5 Visually Stunning Coffee Table Books with Equally Powerful Messages

motivational coffee table books

Coffee table books are a chic way to decorate the home and get acquainted with some beautiful photography and powerful messages. Below, you’ll find some of our favorites – a few you may even find near and dear to your heart – plus some tips on how to use them in your home.

Along with some strategically placed objects, like a piece of coral, a bunch of fresh colorful flowers, or a pair of ornate candle holders, a few great coffee table books always seem to add that extra “wow” factor to a well-decorated surface. Not only are they great conversation starters when entertaining guests, but they’re also great fodder for passing the time on a rainy afternoon. And, if you’re at all passionate about the environment, culture, fashion, animals, art, or photography then you’ll have the perfect catalysts for enjoyable banter thanks to these great books.

1. “The Modern Natural Dyer: A Comprehensive Guide to Dyeing Silk, Wool, Linen and Cotton at Home”, by Kristine Vejar

5 Visually Stunning Coffee Table Books with Equally Powerful Messages

Centered around using natural materials, this user-friendly book teaches its curious readers how to dye “yarn, fabric, and finished goods at home with foraged and garden-raised dyestuffs as well as with convenient natural dye extracts.” There are 20 different projects that cater to different crafting skill levels contained within. Whether you want to hone your dying skills, or you’re secretly in it for the gorgeous colorful photos contained within, this book would be a beautiful addition to any table.  

2. “Hungry Planet”, by Faith D’Alusio and Peter Menzel

5 Visually Stunning Coffee Table Books with Equally Powerful Messages

This book explores the cultural diversity that exists when it comes to our diets. Photographer Menzel and author-journalist D’Alusio chronicled what 30 different families in 24 different countries ate for a week. This amounted to 600 meals in total, and it showed just how prevalent feast and famine really are. One family in Germany enjoyed chocolate croissants, cinnamon rolls, and beef with a $500 a week grocery budget, while a family in Mali, with 12 people in the household, lived on corn and millet with a $26.39 weekly allowance.

3. “Earth From Above”, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

5 Visually Stunning Coffee Table Books with Equally Powerful Messages

This UNESCO supported project is “the result of a five-year airborne odyssey across five continents and 60 countries, ‘Earth from Above’ is the most revealing and spectacular portrait of our world ever created.” A testament to the natural wonder, inner workings, and also the fragility of our planet, Arthus-Bertrand, renowned French aerial photographer, captured these moments in time beautifully. This coffee table book is sure to be an awe-inspiring experience.

4. “Finding Home: Shelter Dogs & Their Stories”, by Traer Scott

5 Visually Stunning Coffee Table Books with Equally Powerful Messages

Scott published this eye-opening book as a follow up to her first, “Shelter Dogs.” Within these covers are the glorious, sorrowful, and sometimes hopeful black and white photographs of shelter dogs that Scott encountered as a volunteer. Alongside these pictures are the unique stories about their pre-shelter lives and what the future holds for these gentle creatures. If you’re a dog lover who wants nothing more than to save them all, then this is a book to consider.

5. “Make Garbage Great: The Terracycle Family Guide to a Zero-Waste Lifestyle

5 Visually Stunning Coffee Table Books with Equally Powerful Messages

From “a world leader in the upcycling And recycling movement,” Terracycle has published a book that’s considered the “household primer to going and staying green.” What’s different about this book, though, is that it’s chock full of more than 200 photographs and illustrations, and more than 100 tips and DIY projects that approach the upcycling subject in a very non-confrontational and user-friendly way. What’s great is that this book’s coffee table appeal means the ideas will always be handy since you won’t have to put it away on a shelf.

And, if you need a few tips on how to decorate with all of these new coffee table books (hint: layering is the secret), then consider the suggested arrangements below:

  • Add color and style to a glass table by taking several books and covering the surface with about an inch in between each one, creating a grid-like “base” on which to place other items like bowls, small succulents, or a geode.
  • Stack your coffee table books from largest in size to smallest in size, about four or five books in all, and then top them with something special like a treasured sculptural piece.
  • Create a small vignette by using a serving tray, clear acrylic is very cool, that holds one of your favorite coffee table books, along with a few other objects that sit in the tray, too. Try a magnifying glass with a fancy handle, a small decorative box, and a golden urchin.

We hope you’re as excited about these books as we are. Share your thoughts with us on the EcoSalon Facebook page!

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Coffee table books image via Shutterstock

Jamie Duncan

After starting out in public relations, Jamie finished college with a BFA in interior design. This combination of writing and design knowledge, coupled with her fashion and lifestyle expertise, has paved the way for an exciting freelance career. Her work has been published in magazines and online, plus she’s managed PR campaigns, and is no stranger to copywriting. Jamie’s a vegetarian and cruelty-free product fanatic. Connect with her on Twitter and check out her website to learn more.