Great coffee table books for creatives to curl up with and enjoy

With their exquisite illustrations, coffee table books are a perfect way to pique your curiosity, fire your imagination and get those creative juices flowing. Whether you're in need of inspiration; seeking to understand more about your favourite artist or designer, or looking for a something to intrigue your guests as they wait, we have the perfect book recommendations for your coffee table.

1. Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe by Mateo Kries

This handsome linen-bound book looks at the work of the influential textile artist and interior designer, Alexander Girard. Featuring Girard’s exuberant and joyful textiles, wallpaper, interiors, exhibitions, corporate and graphic design as well as items from his folk art collection, this is a book guaranteed to raise a smile.

Priced at £44.95 | Buy the Book

2. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty by Andrew Bolton

This exquisitely beautiful book celebrates the provocative and influential fashion designer, Alexander McQueen. The cover of the book features a holographic image of McQueen’s face that dissolves into a molten metal skull. Full-page photographs bring out the craftsmanship of his work and are interspersed with quotations from McQueen.

Priced at £29.95 | Buy the Book

3. Yesterday’s Future: Visionary Designs By Future Systems and Archigram

This book explores the fantastical architectural visions created by the prominent and radical architectural practices, Archigram and Future Systems. Filled with detailed technical drawings, vibrant collages and photographs of original models, the book describes an imaginary world of walking houses, entire cities on legs and emergency shelters that unfold like umbrellas.

Priced at £28.95 | Buy the Book

4. Degas: A Strange New Beauty by Jodi Hauptman

MoMA’s Degas: A Strange New Beauty focuses on the artist’s little known monotype prints. It is through these prints of dancers pirouetting, café singers performing and landscapes that verge on abstraction, we see Degas at his most experimental and get an insight into how curiosity never ceased to spur him on.

Priced at £29.95 | Buy the Book

5. Lines of Thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to Now by Hugo Chapman

This beautifully illustrated book examines the process and practice of drawing. Exploring how artists including Dürer, Degas, Michelangelo and Matisse have used drawing to think on paper, Lines of Thought bring us close to the inner workings of artists and is a fascinating book for anyone interested in the process of artistic creation.

Priced at £14.95 | Buy the Book

6. 100 Years of Swiss Graphic Design by Christian Brandle, Karin Gimmi and Barbara Junod

100 Years of Swiss Graphic Design provides a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated overview of Swiss graphic creativity across poster design, typo-graphics, advertising and type. A wonderful resource for those interested in graphic design and a beautiful object in its own right.

Priced at £39.95 | Buy the Book

7. Edward Bawden Scrapbooks by Brian Webb & Peyton Skipwirth

This handsome and richly illustrated book captures every aspect of artist, Edward Bawden’s life from the sketches of snails he created for his children to newspaper cuttings and bus tickets. An wonderful and, at times, eccentric insight into the life of one of the most popular artists of 20th century Britain.

Priced at £34.95 | Buy the Book

8. The Paper Zoo: Five Hundred Years of Animals in Art by Charlotte Sleigh

This charming book traces the varied styles and purposes of natural history illustration since the fifteenth century. Featuring the exotic, domestic and paradoxical, this book is alive with vivid imagery including birds of John J. Audubon, the insects of Maria Sibylla Merian and, our favourite, a sixteenth century illustration of a unicorn.

Priced at £23.95 | Buy the Book

9. Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist by Claudia J. Nahson

This richly illustrated book shines a light on the work of Roberto Burle Marx, the Brazilian landscape architect who famously broke with 19th century European tradition in favour of using native fauna and abstract geometric garden design. With dozens of full-page photographs, plans and reproductions of paintings, the book brings to life Burle Marx’s bold and colourful designs.

Priced at £34.95 | Buy the Book

10. Contemporary British Crafts: The Goodison Gift to the Fitzwilliam Museum by Amanda Game

This handsome book offers a window onto the British craft industry today. Featuring over one hundred examples of contemporary glass, ceramics, furniture, jewellery and metalwork by artists such as Martin Smith, David Reekie, Adam Paxon and John Makepeace, the book also includes a glossary of materials and techniques.

Priced at £17.99 | Buy the Book


Thanks to the Museum Bookstore for helping us to put together this great resource. Happy reading!

Main image courtesy of Adobe Stock