Southerners know that when it comes to interior design, a bare coffee table is just not an option. A wide open surface is usually begging for an assortment of sculptural accessories, trays, and books to be artfully arranged on top. (And, if you're interested, we’ve already put together a how-to on arranging said tabletop.) There’s a genre of book designed just for this purpose—the aptly named coffee table book—and we bet you have a few in your collection already. The best coffee table books are both beautiful and useful, visually stunning and practical. They’re filled with gorgeous photographs, compelling stories, and unexpected inspiration for hosting, design, travel, and beyond.
With that in mind, we’ve chosen a few coffee table books we think are destined to be classics. A tabletop display should be inviting, which is why we’ve gathered some fun options we think Southern hostesses will love and guests will enjoy browsing. There are a few unexpected, pocket-sized picks too. There’s something here for every taste and table. All are fun to flip through—and isn’t that we're looking for in a coffee table book? (They make great housewarming gifts too!)