What Are Your Coffee Table Books Saying…About You?
Besides an old wooden bread bowl filled with pine cones and a wooden box we use to hide our remote controls, the only other thing on our coffee table is books…coffee table books. A lot of them…like more than 20.
So besides saying that we should probably get rid of a few coffee table books, the books themselves say quite a bit about us. A book on St. Barth’s reminds us of where we went on our honeymoon. And one about Napa Valley reminds us of where we spent our 10th anniversary…when Britt had pink eye…the.whole.time. All the other books are about things we’re interested in…gardening, landscape design, home decor…and with the latest addition, chickens. We love our stacks of books and how they look on our coffee table. We also love how flipping through them brings us outside to some of our favorite things…if only in our minds.
So I thought I’d share some of our favorites with you.
I received Extraordinary Chickens by Stephen Green-Armytage as a gift for Christmas…and I love it. Being the chicken lover that I am, I’m actually surprised that it’s taken me this long to get a chicken-themed coffee table book. Besides the amazing photography, the information shared is both helpful and interesting. So if you have backyard chickens, please check it out for yourself.
“A Time to Plant: Southern-Style Garden Living”
A Time to Plant is one of several books by James T. Farmer III we have sitting on our coffee table…and since this one’s signed it’s at the top of a stack. The photographs are really incredible, like most coffee table books; however, the amount of very helpful information was completely unexpected. From landscape design tips to delicious recipes…from a perennial planting calendar to guidance on entertaining outdoors, this book has it all.
“Timeless Landscape Design: The Four-Part Master Plan”
If you’re into landscape design in any way, I’d highly recommend Timeless Landscape Design by married and renowned landscape architects Mary Palmer Dargen and Hugh Graham Dargen. Although I would say that the focus of this book is more around the content (e.g., approach to landscape design and specific design techniques), the illustrations and pictures are both helpful and beautiful.
“Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing the American Landscape”
Grounding our stacks of coffee table books with some historical weight is my Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing the American Landscape…by Charles E. Beveridge and Paul Rocheleau. Sure, the pictures are gorgeous and even more impressive given the passage of time; but the life story and incredible accomplishments of Olmsted will draw you in to flipping these pages more than anything else. I highly recommend this coffee table book for the landscape lover and American history buff alike.
“An Affair with a House”
Rounding (and fluffing) out our stacks of coffee table books is An Affair with a House by Bunny Williams. Williams, an iconic interior designer, beautifully shares the love story between her and an 18th-century New England home…from seeing it for the first time, all the way to it being fully restored in all its grandeur. And lucky for me, I would say a majority of the images and content focuses on the outdoor spaces…gardens, porches, barn and other outbuildings. Another must-have coffee table book for anyone looking for inspiration for their home.
So what do your coffee table books have to say? What books do you have? I’d love to add some to our collection. When you have 20+…what’s a few more on a few more stacks?!
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We love our coffee table books too! Learned this years ago in a interior design class. When people walk into your home, they should learn a little something about you and your interests by your coffee table books! We have quite an assortment too. We have a book on the state of Texas (my home state that I love!), one on the Biltmore Estate (a southern landkmark for elegance and beauty), one on Kenya (since we did a mission trip there), another one on Andy Warhol (a famous artist that my husband and I love), etc. These books create great conversations!
Thanks for your comment Severin! Love learning all these things about you and your hubby! Take care my friend, D.
Just stumbled onto your blog today… and I think we’ll be great friends, since the first post I see is one on beautiful books 🙂 I immediately searched my public library for the one by James Farmer.
I would have to say, my top three coffee table books would have to be Manufactured Landscapes by Ed Burtynsky, the Creative Black Book 1995, and The Treehouse Book by David Larkin and Peter Nelson.
I look forward to wandering through more of your blog!
Christine…thanks so much for chiming in and for posting your top 3 coffee table books. I’m going to have to look those up…especially The Treehouse Book. Treehouse Masters is one of our favorite shows, and although our treehouse wouldn’t make it onto the show it’s still pretty cool. Would be a perfect addition to our stacks! Thanks Christine! – Doug