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October 20, 2020

How to Style a Coffee Table


How to Style a Coffee Table

Is there anything better than enjoying a cozy morning on the couch with a big, warm cup of coffee? This is how I have been starting most of my days accompanied by my dog at my feet and my computer on my lap. While I’m getting my day started, I love looking at my cute, round, marble coffee table. This is a piece that I had my eye on months before purchasing it. It’s a great sized coffee table for my living room apartment and the natural textures compliment my neutral home decor style.

Although it’s nice to have a coffee table to prop your feet up, rest your coffee cup on, or even use for eating a meal while watching TV (no judgment here, I do it all the time), it’s also nice to put some purposeful intention behind styling it. This way when you are looking at your living room from afar, the styled coffee table will help the whole room look more elevated and put together.

In this blog post, I will be sharing some helpful tips and things to keep in mind when it comes to styling a living room coffee table. Although there are so many different sizes, shapes, and textures of coffee tables these tips can be applied across the board to help give some life to your own coffee table. You can also check out a video with a step-by-step demonstration of how I styled the two coffee table examples here.


Marble Coffee Table Decor.jpg

Tips for Styling a Coffee Table

Establish a Color Scheme and Style

Although there are no rules for interior design, it is helpful to have an idea of what your preferred home decor style is. Do you love minimal, modern design with clean lines, a colorful boho room with lots of patterns, or one of the various other design styles? I am personally drawn to neutral, Scandinavian inspired interiors but enjoy adding some bohemian pieces such as plants and this woven basket as well as some modern elements such as the marble texture.


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Consider the Shape and Size of the Table

The shape and size of your coffee table play a huge factor in how you can best style it. With large rectangle coffee table tops, you will have lots of opportunities to create sections and display more items without overcrowding the surface. For a smaller, round coffee table like mine, you can play off of the round shape with a round item or opt for a single vase as a centerpiece since it takes less to make the styling complete.


Coffee Table Decor.jpg

Think About the Rule of Thirds

Using the design technique of styling items or groupings of items in sets of three will generally look very pleasing to the eye and help your coffee table look more balanced. In the photo above I have used this technique by displaying the stack of books, candlestick, and vase in the center of the table. The rule of thirds can also be used by just focusing on creating odd numbers. In the example above, there are seven different elements creating the coffee table centerpiece. Although it’s relative, you can imagine that adding one more object or taking away one creating an even number of items would not look as good.

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Use a Tray, Basket, or Bowl

Trays, baskets, and bowls are great pieces to start your coffee table styling with since they are typically pretty large. These objects with the tabletop design a base to build off of and help keep things grounded. You can also use a tray, basket, or bowl decor piece to group items and use as a catch-all place for things like a remote, coasters, and personal items. This is a great way to create a beautiful yet practical coffee table styling.


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Incorporate Coffee Table Books

Stacking your favorite coffee table books may seem like a no brainer but is such a great way to elevate your coffee table. Stack 2-3 coffee table books depending on the size of the books to add interest. If your coffee table is larger you can experiment with creating multiple stacks of books in different directions so the spine of the books is seen from multiple angles.


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Add Height to Create Levels

To create more visual interest for your coffee table, play around with styling objects at various heights. My favorite way to do this is to style a beautiful vase with a real or faux plant. This will help the eye move around the table and avoid having the object look flat.


Fall Coffee Table Decor.jpg

Remember to Balance

It’s easy to get carried away with adding tons of interesting home decor items. However, to retain the practicality of the coffee table make sure to leave room for your coffee and other necessary items. One great bonus to the woven basket style above is that the entire centerpiece can easily be removed to create more tabletop space for board games, Chinese take out, etc. This is especially essential if you are like me and live in a small apartment without room for a proper dining table.


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Express Your Personality with Decor

In my opinion, picking out fun decor pieces is the best part of this process. This is where you can really show your personal style and incorporate personal objects and unique finds. Although adding decor items is the last step to styling a coffee table, it is often the most important step to pulling everything together to create a cohesive display.

I hope you found this post helpful and feel inspired to re-decorate a coffee table you already own or purchase a new one and start from scratch.


Pin this image for future reference…

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More Posts You May Be Interested In:

3 Steps to Style a Tall Bookshelf

How to Decorate a Small Patio

7 Cozy Jackets For Fall & Winter


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