12 tips to style the perfect coffee table

12 tips to style the perfect coffee table

Posted by Clare on Jul 05, 2021

You may think a coffee table is just a home for TV remotes, a place to put a cup of coffee or somewhere to rest your feet.  But we think a coffee table has the potential to be so much more.  It may be small but it's an achievable spaces to style well to help create a focal point in a living room.  Why not try one of our 12 ideas on how to style your perfect coffee table for an instant update to your space?

Make it practical

Rushbury Painted coffee table

The coffee table is the hub of social activity in your living room.  Start by looking for a coffee table with a focus on functionality - maybe it has a lower shelf with storage baskets, or drawers to provide a handy place to stash remotes, coasters, reading glasses or any other everyday essentials that typically cause coffee table clutter.  Our Rushbury Painted coffee table is a perfect choice, it's crafted from oak and hand painted in a choice of six different colourways and comes with a choice of two different handles to suit every decorating scheme.  But if painted isn't your thing, check out our range of beautiful and practical wooden coffee tables

Start with a tray

12 ways to style the perfect coffee table
Image from living roomideas.eu

A tray is your styling secret weapon.  It's easy for a handful of items on a coffee table to look cluttered but artful arranged on a tray and all of sudden you have a tidy design that feels purposeful.  A tray is useful for giving structure and symmetry to a coffee table, anchoring the table top with items that might otherwise feel like they're "floating"in space.  Plus on a practical level, when you want to clear off the table top for eating or playing games, you only have to move one thing rather than several.

Maintain balance

12 ways to style the perfect coffee table
Image from decoholic.org

Nothing makes for a cluttered surface more than a large collection of small knick-knacks but displaying only large items can look heavy and cumbersome.   To keep your coffee table balanced, vary the scale of display items and stack or group like objects together.  A central object grounds the display, while smaller displays of equal visual weight balance it out.

Make it personal

12 ways to style the perfect coffee table
Image from livingroomideas.eu

Let the objects on your coffee table tell a story about your passions and memories.   A grouping of sea shells collected from a holiday, hand-me-down candle sticks or roses snipped from your own garden are all great ways to give your living room a personal twist.

Get the composition right

12 ways to style the perfect coffee table
Image from apartmenttherapy.com

The key is to think about how all the items on display work together as a whole.  Sometimes they'll connect through colour, sometimes style, sometimes shape or theme.   Items you choose should have enough visual weight that they don't get lost but they should never be so big that they overwhelm the space or disrupt the functionality of the table.  You can't go wrong with the classics.  Books can be stacked, a floral arrangement adds a bit of pretty and a decorative object provides a conversation piece.

Take a look from every angle

12 tips to style the perfect coffee table
Image from homedesignideas.eu

When it comes to coffee table styling remember to take a 360 approach.  A coffee table is often placed in a central area of a room, so people can see it from all angles.

Create highs and lows

12 tips to style the perfect coffee table
Image from livingroomideas.eu

If all the objects that you choose are at the same eye level, nothing will get noticed.  To create a more eye-catching display, vary the height and scale of your coffee table's decorative objects.  Although for a coffee table, you want to be careful about how high you go (you don't want to block your TV!).  Stacking coffee table books to display other decor is a great way to achieve this in a subtle way.

Contrast your colours

12 tips to style the perfect coffee table
Image from the everygirl.com

Choose decor that plays off the colour of your coffee table.  If the table is white or a neutral, go with bold or metallic colours on top.  For dark woods, showcase pastels and crisp white.

Add some flowers

12 tips to style the perfect coffee table
Image from lemonstripes.com

Every coffee table display that we've shown includes a floral arrangement or some greenery.  It doesn't matter how big or how small,  flowers add a burst of freshness that can bring life to a display.  They're also great because you can explore different color combinations and have a bit of fun.

Make it seasonal

12 tips to decorate the perfect coffee table
Image from coffeeandsidetables.com

As a living room focal point, your coffee table is a great place to showcase seasonal decorative elements.  For example, nothing says autumn like a pumpkin or orange flowers and leaves.

Three is still the magic number

12 tips to style the perfect coffee table
Image from whoismocca.com

The age-old Rule of Three comes in handy when styling your coffee table but don’t limit yourself to only three objects on the surface.  Instead, think of the Rule of Three as three footprints on the surface.

And remember......

12 tips to style the perfect coffee table
Image from thesefourwallsblog.com

Beautiful doesn't always mean highly styled. Though we love the look of the above coffee tables shown, we think there's also something to be said about restraint!  If you're looking for a more subtle look, strip away most of the decorative objects but leave a plant for height and colour, and a small tray or stack of books to showcase at least one pretty personal items.

Now there's no excuse for a beautifully styled coffee table.  What do you have on your coffee table?  Go on share with us below!