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Behind every photo book we create is a simple philosophy: design defines. We take this notion to heart, crafting albums with artistic covers and thoughtfully chosen colors that beg to be put on display. And as far as we're concerned, what better place than the coffee table to make your favorite moments a meaningful part of your home decor? Here, we highlight some of our favorite coffee table book ideas shared by our community, celebrating our photo books not just as books, but beautiful artifacts.
Photo decor, first and foremost, should tell a story — and what better story to infuse your space with than the story of family. Whether you create a new album annually like @laurenlaboyteaux or bring the years together in a single book (we see you @kindred.story!), there's no better way to tell a narrative of togetherness.
Pro tip: One of our favorite coffee table book ideas is making a family history album — so much so, that we created a handy guide to help you make the legacy tangible.
Within a single year lie so many meaningful everyday moments: little nuggets that make our days, but over time, slip our minds. The habit of creating an annual year-in-review album encourages us to mark these micro-stories with intention, putting them in print before they're swallowed up into a growing camera roll. We even designed a coffee-table-worthy book just for the occasion! The Hardcover Annual Photo Book is complete with optional gold-foil titling, bespoke full or partial dust-jacket designs, and an elevated linen cover — for a once-a-year album with once-in-a-lifetime appeal.
Nestled in the many places we go are the adventures we wish to return to. A travel album is the return ticket we crave, filled with the sights, flavors, and people that made it a trip worth taking. As coffee table books, these albums give permanence to familiar moments and far-off places, taking us back with the simple flip of a page.
Pro tip: In search of coffee table book design ideas? Take a cue from @aokimatsu by giving your most scenic photos the full-page treatment. (You can find more inspiration where that came from in our travel album tips.)
Your best day deserves the best placement in the house: on the coffee table, of course. A wedding album is always a welcome addition to any decor, highlighting the prequel that made this house feel like home. We're honored to have printed thousands of these stories over the years, and lucky to have picked up plenty of share-worthy wedding album ideas along the way.
The many works of an artist are interconnected, but rarely do we get to view them side by side as a single body of work. In bringing the pieces together as a "lookbook" of art (great idea @kclaresa!), you can collect them in a form that invites friends, guests, and, of course, you to flip through. Even if your art isn't created in a digital medium, don't let that deter you. There are plenty of ways to digitize physical art, the simplest of which is capturing it through the lens!
Take a photo on one device. Transfer it to another. Most modern images may never exist outside of the digital, but making a photography portfolio book is a unique opportunity for photographers to turn the ethereal into something tangible. Plus, what better way to celebrate your love for the lens than displaying featured works front and center on your coffee table?
It might sound a little cliché, but memories are made around the table. Family recipes are what gather us. Whether relics of our cultural heritage, family twists on culinary traditions, or ties back to those we love, these recipes are artifacts of time spent together in the best of company. They're also the perfect ingredients for a DIY recipe book that makes as great of a gift as it does a display on the coffee table or counter.
Let's face it: fur-children make up their fair share of our camera rolls. Luckily, pet photos are always a crowdpleaser (can we get a "woof?"), which makes them the ideal candidate for a dedicated album. Just ask @brunamebs, who used The Everyday Photo Book. It's one of our favorites for celebrating four-legged companions, thanks to its elevated design and simplified layouts. Plus, at 7 x 7", it's perfectly sized for a coffee table book that catches the eye without taking up too much surface space.
City guide, but make it a photo book. Live up to that "superhost" status by giving your Airbnb guests suggestions for must-see sites and tasty bites. Better yet, do it in style with your own photos sprinkled in, like @roamandgolightly. Even if you're not an Airbnb host, it's still a creative way to celebrate your city and add that extra touch of hospitality for friends and family who come to visit.
Pro tip: Not sure where to start? Find a little inspiration in our roundup of vacation rental guest book ideas.
As parents of our own littles, we know that having a baby comes with a change of priorities — and inevitably, both our camera rolls and decor follow suit. In our search for ways to display could-squeeze-those-cheeks photos at every corner, we've found perhaps the greatest sense of joy in displaying baby albums on the coffee table. It's an especially great idea as you fill out The Story of You Baby Book in their first year — a meaningful and visible reminder to make your moment-marking a habit.
Bear with us as we get a little meta, but some coffee table book ideas are too clever not to share. We love the idea of having a photo book about your space, well… in your space! Capture your favorite nooks, corners, and design features at home, like @chelseamohrman, and bring them together for an ode to your indoors. We're especially fond of this idea as a timelapse-made-time-capsule reliving the transformation of renovated or redecorated spaces.
Who amongst us can resist a great love story — especially when it's our own? We're swooning over this coffee table book idea from @xeeeen, who relived their shared story in the pages of a Hardcover Photo Book.
We can't wait to see them! Just tag us on Instagram using @artifactuprising or #TellOn, and submit your photo for a chance to be featured in an upcoming article.