How to Arrange Coffee Table Books

Does your coffee table look like a cluttered mess? Do you struggle to make it look welcoming and inviting despite the profusion of books piled haphazardly on top? You’re not alone! Coffee tables are oftentimes an overlooked part of our living spaces, but adding simple touches such as arranging our favorite books can go a long way towards making it complete.

How to Arrange Coffee Table Books

This blog post will provide easy-to-follow tips that how to arrange coffee table books in an organized and aesthetically pleasing way.

9 Best Ways on How to Arrange Coffee Table Books

1. Choose a Focal Point:

Before you start arranging your books, it’s important to decide on a focal point for the coffee table. This could be anything from a beautiful vase of flowers to a striking piece of art or sculpture; whatever catches your eye and serves as the main attraction. Choosing a focal point will help anchor the books and give them purpose.

2. Gather Books of Varying Heights:

For visual interest, it’s best to gather coffee table books that come in various shapes and sizes. Start with larger, thicker volumes as your base layer, and then stack smaller books on top to build height and dimension. Grouping books of similar sizes together can also create a pleasing balance.

3. Use Bookends:

If your coffee table is on the longer side, consider using bookends to bring focus and order to the arrangement. Bookends help keep those larger base layer books from sliding around and make for an attractive finishing touch as well. Using a pair of matching bookends adds a nice, cohesive look to the table.

4. Experiment with Angles:

Arranging your books at different angles can help draw attention to particular titles and keep things from looking too stagnant. This can be done by staggering the base layer books or turning the top layer books horizontally so that the spine of the book faces out. Angles also add visual interest and can make the arrangement more eye-catching.

5. Add Other Objects:

Adding a few other items to the coffee table such as candles, framed photos or sculptures can help break up the books and bring an extra layer of interest and visual texture. Just be sure that whatever you add complements your focal point without taking away from it.

6. Place Items in Groupings:

Grouping items together such as books and candles, or books and photos can make for a more pleasing arrangement than having everything scattered randomly about the table. Using odd numbers such as three or five offers the best balance of items.

7. Consider Color Coordination:

Even if you don’t have matching bookends or candles, coordinating colors can still create a more pulled-together look on the coffee table. Look for items that feature similar tones and shades to help tie everything together. Color coordination can also be used to create contrast and draw attention to the focal point.

8. Take a Step Back:

When you think you’ve finished arranging the books, take a step back and look at it from afar. This will help you assess if everything is balanced, or if certain items are overpowering others. Make adjustments as needed and don’t be afraid to experiment with different looks. This is ultimately your own personal space, so make it reflect your style and taste.

Arranging Your Coffee Table Books

9. Have Fun and Try New Things:

Above all else, have fun arranging your coffee table books! Feel free to experiment with different ideas and don’t be afraid to try something new. You may find some unexpected gems or discover a look you’ve been wanting to achieve.

By following these helpful tips, you’ll be able to easily organize your coffee table books and create an inviting and stylish space! Happy arranging!

Additional Tips and Tricks to Arrange Coffee Table Books

1.  Use groupings of odd numbers. A grouping of three, five, or seven is visually appealing and creates a unique conversation piece.

2. Incorporate accessories to add texture and dimension to your arrangement. For example, adding a few pieces of pottery or a vase full of flowers will tie the look together nicely.

3. Choose a theme or color palette to enhance your display. This adds cohesiveness to the arrangement and creates an interesting visual story.

4. Make sure all spines are facing outwards so that the titles of the books can be easily seen.

5. Consider the size and proportions of your coffee table when arranging books. It’s important to ensure that the arrangement does not overwhelm or make it difficult for people to access the items on your table.

6. Finally, keep it fresh! Coffee tables can quickly become cluttered with too many items sitting on them at once. Periodically rotate in new books and accessories to keep your display looking fresh.

Keep It Fresh

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll have an eye-catching arrangement of coffee table books that will be the center of attention among guests. Have fun with it and enjoy your design!

Things You Should Consider While Arranging Coffee Table Books

1. Arranging With a Purpose: 

Coffee table books can be arranged to match the color scheme of your living room or based on certain themes such as travel, nature, art, etc. It’s also important to consider how often you will need to access these books so that you can arrange them accordingly. If the books are for decorative purposes only, you can arrange them based on aesthetics.

2. Group Books Together: 

Grouping books together is an excellent way to create a cohesive look and feel for your coffee table. Start by grouping similar-sized books together, then mix them up with various colors or textures to add interest and dimension. This will create a statement on your coffee table that you and your guests can enjoy.

3. Add Height: 

Adding height is an effective way to add interest and draw the eye up. You can use taller books, hardcover books, stacks of books, or other objects like vases or sculptures to create height variations in your book arrangement. If you have a large book, try adding them to the center and clustering smaller ones around them for added dimension.

4. Play With Angles: 

As you arrange your coffee table books, experiment with different angles to create a dynamic design. You can create diagonal lines and curves for an unexpected look that will make the arrangement stand out from any other book arrangements in the room. Angles are also a great way to break up the symmetry of your design and add more visual interest.

5. Incorporate Artwork: 

Incorporating artwork is a great way to add visual interest and texture to your coffee table. You can choose artwork that has elements of the same colors as your books, or you can opt for something completely different like black-and-white photography.

You Can Choose Artwork

Either way, incorporating art will elevate your book arrangement and make it look even more inviting.

By taking these few tips into consideration, you can arrange your coffee table books in a way that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. With the right approach, you’ll be able to create a dynamic look that will add character to your living space and make it look more inviting.

Precautions Need to Follow for Arranging Coffee Table Books

1. Balance is key when arranging coffee table books. Too many books on one side or one large book dominating the display can throw off the balance and create an unappealing look.

2. Take into consideration the shape of your coffee table when setting up a display of books. Stacking several small books in the center of a round table is an easy way to create a balanced, visually interesting look.

3. Using bookends can help keep the books in place and add a bit of decoration. Consider choosing bookends that complement the other elements in your living room, such as artwork or furniture pieces.

4. If you’re planning on featuring just one large book, consider adding a few smaller items around it to create a more visually stimulating display. These could be framed photos, small sculptures, or decorative boxes.

5. Don’t forget about color when arranging coffee table books. Incorporating books with vibrant colors or interesting covers can help brighten up the display and draw attention to your coffee table.

6. Remember that coffee table books aren’t just for display – they are also meant to be read. When arranging your books, make sure they’re easy to access and pick up so that you or your guests can enjoy them during a leisurely evening in the living room.

7. Finally, don’t be afraid to switch up your display of books every once in a while. Refresh the look by swapping out some of the books for others or rearranging them in different configurations. This will keep things interesting and give you an opportunity to try new ideas for arranging coffee table books.

Consider Choosing Bookends

With the following precautions, you will be sure to create a beautiful and practical display of coffee table books. Enjoy and have fun with it!


Knowing how to arrange coffee table books is a great way to add style and interest to your living room. By following the above precautions, you can create an eye-catching display that also serves a practical purpose – providing books for leisurely reading.

So go ahead, experiment with different arrangements, and enjoy the process! Your coffee table will thank you.

A good coffee table book display should be both aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to look at. With a little bit of creativity and planning, you can create the perfect arrangement of books for your living room. Have fun with it!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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