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Dress Your Coffee Table | Coffee Table Books Options

Updated on June 24, 2011


Coffee table books are a great way to enhance your living room space and to entertain your guests. They also make a good gift for any occasion. Besides, the market is full with wonderful photo books, just waiting to be discovered. There are amazing pictures for every topic and interest.

The most beautiful photo coffee table books are the ones depicting the nature in its savage but innocent stage: wild landscapes, travel wonders, weather snapshots, flora and fauna, wild animals, birds and butterflies.

Other popular coffee table books depict sports, countries, cars, architecture, and pets.
My favourites are the one that showcase people portraits, like the ones that National Geographic publishes from time to time, and the books that take a certain city and, through photography, describes its life, from the most common thing to the very specific aspect of it.

the cover Of Lonely Planet coffee table book, published by National Geographic
the cover Of Lonely Planet coffee table book, published by National Geographic | Source

...what are coffee table books ...

Most coffee table books are big hardcover books, mass produced and sold through bookstores and their websites or through other retailers like gift shops. Usually, they have a big print photo per page and a short description, either by the photo, either on the opposite page.

These books are set on coffee tables on private homes or waiting rooms in public buildings. They are used to entertain the guests when waiting for their drinks or to be seen or helped. They can cost anywhere from 10 bucks to few hundreds, according with the subject, the number of pages, the name of the writer (photographer), and the publisher.

Even they are worth investing, there is another way to dress up your living room: make your own.



Nicole Kidman in a custom vintage frame
Nicole Kidman in a custom vintage frame | Source

...do it yourself memory books...

To make your own coffee table book you’ll need to have good quality printed photos of your choice. Lots of people display their wedding pictures on a coffee table. Wedding coffee table books are very popular among young couples in the first years of their marriage. They also make a good choice in such events like house warming, baby showers, anniversary or family gatherings.

If you traveled in another country and took a lots of great photos why let them gather dust on a box or get lost in your digital storage device? Print them out and make a memory book about them. Write down a short description of each and the time it was taken and display it on a coffee table book. Not only you’ll revive your memories every time you look at it but also you’ll share it with others.

The years spent in college can also be a great subject for your own memory book. For this one you have to collect photos from your friend, teachers or other sources. Again, you’ll need a good quality print and a funny blurb for each page.

The customized, do-it-yourself coffee table books are the most precious of them all. I always enjoy flipping the pages of such memory albums. I have seen few made by a friend of mine who is also interested in scrap-booking and the result is amazing. She enhanced the photos in photoshop, she framed them and/or added different elements to each of them.

....travel coffee table books and other topics....

Travel coffee table books are the best when you need to entertain people that do not know each other. They can spark interesting conversation where guest can share their own travel experiences. The travel books can range in subject from a whole country to a specific food or type of wine.

Spots coffee table books are a lot of fun when you have your friends over for a golf or football game. They can flip through the pages during commercials to find interesting facts or forgotten old glory. They are a must for any serious. You can pair this with a collection of jocks or comics to have a perfect party.

Art books are perfect for any occasion but are most appreciated by people that have an interest in painting, decorating, photography or simply enjoy a work of art. They make a great display when you have an mixture of guests like family, friends, and colleagues.

Nature books are an evergreen display in any living room. You can adapt them according with the season or the area you live in. Sometimes they are very specific, approaching one narrow subject like birds native to a specific area, types of dogs or other animals, species of trees, plants, flowers and the such.

Whatever the subject you choose for your coffee table, you will end up with a piece of art and a good investment for your money.


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