Here are the best French coffee table books on fashion, art, and travel that will surely inspire you! A coffee table book, also known as a cocktail table book is an oversized, usually hard-covered book whose purpose is to display on a table and from which it can serve to inspire conversation or pass the time.
Whether you place them in a library or a living room, the best ones live in your home forever while expanding your horizons far beyond. There is no proper translation in French for the term “coffee table book”, perhaps we refer to them as “les beaux livre” (beautiful books). Being French, I’ve rounded up for you the most inspiring French coffee table books to buy —or to gift.
Chanel: The Impossible Collection
Chanel: The Impossible Collection curates a selection of 100 iconic and signature looks of the house of Chanel, from the timeless Little Black Dress to the impeccably simple tweed suit, the apothecary-style perfume bottle, two-tone pumps, abundant strands of faux pearls and stones, and diamond-quilted leather handbag, from Mademoiselle’s revolutionary designs to Karl Lagerfeld’s unexpected and even irreverent variations on her original codes.
Dior by John Galliano
Dior by John Galliano highlights the exceptional silhouettes Galliano created for Dior collection after collection from 1996 to 2011, through his most emblematic models, as photographed by Laziz Hamani, alongside shots by Steven Meisel, Annie Leibovitz, Irving Penn, and Paolo Roversi.
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc: A Timeless Legend on the French Riviera
With Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc: A Timeless Legend on the French Riviera, learn more about one of the most iconic hotels on the French Riviera that has attracted scintillating international guests for 150 years. Created in the nineteenth century as a retreat for artists and writers, the secluded resort has always been a favorite haven on the French Riviera for A-list celebrities.
Jacques Grange: Recent Work
Jacques Grange: Recent Work illustrates Parisian master interior designer Grange’s wide-ranging inspirations and exquisite taste through thirty-three new residential projects in Europe and America, from a luxury hôtel particulier in Paris to a chic beachside cabana in Comporta and a midcentury-modern house in Los Angeles.
Organized thematically, Paris —by legendary photographer Robert Doisneau— leads us on an entrancing tour through the gardens of Paris, along the Seine, and through the crowds of Parisians who define their beloved city. More than 600 photographs-many rare, forgotten, and previously unpublished-are assembled in this beautiful volume to create a unique portrait of Paris.
From skateboarders to antiquarians, Paris Chic is a glimpse into Parisian life, as if peering over the edge of the balcony at your own pied-a-terre. Collaboratively, author Alexandra Senes and photographer Oliver Pilcher open the doors to some of the most sophisticated homes in Paris, sharing an intimate portrait of various families.
Provence Glory brings the reader on a tour of one of the most beautiful regions of France: Provence. Swim in the crystal clear waters of the Calanque de Sormiou in Marseille. Drive with the top down through fields of lavender in Valensole. Experience a bite of just-out-of-the-oven fougasse, a Provençal classic. Located in the South of France, Provence is uniquely positioned to be a cultural blend of the Mediterranean.
Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf
Illustrated with striking photographs, Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf juxtaposes French artisanal savoir-faire and fashion with elements of Parisian history and anecdotes of the store’s founders, illuminating the evolution of this iconic department store in the heart of the City of Light.
St. Tropez Soleil
St. Tropez Soleil guides the reader through its storied past and ever-evolving present. But despite all that changes, the spirit of St. Tropez remains the same and this volume is an ode to the unique joie de vivre that keeps everyone coming back.
The Best Loved Villages of France
The Best Loved Villages of France brings the reader on a tour of forty-four of the country’s most treasured destinations. Always picturesque, but often well-kept secrets, the book offers insight into village life and local history. This book offers an illustrated tour around all twenty-two regions of France, from Provence and the Alps to Normandy and the Loire. An authentic journey into the heart of France.
The French Riviera in the 1920s
The French Riviera in the 1920s revitalizes the now-legendary tale of artists and writers caught between a desire for creation, the quest for happiness, and the looming darkness of World War II. With extraordinary images taken from personal archives, these pages depict firsthand the lifestyles and artwork of some of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
The Louvre: The History, The Collections, The Architecture
The Louvre: The History, The Collections, The Architecture is a celebration of an enduring institution and the magnificent works of art that it houses. Rather than showing only isolated images of the artworks themselves, this book shows many of the pieces in the context of the beautiful galleries and spaces where they live, to give the reader an experience similar to being at the Louvre.
Timeless Paris: Ateliers Emporiums Savoir Faire
With Timeless Paris: Ateliers Emporiums Savoir Faire, discover the studios and shops where artisans handcraft and sell exquisite items on-site in charming Parisian locations where the skill has been passed on for decades—or centuries—of continuous operation. These often-hidden gems provide unique details that will inspire designers, artists, and creatives of all stripes.
Versailles: From Louis XIV to Jeff Koons
Recounting the most important historical, social, and cultural milestones of Versailles, Versailles: From Louis XIV to Jeff Koons encompasses the expansive property, from the palace and gardens to the Grand Trianon and the Queen’s Hamlet.
Yves Saint Laurent: The Impossible Collection
Yves Saint Laurent: The Impossible Collection curates the 100 most iconic signature pieces from Yves Saint Laurent’s forty-year oeuvre, from the very first looks that appeared on the runway in his eponymous debut collection in January 1962 following his departure from Dior, to his final couture presentation upon his retirement in 2002.
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Bonjour and welcome to Leonce Chenal, a modern lifestyle platform created and curated by a French woman for lovers of everything French. I’m Leonce, born and raised near Annecy, France. Through this website, I want to share with you the passion I have for my home country and for the French art de vivre. Merci for visiting and à bientôt! —Leonce