Do Coffee Table Books Have To Match?


I recently bought myself a brand-new coffee table, and I’m in the process of decorating it. After doing some research, I found that decorating it with books is the ultimate and favored way of styling one. Made me overthink a bit and question myself, “do coffee table books have to match?”

Coffee table books don’t have to match. However, coffee table books matching color, genre, size, and design style will uplift any lounge aesthetically. Matching books can be used to create contrast, an attention-grabbing focal point, or to create a unique space within a space.

Coffee tables and the books that you decorate it with, getting the room to  “pop,” can match or not. When you match coffee table books, various methods create unity in your lounge area. It’s your coffee table; what books you put on it is your prerogative. What are the benefits of matching coffee table books?

Do Coffee Table Books Have To Match?

No unwritten law states that you can’t keep books on your coffee table strictly for aesthetically pleasing reasons. Matching similar size, theme, and color books is a very popular way of “designing” your lounge and is often used by interior decorators to create some ambiance.

You don’t have to have books that match. It’s your coffee table. Anything goes as long as it’s not old magazines and reading books. Except for softcover Danielle Steel love stories. Or a Steven King novel. These types of books need to be on a bookshelf.

Before I forget, a coffee table book must be a large hardcover book that displays well and adds a decorative touch. Maybe, matching books belong on the coffee table; after all, let’s explore why.

How To Match Coffee Table Books

Matching coffee table books does not refer to having three of the same books on your display table but rather to matching books according to colors (aesthetics), size, genre, and style. Displaying a set of coffee table books from the same author is also considered “matching.”

Matching Aesthetics/Colors

These can be books cloaked in strikingly stunning covers similar in design or color, yet not the same. If you are only using one book, pick the one that makes the rest of the room pop the most, usually the one that offers the most contrast to the color theme found in the room.

For example, when using three books, display it using the most colorful at the bottom and the least vivid one on top. Or vice versa. Another good idea is to use books with different colors, think a black-covered (or sleeveless) book in a light-colored room.

Adding a red and white book to the black one will create a unique display of colors that work together and apart, no matter the arrangement or dominant color scheme found in the display room. 

Matching books that slightly differ in color shades work well to contrast a color found in a room. For example, lighter shades of blue will contrast them perfectly if you have dark navy-blue cushions.

Artbooks are very popular, and sought-after coffee table display books, and some of them are designed with vibrant sleeves and covers, pulling your attention immediately.

 Here are some coffee table books of art  that you can consider:

Vitamin C, Clay and Ceramic in Contemporary Art
Menu Design in America, 1850–1985
On Sale Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection (Metropolitan...

Last update on 2022-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Matching Coffee Table Books According To Genre

The display books on your coffee table are a great way to let other people know what your interests are without telling them. Some see a coffee table book display as an extension of their Google search history, an exhibition of love.

Choose books that highlight your passions through beautifully photographed imagery found in said books. If they could inspire you, then chances are they can also inspire some of your coffee-loving friends.

Art Coffee Table Books

Artbooks are popular and sought-after coffee table display books; some are designed with vibrant sleeves and covers, pulling your attention immediately.

 Here are some coffee table books of art  that you can consider:

Interior Design Coffee Table Books

For example, say you love interior design, then matching the following books on your coffee table should set the tone for one of your favorite genres and give visitors flipping through it an insight into one of your passions.

On Sale Make Life Beautiful
On Sale The Interior Design Handbook: Furnish, Decorate, and...
On Sale Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to...

Last update on 2022-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

On Sale Live Beautiful
On Sale Made for Living: Collected Interiors for All Sorts of...
On Sale The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living

Last update on 2022-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Travelling Coffee Table Books

Other popular coffee table books are books about food, photography, and traveling. Matching multiple books of your interests can also work on a coffee table, showing that you have diverse preoccupations.

Here you can try to match the different genres by the color of the books, or the design of the covers, as this will present unity, even when displaying diversity. 

Popular coffee table traveling books with inspiring tales and photographs of people with Wanderlust are the following:

On Sale Wanderlust: A Hiker's Companion
On Sale The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small
On Sale Escape

Last update on 2022-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

On Sale Forever Wandering: Hello Emilie’s Guide to...
On Sale Patterns of India: A Journey Through Colors, Textiles,...
On Sale The Finer Things: Timeless Furniture, Textiles, and...

Last update on 2022-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The outside covers of the above-listed books are all tinted in soft pinks or white, combining the genre with color if these are some of the elements you require in your book display.

Related: Why Built-in Bookcases are Worth It

“Coffee” Coffee Table Books

When in any doubt of what genre books to display on your coffee table, you don’t have to look any further than the table staring back at you, screaming for some attention.

Coffee books with extravagant illustrations and beautifully staged pictures become an interactive experience when browsing through while sipping on coffee.

Books about coffee are a surefire way to start any conversation. Let’s face it, most if not all of humanity has an addictive relationship with coffee.

There’s a little playfulness to a coffee table designed with matching books about different perspectives to all that is coffee and a chance to educate yourself on how it’s made.

Here are some visually and intellectually pleasing coffee table books about “coffee”:

By Andrea Illy - Espresso Coffee: The Science of...
From a Great Dream to Grand Opening: How to Start Your...
On Sale The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing --...

Last update on 2022-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Coffee Art
On Sale Joe: The Coffee Book
On Sale Coffee Roaster's Handbook: A How-To Guide for Home and...

Last update on 2022-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Create Your Coffee Table Book Display, Matching Or Not.

There are no rules when decorating your coffee table with books, only suggestions. How much time will you spend at your coffee table compared to visiting family or friends?

Make the display for your enjoyment primarily. I’m sure others will also enjoy sifting through books that you love; if not, so be it. Interior design needs to make you happy, not the delivery guy at the door.

For more decorative and styling ideas, watch this video.

Regarding my coffee table display, I will pick three of my favorite books from different genres with similar color displays, make sure they match in overall size, stack them up, and finish the display with a nice bowl or plant on top. I’m allowed to create my own “art.”

Conclusion

Matching books on a coffee table can brighten up your lounge area without a doubt, but so can books that don’t match at all. Finding an aesthetically pleasing mix of contrast, color, genre, and personal style is the trick.

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