10 Stylish Books to Gift the Design-Lover in Your Life

published Nov 2, 2022
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Credit: Sylvie Li

Everyone who knows me well knows that when they show up to my birthday dinner or friendly Christmas gathering with a long, slim rectangular present, I’m bound to get excited. That’s because, more often than not, inside the wrapping paper awaits another elegant tome that’s going to look so stylish on the shelf above my bed. Over the past couple of years, I’ve accumulated six of these marvelous coffee table books from loved ones, and they’ve come to be my favorite gift to receive (and give).

You can find one at any price point and on nearly any topic, which makes them highly personal. From gardening to luxury cars, friends and relatives of all ages and genders will be impressed upon receiving one of these. And another little tip: If you receive a tome, read it! A personal pet peeve of mine is when people just plop these on their coffee tables and never open them. Despite their pretty exteriors, most of these books contain really great, well-researched information. Some of our top giftable book picks are listed below, so take advantage for your next holiday get-together.

1 / 10
Saks Fifth Avenue

Filled with 300 pages of stunning interiors, Assouline's "The Big Book Of Chic" is perfect for the friend who's constantly redecorating. Specifically, it features the work of legendary designer Miles Redd, who's known for creating colorful and ornate rooms. The book, itself, is lavish and instantly recognizable with its simple cover and bold red lettering.

2 / 10

Both professional and amateur horticulturalists will love "The Gardener's Garden," which contains more than 1,000 photos of gardens (with descriptive text) from around the world. All of this rich content is encapsulated in a pretty magenta cover that draws the eye in. And when you buy this book from Nordstrom, you have the option to get it delivered in a fabric gift bag or wrapping for $5.

3 / 10

You've likely seen a variety of these Assouline travel books all over Pinterest and Instagram because, well, they're so darn cute. The name of each city is emblazoned across its respective book, making each tome somewhat of a collector's item. Whether you get this blue Mykonos volume, the yellow Miami version, or the tribute to the Amalfi Coast, the traveler in your life is going to be delighted.

4 / 10

Your giftee doesn't have to be a master musician to get a kick out of this aesthetically pleasing visual anthology. Featuring performer portraits from past issues of America's top fashion magazine, "Vogue x Music" also brings you exclusive interviews with artists from nearly every genre. Read about Madonna, Debbie Harry, and other icons as you flip through the pages.

5 / 10
was $40.00

This book is a bestseller on Amazon, and it's also one of the more affordable options on this list. "Made for Living" by interior designer Amber Lewis is filled not only with dozens of photos of beautiful spaces, but also tips on how to create your own well-decorated bedroom, kitchen, or living room. The book itself would make a great decor piece on top of the mantel.

6 / 10

This hardcover is a great buy for a sister or other young woman in your circle. As the title implies, it contains interviews with 200 noteworthy women of different backrounds, including Olympians, feminist scholars, and iconic authors. Of course, this topic isn't seasonal, so you can purchase the tome as a going-away gift for a college student or as a holiday present. It's sure to instill a sense of inspiration in anyone who reads it.

7 / 10
was $69.00

I personally find it harder to gauge the interests of male relatives, but cars are usually a safe conversation topic. And by safe, I mean they go from zero to 60 in terms of enthusiasm. As a result, I'd recommend getting "Beautiful Machines" for your dad, uncle, or brother who enjoys learning about the art of automobiles. Even those who couldn't care less about cars can still appreciate the intriguing images.

8 / 10
Williams Sonoma

A lot of coffee table books about interior design simply show you pretty pictures of different rooms, which is all well and good. For a more detailed and technical account, though, pick up "The Finer Things." It touches on every necessary element for a well-designed space, including textiles, paint, and lighting. And just look at that gorgeous gold cover!

9 / 10
West Elm

Almost every adult has a friend or two who's obsessed with wine, mixology, or just making their home bar look immaculate. Or maybe you are that friend. In any case, gifting "Whiskey Cocktails" will show your friends that you know and appreciate their interests. It contains, among other information, more than 100 whiskey cocktail recipes. The book's leather cover will also look great propped up on the counter or bar cart.

10 / 10

For the art aficionado, MoMA has compiled this volume of 170 works from its own collection of world-renowned masterpieces. Text accompanies each work, detailing its history and significance. If your giftee is lucky enough to regularly visit MoMA, this book will enrich their next trip and make for a more exciting experience. And if not, they can read about these notable pieces and almost feel like they're actually there!