When it comes to reading, I’m kind of the worst. I’ve always struggled to sit down and read novels ever since I can remember. So, coffee table books are perfect for me as they’re easy reads and usually fairly visual. There are a few things I look for when buying coffee table books, I’ll try to pick out books that reflect me and my personal style, as well as covering topics that I’m interested in. This will usually mean themes such as design, art, poetry and magazines. I thought I’d show you some of my favourite coffee table books that I own and why I love them.
D E S I G N
The most obvious favourite type of books I’ll gather are design based, specifically architecture and interior design magazines or books. I have a few architecture mags that I rotate including AA and Green Architecture- however the most aesthetically appropriate for my coffee table would have to be Design Anthology. I adore the articles and photography in this magazine, and the general curation of pages and topics is done excellently in my opinion. When it comes to design books, I’ll usually go for a chunky interiors or architecture book that covers a wide range of projects and spaces. These types of books are great as they almost act as a photo album that anyone could flick through and enjoy. I think both of these books are timeless examples of how you can use design books as coffee table pieces in a nicer way than your ‘home beautiful’ magazine from 2007.
C R E A T I V E S
I think coffee table books with creative content such as art, photography and poetry tend to be the easiest to come across. I think they’re great as they’ll often work well as flip through books, as well as opportunity for a more in-depth read. I’ve always enjoyed poetry. As I’m not fantastic at starting and actually finishing a fiction novel, poetry books are great as I can be creatively submerged for shorter periods of time with less commitment. One of my personal favourite poets out there is Beau Taplin, and the book that I own is titled ‘The Wild Heart’. Taplin’s work usually covers love, relationships and heartbreak. I really enjoy his writing style and the way that he structures his poetry books. ‘The Polaroid Book’ was a gift given to me by one of my best friends for my 16th birthday, and I’ve cherished it ever since. The book itself is basically a collection of polaroids that have been scanned and arranged over quite a thick book. I really like the look of polaroid images, and the stylistic qualities of each of the images in this book are fantastic.
F O O D & D R I N K
Food and drink magazines have been a household favourite for decades when it comes to coffee table books. Pretty much every home I remember visiting will have a recipe book, women’s weekly magazine or some kind of food-based piece lying around, whether that be in the living room or kitchen. I think food and drink books are great for ideas, and make for good Sunday-afternoon-browsing books. For a modern alternative, I think cocktail books are perfect for the lounge area. In my house we’re all REALLY into cocktails, the negroni especially – so of course we’ve got an entire book about negronis and ways you can make them!
S C R A P B O O K
I’ve always had a love for scrapbooking ever since I was a young girl. When I was about eight years old my step-mum taught me everything I needed to know about creating beautiful pages that documented memories. We used to sit at the dining table every second weekend when I’d go down to visit my dad’s side of the family and spend hours cutting paper, arranging photos and adding decorations. I’m a very sentimental person, so I really like to have personal items around my house, as they are what make it feel like a home for me. I started this very simple scrapbook about a year ago as a place to keep all of my polaroids, printed photographs and other things such as tickets from events and other memories. I really like that I’ve created a tangible thing where I can look back on different experiences with friends and family, rather than everything getting lost in my phone’s photo gallery.
I think I prefer creating a scrapbook like this one instead of regular photo albums as it allows for a lot of customization. Each page is unique and I’m free to include any type of medium in the book. So instead of just photos, this book contains letters, tickets, written captions and timelines – just to name a few things. I think things like this make the best coffee table books as they’re reflective of yourself and visitors can join in reminiscing as they flip through the different memories. I look forward to adding more to this book as years go by!
Much Love, Ebony xo
**all photographs in this post were taken and edited by myself**