This Designer's "Library Table" is my New Favorite Trend to Make a Home Feel More Sophisticated

The "bookshelf wealth" trend is coming to your entryway and coffee tables — here's how to make it work

an entryway table with lots of books on top
(Image credit: Liz Caan & Co)

Just like interior design, the way in which we style our houses go through interesting phases. Because this tends to be something we can quickly change when we've had enough of it, we see these trends shift quickly, but we may have just discovered the next big one when it comes to decorating tables.

Interior designer Shea McGee has coined a new decorating trend with a post on the McGee & Co Instagram and TikTok. 'You heard it here first: library tables are in for 2024,' the caption reads, and she's right — this is the first time I've heard of the 'library table'.

However, while Shea doesn't offer much more of an explanation about what a library table is in her post beyond a round table filled with beautiful books and decor, it's something that feeds into the wider interior design trends we've been spotting recently. Putting your books on display is becoming the done thing if you want to elevate your home — haven't you heard of the 'bookshelf wealth' trend yet?

A post shared by McGee & Co.

A photo posted by mcgeeandco on

an entryway table with lots of books on top

(Image credit: Liz Caan)

One of the big trend stories picked up in the last few months is the idea of 'bookshelf wealth' — an idea that displaying bookishness in your home is a sign of sophistication and elegance. However, this isn't your standard collection of coffee table books on display.

'These aren't display books,' says Kailee Blalock, co-founder of House of Hive Design Co, 'these are books that have actually been curated and read.'

In this way, you can think of the library table as less of a vanity statement (there's something a little ostentatious about showing everyone what you've been reading in an entryway, I think), and more of a way of expressing your personality. It's a conversation starter, a way to bring other people into your interests and find out more about theirs.

It's something that designer Liz Caan, founder of Liz Caan & Co, likes to do in spaces like an entryway, especially when a center table is at the focal point of the space. 'We like to style center tables to reflect the season and the interests of the owners to give a sense of who they are and their personality,' Liz explains.

She sent me the example, above, of a space that was curated specifically around a client's personality. 'This center table is in a bachelor’s home and has a vintage military globe in the center, some books about his interests, small plants and some objects that relate to time and travel,' Liz says.

It's not a new idea by any means, and we've seen many so-called library tables used in designs for years, even if by another name. ''I remember seeing a picture of Elton John’s home in England years ago,' recalls Hamptons-based interior designer Timothy Godbold, 'and his library table had a huge amount of stacked books and a statue, of all things, amongst it in the center.'

How to style a library table

a living room with a coffee table with books on

(Image credit: Phillip Durrant. Design: Studio Ashby)

The secret to a good library table is to make it feel natural. 'The key to it is to make it look personal and not too decorated,' Timothy Godbold tells me.

That means, don't opt for cliched coffee table books, and pick volumes that are less-focused on aesthetics. 'The book selection should always be a mixture of different topics because people actually do read them,' Timothy says.

That doesn't mean, however, that we don't want your entryway table decor to look good. You can still arrange books aesthetically and curate them to match your space. 'I do look at color, and I tend to knock out a couple of colors when I stack a table to give it a more symbiotic feel,' Timothy says.

'Also I add personal belongings from the owners on top of the stacks to add different heights,' he adds.

3 perfect library tables

Hugh Metcalf
Editor of

Hugh is the  Editor of From working on a number of home, design and property publications and websites, including Grand Designs, ICON and specialist kitchen and bathroom magazines, Hugh has developed a passion for modern architecture, impactful interiors and green homes. Whether moonlighting as an interior decorator for private clients or renovating the Victorian terrace in Essex where he lives (DIYing as much of the work as possible), you’ll find that Hugh has an overarching fondness for luxurious minimalism, abstract shapes and all things beige. He’s just finished a kitchen and garden renovation, and has eyes set on a bathroom makeover for 2024.