Inspiring Books for the Conscious Home

Coffee table books are the Swiss army knife of your living room – easy conversation starters, something guests can flip through to gain insight into your interests, and for your enjoyment once the crowds have all gone home. These books are not usually meant to be read in one sitting but rather over the course of a couple months, gaining inspiration here and there. Coffee table books are also a main attraction for guests to interact with, and finding ones that encapsulate your personality and style can be tricky. “Flippability” of a good coffee table book is key. A glance into another’s life, a mix of photographs, easy reading, and tempting covers are all paramount. We’ve rounded up a couple to add a little flavor to your home, to jumpstart your collection, and to gain inspiration. 

The Nordic Cookbook

Author | Magnus Nilsson 

If you ever feel like diving into gourmet cookbook land, I would highly recommend it. What a world. It’s amazing what chefs can do, especially the celebrated Magnus Nilsson. Not only is Magnus Nilsson one of the top chefs in the world right now, but he also took the majority of photographs for this 50/50 cookbook and documentation of Nordic culture. He is head chef of the two Michelin star restaurant Fäviken in Sweden, which uses only local and seasonal ingredients of the Nordic Region. Being so far north, summers are short, and for a large portion of the year there is a lack of fresh produce. Even through this Nilsson has created magnificent dishes, many of which you can read the details and history behind in The Nordic Cookbook. Gain an appreciation for using ingredients to their fullest and the art of preserving to bring new flavors to your kitchen.

Price | $27

Order The Nordic Cookbook on Amazon

Fashion Made Fair

Authors | Ellen Köhrer & Magdalena Schaffrin

Ethical and sustainable production is more fashionable than ever, and we are excited to see talented designers promoting this world-changing trend. Get inspired by the stunning photos of eco-friendly designs and socially-conscious clothing, and hear from sustainable fashion experts through the interviews in this book. You and your guests will be motivated to seek out intentional & values-based clothing brands for your ethical wardrobe. 

Price | $34

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Ansel Adams in the National Parks

Authors | Ansel Adams & Andrea G. Stillman

Bring some light and nature into your home with this book on Ansel Adams’ photography. View the mountains, animals, and plains from the perspective of this remarkable photographer. Known for capturing the beauty of Yosemite National Park, he photographed numerous parks around the country as well. These classic photos will make you feel like you’ve traveled across the National Parks of America without leaving your home.

Price | $22

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Foraged Flora

Authors | Louesa Roebuck, Sarah Lonsdale, & Laurie Frankel

Learn how to make the most of the flowers growing around you all year long with Foraged Flora. Not only will this gorgeous book teach you how to create beautiful floral arrangements, but the flowers depicted within make a good stand-in for the real thing. Scan this coffee table book for inspiration then hit the hills and trails in search of wildflowers to bring some fresh flowers to your coffee table as well.

Price | $25

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The Green House

Authors | Alanna Stang & Christopher Hawthorne

Whether you’re looking to get ideas for your dream home, or you’re just looking for some bold design inspiration, this book has something for you. Flip through nearly 200 pages of beautiful homes and floorplans, and learn about the sustainable technology that’s reducing the carbon footprint of these houses. Perfect for the design-forward and those who love new, innovative architecture.

Price | $17

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Gustav Klimt: Complete Paintings 

Author | Tobias Natter

Embrace your inner artist, or at least art lover, with Gustav Klimt: Complete Paintings. This book is a work of art in itself. Reveal it on date night to really light the fire. Even the coldest of hearts will melt when seeing Klimt’s works. While it is quite pricey, it adds drama and beauty to any living room. This controversial Austrian artist will be sure to spark thoughts and conversation and you’ll find yourself entranced and reading it for hours.

Price | $178

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Make Garbage Great

Authors | Tom Szaky & Albe Zakes

Looking for practical, actionable tips on how to reduce your impact and repurpose your waste? Make Garbage Great is a complete guide for the family looking to live a zero-waste lifestyle. Filled with statistics on waste, informative interviews and lists of repurposing ideas for various materials, this book will teach you something new each time you open it.

Price | $27

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National Geographic Rarely Seen

Author | National Geographic

Dazzle your guests with this stunning photography collection of natural wonders around the world. Taken by some of the world’s best photographers, these photos capture once-in-a-lifetime views and natural events that will take your breath away. Learn about the world we live in one extraordinary photograph at a time.

Price | $27

Order National Geographic Rarely Seen on Amazon


Goop Clean Beauty

Author | The Editors of Goop

Looking for a little bit of everything when it comes to learning how to live a more conscious lifestyle? Pick up a copy of Goop’s Goop Clean Beauty book. A guide filled with information on how to add conscious practices to every aspect of your life. Flip through for great detoxes, healthy recipes, at-home workouts, and beauty hacks. Incorporate whatever aspects work for you and inspire some friends along the way.

Price | $18

 Order Goop Clean Beauty on Amazon



Flea Market Coffee Table Books

None of these books flip your lid? Rather than purchasing a new coffee table book, scour your local flea markets and swap meets for some funky fresh books from a past life.

There is something to be said for books finding you, and that is what happens when rummaging through flea markets for unique finds. I came across my most beloved coffee table book at the Rose Bowl Flea Market; a novel from the 1960’s filled with drawing and descriptions of unique spoons through the past century. Silly? Yes. Memorable? Also yes. 

Coffee Table Bonus: Create your own coffee table book by using a photo album and a Polaroid camera for guests to photograph themselves. Flip through the memories to see past guests and their silly faces.

Looking for some magazines to spice up your coffee table too? Check out our roundup of conscious travel magazines!