If you wanna look like a true grownup in your apartment or home, one of the quickest ways to do that is to buy yourself some coffee table books. Yes, they are technically books, but they're really all about the display potential. They can make your space feel instantly elevated and chic. Grab a few of these, stack them, add a candle on top, and you've got an instant conversation starter. Here are all the ones we love.
1. The Obama Portraits by Richard Powell, Dorothy Moss, and Taína Caragol
As you could probably guess by the title, this book is about the portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama that now hang in the National Portrait Gallery, painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald. This book tells the story of how they were made, and what paintings like these can mean for American culture.
2. Literally Me by Julie Houts
Julie Houts' Literally Me is an illustrated book that really hits the nail on the head when it comes to the contradictions of being a woman. Like, there's an illustration about a bride who has an insane beauty routine because she wants to look naturally beautiful on her wedding day. Sound familiar? You need this.
3. Kintsugi Wellness by Candice Kumai
If you're in need of a little more nourishment of mind, body, and spirit, look no further than this book. Candice writes about the Japanese traditions you can borrow to make it happen. Bonus: there are recipes!
4. Camp: Notes on Fashion by Andrew Bolton, with Karen Van Godtsenhoven and Amanda Garfinkel
If you couldn't make it to the actual Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Camp: Notes on Fashion exhibit, you're in luck, because this book has almost all the looks in a perfectly pink box set.
5. Art after Stonewall by Jonathan Weinberg
The Stonewall Riots of 1969 ignited a major LGBTQ+ movement in the United States, and this book includes 200 works of art that demonstrate how that movement manifested itself in the art world.
6. Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
You already follow HONY on Facebook, but this book takes some of the popular stories from the site and puts them into coffee table book form. You'll love every one of them.
7. Escape by Gray Malin
Have you been thinking lately that you need a little bit of an escape? Same! This photography book will make you feel like you're anywhere *but* where you're sitting at the moment.
8. Rihanna by Rihanna
What would this list be without the man woman, the myth, the legend Rihanna? Rihanna has over 1,000 images of the singer/activist/beauty mogul.
9. The Dogist by Elias Weiss Friedman
Based on another Instagram account you should be following, this book has pretty much all the dog pictures you could ever want or need. That puppy will look so good on your shelf.
10. Queer X Design by Andy Campbell
Okay, yes, this is another art book about LGBTQ+ history, but this relies more on graphic design than other mediums. Still! You can't have too many books of this nature.
11. The New Black Vanguard by Antwaun Sargent
The fashion industry is changing when it comes to racial representation, and the 15 photographers who featured in this book are a huge part of that. The book combines images and essays to explore the role of the Black body in fashion.
12. 1000 Record Covers by Michael Ochs
This one's for all the music lovers. It traces the history of record covers, and includes tons of the absolute classics.
13. Ibiza Bohemia by Maya Boyd and Renu Kashyap
It doesn't matter if you've never been to Ibiza and never plan to go, because look at the COLOUR on this book. It's a thing of beauty, and the inside is even better.
14. Tokyo Street Style by Yoko Yagi and Tohru Yuasa
This book had us at the polka dots, TBH. But this exploration of Tokyo street style will have you planning your next vacation ASAP.