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Coffee table with photo books

Photo Book Inspiration

Make your own coffee table book

14th May 2019

What Is A Coffee Table Book?

A coffee table book is usually an oversized, hardcover book that is filled to the brim with stimulating, eye-catching visuals. They typically refrain from large amounts of text and rely on the imagery to hold your attention. Because of their pictorial nature, they’re often placed on side tables, coffee tables (as the name suggests!) and accent tables, to pick up and put down, as and when you please.

large a4 photo book open to layflat page showing panoramic mountain range

Traditionally, coffee table books would be placed on display to entertain guests and inspire interesting conversation. However, in the age of Social Media, more specifically Instagram, they have taken on an entirely new purpose. Coffee table books are now used as an accessory by many interior enthusiasts and designers as a quick and easy way to switch up a room. No nails, no paint and no effort – no problem! Fancy a change? Play around with your coffee table book and place other accessories around it or on top of it – the possibilities are endless.

What Do I Put In A Coffee Table Book?

Typically, coffee table books are reserved for larger-than-life images that are full of detail, colour and design. Popular topics include landscapes, fashion, food, portraits and interiors. In other words, anything that is aesthetically pleasing can be used as a basis for your photo book.

How to Make Your Own

Coffee table books can be quite expensive and impersonal, so creating your own allows you to choose imagery you love whilst saving a few pennies. With the CEWE Creator Software, it’s easy to create professional quality, personalised photo books. Plus, no one else in the world will have the same one as you (and you can show off to guests by telling them that you made it yourself…).

Photobook open showing collage of 4 travel photos, album place on sofa

To stay true to the oversized nature of a coffee table book, we’d recommend choosing an XL Square, XXL Landscape or XXL Portrait Photobook as your first step. These are also recommended sizes for our most luxurious, high quality photobooks, as the larger size will never compromise on any detail from your photos. Alternatively, consider creating sompething like a large portrait photo album, if your coffee table is a bit smaller!

You’ll also want to make it a hardback photobook to really achieve the typical coffee table aesthetic. Once you’ve settled on a size, it time to turn your attention to the paper type. The beauty of creating your own coffee table book is that you can tailor it to your taste. Do you prefer matte finishes? Then Matte Photographic Paper is the one for you. Matte is also the optimal choice for architecture and travel photography as it shows off all those small details. Maybe you’re after a gloss finish? With our High Gloss Paper, you can wipe your pages clean which is ideal if there are little hands about with sticky fingers!

All of our photographic paper types come with Layflat binding as standard. Layflat binding allows you to show off your images across a double page spread without interrupting the composition of the photograph and is ideal for landscape shots and panoramas. Layflat is also perfect for coffee table books as it allows your images to be showcased to the full when you open each page, making it ideal for a travel photo album.

Top tip - although the pictorial style of a coffee table book means you’ll naturally feature lots of striking imagery, make sure the front cover aligns with the design of the room it will be featuring in. This is what makes it such a great accessory - your cover can feature your photos or you can even create a leather photo album if you're looking for a cover with a premium feel.

Another great benefit of creating a photo book to use as a coffee table book is that you can make your front cover stand out with some beautiful Highlights. Like embossing but with a tactile raised effect, Highlights add a gorgeous finishing touch and are available in silver, gold or gloss. Pairing them with our more luxurious covers, you can turn your cofee table books into stunning leather photo albums.

layflat photo book open showing nightscape image of London

Ways to Style Your Coffee Table Book

Now you’ve created your coffee table book, it’s time to style it. To get truly inspired, we’d recommend doing a bit of research across Instagram, Pinterest and interior design blogs – you’ll find something to kick start your imagination.

  • If you have the space and want to make a feature piece, place it next to a vase, a candle or maybe even some greenery. Make sure you play around with the composition to find what looks good!
  • Lucky enough to have an Ottoman table? Choose a serving tray and place the book on it. Here you can experiment with accessories such as succulents, flowers or ornaments to tie the look together.
  • Have a large table? Stack them! If your room is multi-tonal, create two (or more!) books and stack them on top of each other. On the other end of the spectrum, monochrome books also look amazing together.

Top tip – place your largest book on the bottom and compete the stack with the smallest on top. If you dont want a stack on your table, how about placing them in a wire basket? If you prefer minimalist style, or just simply don’t have the space, there is nothing wrong with the simplicity of the coffee table book itself. Let your creation do the talking!

XL photobook with leafy cover design and shiny gold text

Give Your Coffee Table Book As A Gift!

If you know someone who loves interior design or would appreciate a thoughtful gift to place in their home, turn a CEWE PHOTOBOOK into their very own coffee table book. Is that someone you? It’s okay! Go on, make one for yourself.

If you decide to give it as a gift, place it in one of our Presentation boxes for the ultimate wow factor – a luxurious gift deserves impressive presentation!

photo book with layflat binding showcasing a black and white panoramic safari photo

Share your work of art with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest using the hashtag #CEWEphoto too. Happy creating!

photo book keep safe box