10 Coffee Table Books Every Island Lover Should Own

If you love island destinations like me, you know how intense the wanderlust can be. For me, not a day goes by without thinking about the Bahamas–especially Eleuthera and Harbour Island. However, having island-inspired home decor, including beautifully-designed coffee table books, puts my island cravings at ease between trips. That’s why I wanted to share my top 10 island-inspired coffee table books I think every island lover should own.

Island Style India Hicks Coffee Table Book

1. Island Style by India Hicks

I would’ve been remiss to place India Hicks’ books anywhere but the top of my list, considering that she’s basically the queen of Harbour Island. From creating successful jewelry and home decor lines to producing a royal family-focused podcast, this lovely Brit does everything with tremendous style–including publishing coffee table books. This one is perched in the most-prominent spot on my bookshelf to show off its luscious cover.

An Entertaining Story by India Hicks Coffee Table Book

2. An Entertaining Story by India Hicks

This is India Hick’s most recent coffee table book, which features many of the incredible table settings India has pulled together at her family’s gorgeous Harbour Island property. It also contains a smattering of recipes from her beloved personal chef and native Bahamian, Claire Williams, alongside special family recipes and tales.

The Art of Waves by Clark Little Book Cover

3. The Art of Waves by Clark Little

I can barely use a boogie board, but I do find waves mesmerizing. Various aerial and interior wave photos line this stunning coffee table book’s pages, making it an excellent choice for the surfer in your life. Kelly Slater even wrote the foreword.

Island Follies Romantic Homes of the Bahamas Coffee Table Book

4. Island Follies: Romantic Homes of the Bahamas by Alistair Gordon and Chris Blackwell

At the time of my writing, this book hasn’t been published yet. However, I am SO excited and already put my copy on pre-order. One of the things I love most about the Bahamas is its historic homes—many of which are on Harbour Island. With an architectural history as rich as The Bahamas, leaving this gem out of your collection would be borderline tragic.

Island Hopping by Amanda Lindroth Coffee Table Book

5. Island Hopping by Amanda Lindroth

My mom introduced me to Amanda Lindroth’s work a few years ago after discovering it in a magazine. As a former PR practitioner serving brands like Gucci, Amanda is very stylish… and so are the homes she inhabits and designs! This book features 25 of the homes Amanda provided design services for in the Bahamian destinations of Lyford Cay, Abaco and Habour Island, along with Antigua, Belize, Florida and Maine.   

A Living Tradition: Architecture of the Bahamas Book

6. A Living Tradition: Architecture of the Bahamas by Steven & Wanda Wazoun

This selection may not fit the “coffee table book” designation due to its petite stature and lack of colorful photography. But, if you’re interested in island architecture, it’s another library essential. It examines the principles that make Bahamian architecture so wonderful in hopes of keeping the country’s architectural traditions alive for decades to come.

Island Whimsy by Celerie Kemble Coffee Table Book

7. Island Whimsey by Celerie Kemble

Island Whimsy details Celerie Kemble’s development process for her estate in the Dominican Republic, Playa Grande, which features a stunning clubhouse and a surrounding group of guest homes. The book is full of personal stories and incredible island design inspiration.

Wish I Was Here by Sebastiaan Bedaux Coffee Table Book

8. Wish I Was Here by Sebastiaan Bedaux

“Drawn from the best travel blogs and Instagram images, this book brings together the most beautiful locations near, on, or under water.” This book celebrates some of the world’s most idyllic scenery, with a special focus on islands, coastline and underwater scenery. In my opinion, the cover alone makes this book a good buy!

Style by Slim Aarons Coffee Table Book

9. Style by Slim Aarons

Slim Aarons was a fashion photographer noted for his images of socialites, jet-setters and celebrities—many of whom were photographed on islands and in tropical settings. I wanted to include this book because it has a glamorous retro-flare that reminds me of Nassau in the 1960s and 70s (or at least what I know about it from 007!). Not all of the images are from tropical locales, but they are all quite fabulous.

Summer to Summer by Jennifer Ash Rudick Coffee Table Book

10. Summer to Summer by Jennifer Ash Rudick

Though tropical islands are an obsession of mine, there’s something to be said for the more rustic coastline and barrier islands in New England. That’s why I included ‘Summer to Summer’ – a book that explores some of the most well-designed and cozy seaside homes on the East Coast.

Whether you’re pining for a beach vacation, looking for design ideas for your next seaside property or choosing a gift for the island lover in your life, I hope you found this list of coffee table books inspiring. And, if you think I missed an obvious title, please drop a comment below! I look forward to learning about your favorite books for island inspiration.


Lacey is an artist, marketer, photographer, foodie and beach connoisseur who likes to "think deeply" from time to time.

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