If you're looking for ways to accentuate the beauty of your living room, styling your coffee table is one excellent way to do it as coffee tables are typically located in the central portions of the room. Styling them is also a chance for you to show off your personality, create an inviting ambiance while also providing storage solutions for stray items like remotes, keys, magazines, etc.
In this blog, I will cover the 5 basics of styling coffee tables with the help of a few photos from my home's coffee table.
Start with a focal point
Instead of thinking of how to fully style a coffee table, break it down into sections and create a focal point first. You can place certain objects that look good together and arrange them on your coffee table so that they will be the part that stands out the most⏤your focal point.
And here's a tip to jazz up your focal point: add a vignette base. This can be a large plate charger, a woven placemat, a shallow tray, a rectangular basket, or any base element that can hold the objects that you want to showcase.
The base adds an extra level of interest for the eye, instead of just directly placing your key items on the surface. Placing multiple components on a base also makes it easier to maintain a cleaner and more cohesive look, no matter which way you rotate or move things.
Stacking books is a very easy way to add furnishing to your coffee table. I love placing a few books on our coffee table as I feel like they add in the right mix coziness in the room. It also adds a bit of personality especially if you choose to add your favorites.
If you don't have books that match the aesthetic of your living room, you can easily wrap the covers with some cream linen fabric or paper (or whatever color you prefer) and they'll surely fit right on your table! No need to buy brand new coffee table books!
Books also create a bit of height so your design won't feel dull. Plus, they make for a great landing place for other decorative objects!
Create levels and add height
Nothing like a coffee table that is able to speak volumes (or in this case, height! 😂) with very few accent pieces. You can add even just 3 pieces of items as long as they're of varying heights, and your coffee table will still look put together!
Some ideas for this are bowls filled with water, vases with flowers or greeneries, candles with different heights, decorative boxes, and other sculptural pieces. Creating asymmetry by mixing items with varying heights helps break up all the flat surfaces and makes the space feel more natural and organic-looking.
If you're on the lookout for items that can help with this, I can vouch for Alfie & Gem's Nordic White Ceramic Vases. I love using it everywhere in the house by putting some bunny tails or dried flowers from my wedding. But you'll notice that there are actually no flowers needed at all here! They look just as great when left empty because of their sculptural shape.
Layer decorative objects
Now, this is where you'll realize how something simple can change up the atmosphere and look of your coffee table. This is the part where you add your finishing touches.
Complete the look of your tabletop by experimenting with different textures, colors, and patterns. And instead of always placing objects side by side, try putting them together or on top of another to create a layered look. See which styling you like best, whether it's a small bowl placed on a stack of books, or a wooden chain inside a small wooden bowl, or maybe wooden beads in a rectangular wooden tray. There are so many combinations you can do with just a few pieces. And you can even include here any stray living room item like remote, keys, etc. by putting them in a catch-all bowl.
What's even greater is that these items around the coffee table can be changed up based on the time of year or occasion, such as seasonal holiday items, or items that have a special meaning to you. Nice, right?
I try to incorporate woven textures into most of the projects I do, so for our coffee table, I added texture by using these round boho coasters on top of my favorite coffee table books. They create such a beautiful texture and offer visual interest on our table. And they come in really handy when I'm having a hot cup of tea!
Break up shapes
This last tip should always be kept in mind throughout your coffee table styling process: aim for a balance of shapes.
Give your living room a theme by displaying an array of shapes and sizes.
If you have a round coffee table, you may want to avoid having too many items with rounded corners, you could throw in a few pieces like a deck of cards, a rectangular tray, a triangular brass, etc.
On the other hand, if you have a square or rectangular coffee table, you can choose round coasters, wooden beads, a ball of yarn, a small round candle, wooden bells, etc.
But be careful, as you don't want too many shapes that they are making the table look like it's in chaos! You can try breaking down your coffee table into sections, and per section, aim for about 3 objects with varying heights and shapes.
Whether you opt for a simple styling or a more complex one for your coffee table, you can never go wrong with choosing the style that you feel most at home. Have fun dressing up your coffee table!