Part decoration, part inspiration, we can't get enough of beautiful coffee table books. And in our humble opinion, nothing says style quite like a well-read coffee table. Although some are more for adornment than enlightenment, you should aim to curate your coffee table book collection in such a way that their pages inspire you to learn, experience and appreciate worlds and industries beyond your own.
To help you meet your next great book love, we’ve gone above and beyond to collect some of the most beautiful, inspiring and thought-provoking home-grown reads. Scroll down to see our edit of the best coffee table books in Australia.
Best Coffee Table Books: Nature
From lush green gardens to rural, desert-like yards, Claire Takacs highlights the difference in garden design around Australia. Talking with gardeners and landscape designers, Claire profiles 22 different gardens and discusses how natural principles have impacted this new wave of gardening. Expect beautiful, bright imagery and insightful garden tales.
The perfect book for bird-watching enthusiasts, Birdlandgives readers an up-close and personal look of winged and feathered creatures. All shot by Australian fine-art photographer Leila Jeffreys, the colour, detail and expression is absolutely awe-inspiring.
Described as a 'travel guide for water-loving people', Places We Swim Australiacaptures the best waterways around the country. From beaches and pools, to waterfalls and lakes, each page will transport you to a summery day by the water, no matter the season or weather. Better still, Places We Swim also includes information like how to get there, what to bring and nearby facilities for each featured watering hole.
Every Bondi local – plus tens of thousands of subscribers – knows Eugene Tan (Uge): the photographer and surfer who’s been taking scenic shots of Bondi at sunrise every day for decades. You can see all his works at his glamorous gallery in the heart of Bondi and a pick up signed work for your home. Or if you're looking for something arty for your coffee table, his Aquabumps, The Bondi Book will make the perfect addition!
For more than two decades artist Wendy Whiteley, wife of acclaimed artist Brett Whiteley, and a group of dedicated volunteers have worked on converting the overgrown wasteland out the front of her Lavender Bay home into an enchanting public garden. This beautiful coffee table book chronicles the journey of how this treasured harbourside landmark came to be, and the story behind the people who have built the Secret Garden we know and love today.
Best Coffee Table Books: Beauty & Fashion
Lavish, avant-garde and iconic. These words best describe both the coffee table book and the brand it is centred on. This gorgeous book details the story and history of beloved Aussie design house Romance Was Born, and the two young talented designers behind it all- Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales.
From Sydney's Paddington Markets to international acclaim, Australian jewellery and homewares brand Dinosaur Designs have had an amazing journey. This artful coffee table book details their story through their showstopping collections of bright and bold designs.
Step into Paradise is a colourful survey of the iconic work of Aussie designers Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson over their respective, forty-year careers. From their creative process to the story behind their works, this coffee table book is the perfect gift for the fashionista in your life.
Best Coffee Table Books: Art
Home to many of Australia's best-known artists, Tjala Arts is committed to the preservation of traditional values and celebrating cultural identity. In this important book, Tjala Artists share deep insights into their personal lives and family history through storytelling and their incredible artworks.
Celebrating new-wave ceramic artisans and their creative talents, Clay surveys fifty of the world's best potters and delves into the return of the handmade movement. Clayprovides a behind-the-scenes look into their collective creative output and what this new generation of ceramicists is saying about art, design and functionality.
Visually stunning and incredibly textural, Floral Alchemy celebrates all things flora! From original artworks to breathtaking photography, each work is printed on beautiful paper stock which gives it an even greater sense of luxury. This celebration of floral beauty, design and art is timelessly elegant and makes for an endearing coffee table book to cherish for years to come.
Best Coffee Table Books: Home Design
Penny Craswell showcases the best of Australian residential architecture and celebrates local designers and makers with her coffee table book Design Lives Here. From beautiful homes with exquisite interiors to Inner City dwellings with one-of-a-kind furnishings, design-buffs and architecture-lovers will fall head over heels for this coffee table book.
Hare + Klein's second book highlights signature practices that define their innate style. Featuring fourteen unique homes, Hare + Klein: Interior uses a mix of photography, concept drawings, and mood boards to showcase their work and provide further insight into their creative decisions for each dwelling.
Exploring the concept of slow movement, Natalie Walton aims to show how positive changes to a home can create a better life for those living within it. Still: The Slow Home tells the story of twenty different homes across the world, and how each one has made small changes to create a more sustainable environment.
A love letter to Aussie beach life, Deborah Bibby unveils the architectural and cultural value of the humble beach cottage. In The Originals, seven beautiful beach houses are featured and their stories are told through the eyes of their owners. Each with their own story and past, this loving ode to coastal living and preserving older homes makes for a thoughtful addition to any coffee table.