coffee table books other than styling them on the actual coffee table! Here are some creative tips:
On the entryway table
I love the way hardcover books look when stacked on your console table. You can put them under a basket or bowl, which can be a great place to round up keys, sunglasses, and your wallet by the front door.
Related Reading - Check out these console table decor ideas for more inspiration!
On a bench at the foot of your bed
Adding a bench to the foot of your bed can be a great extra touch in your bedroom. It's a great place to put on and off your shoes. A couple of stacks of larger books is a great way to add a little something extra to the bench so it isn't bare.
Related Reading - Learn how to make your own bench with a cushion here!
On your sofa table
I love the look of the books stacked up under a plant on this sofa table. If you're struggling with how many books to put in your stack, start with three. Things always look better when styled in odd numbers.
Related Reading - For more sofa table decorating ideas, check out this article!
On a nightstand
Another place to style oversized books in your bedroom is on your nightstand. You can stack them up and top them with a decorative accent and put it next to a plant. That's a pretty easy formula to follow for styling nightstands in your own home.
On your dresser
The top of your dresser is a great place to use a couple of books. You can stack them under a decorative bowl and place a large wood bead garland spilling out the edge.
I know it seems obvious to put books on bookshelves, but there's an art to decorating bookshelves with larger decorative coffee table books. You can layer in decorative pieces, small vases, farmed art, plants, and other natural elements.
On shelving unit
I use decorative books all the time when I am styling our living room shelves! I love figuring out a new shelf styling layout for each season.
Learn how to decorate shelving like a pro here!
Having a few coffee table books around make great conversation starters! There are so many ways to use them in your home! Hopefully, you’re inspired after seeing all of these ideas for how to style coffee table books.
Whether you put them on your coffee table in your living room or elsewhere in your house, the options are endless for decorating with books.