5 Designer Tips for Styling your Coffee Table

5 Designer Tips for Styling your Coffee Table

A coffee table can so easily become a place where you leave your empty mugs and remote controls, but I’m here to help you out with these 5 designer tips for styling your coffee table.

A coffee table needs to make a statement. When you think about the furniture that you might have in your living room, your sofa and coffee table are the focal point. They sit in the middle of the room and attract the most attention. So don’t let your coffee table become a sad place for empty mugs. When you’re styling your coffee table, you want to create a piece of artwork that will bring the whole structure of your living room together.

All of the below are elements you need on your coffee table to complete the piece. Take one out, and the look won’t work the same. So if you don’t want to have to call in the Santa Monica interior designers to help you, follow these tips for styling your coffee table.

Use a tray as a foundation

You need to create a solid foundation for the table. I know, you’re thinking, But the table is the foundation? It is, but everything needs to be layered correctly. A large bowl works just as well as a tray, like this one from Shea at Studio McGee:

 

styling your coffee table with ornaments and books

 

See how the dark wood of the bowl stands out against the light coffee table and the light coloured books she’s used to decorate.

A tray is also very useful when you want to clear the coffee table quickly. Just had a big parcel arrive and need somewhere to put it quickly? Any items in the tray can be lifted off quickly and with minimal damage.

Add height and layers through ornaments

Getting an ideal coffee table style is all about height and layers. A flat coffee table won’t do any compliments, and will look worse than if you left it empty. Kimberly from Swoonworthy has achieved this height perfectly.

 

white, gold and pink themed coffee table styling

 

Note that she has a tray with ornaments on that are at varying heights. She’s also raised the gold birds by putting them on a pile of books. The table looks well balanced and definitely not overcrowded. She’s even got a mug on a coaster in the picture. It’s stylish and you can see the gold, white and pink theme runs through the rest of her living room. This is also key. You need to match the style of the coffee table with the rest of the room, otherwise it’ll look disjointed.

Make use of plants and foliage

Plants add some fresh greenery to the coffee table, and to the rest of the room. They lighten and brighten, and can also be used to achieve varying heights. You can do this by opting for some small succulents or cacti, or go bold with a tall plant such as an orchid.

I love trailing ivy so this is how I’ve styled mine at home.

home coffee table

 

I love the way it drapes nicely over the books. The books I’ve used are interior design/home books that have nice brightly coloured spines. I’ve got a bowl on the table, and of course the look wouldn’t be complete without some candles.

Plants are also good for your home, and help to purify the air. In a space such as a living room, which we spend a lot of time in, this is an added bonus.

Stack some books to add height

When you’re styling your coffee table, reading material is a must. It adds height to the table, something we’ve discussed is very important. It also shows your guests what your interests are, and could be a talking point. It’s best to add some sort of ornament on top of the books, so they taper off into a pyramid point. Put the biggest books at the bottom and the smallest on top. Then add an ornament for that final bit of height and the tip of the pyramid.

See this example from Lark and Linen.

 

white styled coffee table with plant and books

 

The books are in size order with the largest at the bottom, and then she’s placed a tall and more narrow ornament on top.

Don’t forget that books can also be stacked on the floor at the base of the coffee table, like this example from The Every Girl

books underneath living room coffee table

Again, the books are all varying height, and stacked in size order to add to the aesthetic.

Pile of coasters

A coffee table still needs to be practical. A pile of coasters either placed in the tray, or set in one corner makes it easy to put a cup of tea (read: glass of wine) down in the evenings.

The most important tip is that you need to leave some space. Don’t over clutter the table. You still need a place to put your mugs and TV remotes so the coffee table is still practical for your everyday needs.

 

 

Combine those tips for styling your coffee table to make a statement of your living room. I’d love to see photos of your coffee tables, so send them over!

All pictures have been sourced and credited.

 

 

Mummy in a Tutu
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6 Comments

  1. August 18, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    I have never looked at a coffee table as a foundation before, I have a small one that sits next to the chair I sit in. On it I have the books I’m currently reading and my notebooks and of course my actual coffee mug. I like all this inspiration though it’s very homely and makes me want another coffee table.

    • sarahaelsley
      August 18, 2017 / 8:16 pm

      I never realised how empty mine looked until I ‘styled’ it! And now I love it, and I’m never changing it back. Thanks for the comment.

  2. August 18, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    I’d never thought of adding books to the coffee table to spice it up a bit!

    Carla x

    • sarahaelsley
      August 21, 2017 / 1:06 pm

      I love adding a pile of books, it just adds some interest, especially if you can find book covers that are different colours or patterns.

    • sarahaelsley
      August 21, 2017 / 1:05 pm

      Hi Amy, glad I could help you out a little bit and give you some inspo.

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