How To Style Your Coffee Table with Books
I joked on instagram the other day that coffee table books are basically coasters. Mine are covered in wine, coffee, spilled flowers, crumbs, you name it. It’s horrible. They cost so damn much and we just stack them up and torture them with meals and other decor that looks pretty on top.
Well, I’m not here to share ways to keep them clean. I wanted to share a few ways you can re-style them on your coffee table though! I do find that when I change up the table every week or two, I tend to keep them cleaner and actually flip through them. If you are moving them around, chances are you’re dusting them, you’re paying attention to how the covers are holding up, etc.
And since we are definitely going to be lighting more candles, drinking more wine by the fire, and generally spending more time in our living room now that it’s cooling off, my goal is to update the space regularly. Here are a few ideas to get you started in styling, and some book recs at the end of the post! (ps. the “levels” we categorized each method as were purely for our entertainment, don’t take them too seriously;)
method: Stack a few and add a tray
Who this is for: the person with zero patience and who is just beginning their book collection
This is the easiest and quickest for obvious reasons. It’s a simple stack! I like to offset the books a bit for that messy look (and also so that everything else on the table doesn’t have to line up perfectly. This method is best for small round tables. You can center your stack and then add flowers, trinket dishes, and a small tray for your candle to the side.
My one rule for this stack is to keep your books in odd numbers. In the world of design + styling, odd numbers will always win when it comes to grouping things (3 is best!). So keep this in mind when choosing your books.
method: tetris stacks
Who this is for: The maximalist who wants all of her things out on the table (literally)
This method takes a little more planning and a much bigger table. You have to commit to basically covering your coffee table in books, and in turn, covering your books in the essentials. So, make sure you are equipped with coasters and trays as this is method is easiest way to ruin your books (if you’re messy like me) unfortunately.
I stayed with a pattern of 3 (same rule as above!) mostly because of the size of my table. You can definitely add more stacks. I alternated the ways the books were facing as well as the amount of books in each stack. I kept the stack furthest away tallest and worked down from there.
You will probably find yourself obsessing over the spacing and making sure that they books are lined up at all times (probably don’t attempt this one with curious children). Which is why I placed this at the top of the effort spectrum. It’s honestly my favorite though and worth the effort.
method: Exposed pages
Who this is for: the show off
Wait, you actually want people to SEE INSIDE THE BOOK??? Well, then this one is for you. I simply took my favorite book out of the “Tetris” display and opened it right up. Choose your favorite page (this should only take approximately 47 minutes to choose) and then drape over your other books, but carefully, edges hanging off the table WILL catch on your clothing and cause an explosion of trinkets all over your living room as they fly off the table. Some books are heavy enough and won’t need it, but I love my little hand weight so I always use it to keep the book open. Keep in mind the colors of the page when you are choosing, this can change the look of the entire room if your book is big enough. I moved my candles up and balanced out the black page with a black candle… which you can do with any color.
And finally, my number one tip for any table; always keep something alive on it. Fresh flowers, a cactus, a succulent, an airplant… I guess even dried flowers would work (they were alive once too). It relaxes the harsh lines of the books and will cheer up any room.
Now, do you need some book recs? We have those too…