The Go-To Guide for Styling Your Coffee Table

The major focal points of any living room are two pieces of furniture: the sofa and the coffee table. The coffee table is the centerpiece of the room, therefore, the styling of it (or lack thereof) can make or break the space. It tells your story and serves many purposes, whether used for as kick back stand while watching a movie or hosting game night, gathering for conversation, or being the home for remote controls. And while I love the concept of styling a beautiful coffee table, it’s important to make it functional across many fronts. My rules to live by: aim for practicality, keep it uncluttered, and mirrors your personal style.

Whether your coffee table is a cool garage sale find or a statement piece you splurged on, it’s worth taking the time to compose an arrangement that is both purposeful and visually appealing. Ahead, the few tips to help you get started when considering your coffee table decor and styling.


What you’ll need…

  • Reading materials – books or magazines
  • Candles
  • Decorative accents
  • Storage container – tray or basket
  • Plant or flowers

For those of you who don’t want a lot of stuff to take up space on your coffee table:

Style #1:

  • Create a single stack.
  • Add 2-3 unique, eye-catching items: a book or stack of beautiful magazines (no judgement if you have a thing for the tabloid ones), a decorative accent, and a candle or tray for your remotes.
  • A simple green arrangement – whether you go faux, fresh, or opt for greenery, bringing in plants breathes actual life into a room and instantly transforms it.
    • Choose a vase with a wide base and a small top, place in the tray and call it a day! If you’re going with a plant instead, choose a plant that requires little care, such as a cactus or succulent.
  • Place the arrangement in the center of the table.

Style #2:

  • Take a book with a beautiful cover and great content inside, flip it open to your favorite page.
  • Using the flat area of the book, place a decorative accent on top.
  • Add a tray with your assorted trinkets and remotes on the other side.
For those of you who say the more, the merrier:
  • Add some tall accents to anchor your arrangement — think vases you had in your kitchen, candlesticks you have in a random drawer, or a small sculpture. 
  • Place smaller objects atop of stacks of books, or to fill in where needed. 
  • Vary the heights of your items to avoid a jumble of small ornaments.
  • Don’t space anything too far apart… or too close together.

Stay away from…

  1. Adding too many candles! Avoid having multiple candles with varying scents. If you have a scented candle, only keep one on the table at a time.
  2. Leaving the table too bare – Don’t be afraid to fill the “negative space.”
  3. Making it too cluttered – Balance the mix of books and objects, and leave some breathing room so your coffee table doesn’t look cluttered.

Happy decorating!

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