How to style a coffee table

2 comments by Crystal Lazaroo


Do you ever look at your coffee table and feel completely underwhelmed? Uninspired, even? How do you begin to decorate a large flat piece of furniture in the middle of your family room which still needs to be functional, look tidy and compliment your décor style? 

When it comes to styling a coffee table, there are four basic approaches you can consider, depending on your  decorating style & functional requirements:

Corner Connection: Create small groupings of objects in each of the four corners of the table with equal visual weight given to each grouping. This concept works well for square or round coffee tables.

Long and Linear: Favour a simple, streamlined look that runs the length of your coffee table, with a larger grouping in the center flanked by two smaller groupings).

Contained Chaos: Arrange a collection of objects on a tray to help contain your styled vignette. Save space for drinks and kicking your feet up while your styling looks functional and polished. Woven baskets are a functional addition to store blankets, toys, books and boardgames. 

Accessory Attention: Choose one large, eye-catching display and place it in the center of the table as your statement piece. A large, big floral statement adds an elegant flourish.

Start with these 5 must-have items and you’ll have an interesting and well-curated coffee table, good enough to grace the page of any home décor magazine.



  • Tray. And not just one, but a few. Varying sizes and textures (rattan, ceramic or metal) help to add layers of dimension to the tabletop. A larger tray to contain coasters, remotes, books and floral arrangement while a smaller tray or vintage ashtray makes a nice dish to host a candle, matches or sweets.
  • Your favourite candle to light night after night will create ambience and smell wonderful.
  • Florals or Greenery for colour and texture. Adding an organic element helps to keep things looking fresh. A tactile vessel or bowl or acorns provides a nod to the cooler seasons.
  • Coffee Table Books. Great stacked in piles to create visual interest and height for your other decorative elements to sit on top.
  • Decorative accents. Spark conversation and adds interest. 


10 Bonus ideas for decorating your coffee table:

  • Remote controls CAN look chic when contained together in a large pretty bowl or hidden in a decorative box. 
  • Decorate with greenery and use interesting vessels. A vase is great, but a potted plant in a champagne bucket helps to elevate the everyday. 
  • Reuse your candle jars to store matches and have them readily on hand to light your favourite scent. 
  • Add quirky décor objects like paperweights on top of books- brass object d’art or large coral or shells look particularly striking. 
  • An oversized magnifying glass not only looks great but can be a practical tool.
  • Use organic elements that are unexpected for a relaxed and sophisticated feel. A small iron urn filled with shells or a decorative lantern that has slightly weathered feel add instant lived-in feel that welcoming.
  • Remember that collection of match boxes reminiscent of places you've visited? Don’t discard them- display them in a decorative bowl for added interest. No one will be able to resist picking them up- a great conversation starter too. 
  • A decorative set of coasters look best when easily accessed on a coffee table. Agate coasters are a thing of beauty and look effortlessly chic on any coffee table.
  • A jar filled with mints or your favourite chocolates add texture, colour and something to indulge on come movie nights.
  • Capture the dazzle of crystals under a dome for a luxurious statement. This idea works well in both contemporary and classic style homes. Use white, amethyst or Rose Quartz crystals for an on-trend addition.   
We hope our tips and ideas have sparked renewed interest to refresh your coffee table this season. Here's to a beautiful home!      




    • Crystal

      That’s great to hear Susan. We hope Spring has given you a renewed passion.

    • Susan Putland

      I loved this article, it has given me a little “energy” to get too and update my coffee table chaos!!
      Thank you, Susan

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