Other than buying a sofa to sit on and bed to sleep in – your coffee table, and coffee table decor, is arguably the third most versatile and engaging piece of furniture in your home. Considering it can also work as a desk, dining table, footrest, game table, you name it – it makes sense!
Because it’s the centerpiece of the main living space, how a coffee table is styled (or not) can completely change the look of the overall room. What is on it can also completely alter the function of the table.
You don’t want it to be too perfect or cluttered to the point that there’s no space left to make it practical, but you don’t want it to be a messy holding area for keys, mail, and last night’s take-out boxes either.
With just these few tips, it becomes easy to compose an arrangement that is both functional and visually appealing. Here is what to do – and what not to do – when considering your coffee table decor and styling.
What You’ll Need
Tips to Remember Before Styling
Tip #1: Items should be to scale
You can technically work in various grouping sizes – from one single arrangement to three, four, or five groupings. What is important to keep in mind is that the items are to scale. You don’t want giant coffee table books paired with a tiny 2 oz. scented candle. Or a large floral arrangement next to a small tray for remotes.
Tip #2: Balance height, color, and texture
You don’t want the arrangement to look weighted. We recommend placing the tallest item in the center. Or if you have two tall items and one short, place the short in the center and balance either side of it with the taller items. Keep this in mind visually with color and texture, as well.
Tip #3: Corral electronics and remotes in a dish
Instead of always losing the remote, have a set place for it! Placing remotes in a pretty dish or tray makes them look nicer and less messy.
Tip #4: Use the surface area of the books to display other objects
The flat tops of your books are fair game surface space to use and style when considering your coffee table decor! Don’t leave them bare, but don’t clutter them either. Adding a single decorative object or the tray on top is a great way to add height to the arrangement.
Tip #5: Consider opening one of your coffee table books
The simple concept of choosing to display different pages can completely alter the look of the table depending on the colors and contents of the page.
Alright, let’s get started!
Let’s start simple! Or as some people say – practical. For those of you who don’t like a lot of stuff on your coffee table:
- A single stack
- We recommend 2-3 beautiful items: a book or stack of pretty magazines (weekly gossip mags not included), a decorative object, and a candle or tray for your remotes.
- Create a simple arrangement – place the two smaller items on the stack of books and call it a day!
- Make sure to place the arrangement in the center of the table.
- Take your big beautiful coffee table book and open it to a favorite page.
- Using the surface area of the book, place a decorative object on top!
- Add a tray with remotes on the other side if you like having them out.
Building off what we have — for those of you who are open to working with more things for your coffee table decor:
Remember our tips!
- Use items that are in proportion to one another
- Puzzle piece your arrangement together
- Add height
- Don’t space anything too far apart… or too close together
- Use the tops of books to display smaller items
What Not to Do
- Do not banish your belongings to the corners in an attempt to “frame the coffee table”
- Too many candles! And definitely, avoid having candles that have different scents. If you have a scented candle, only keep one out a time.
- Items that aren’t the right proportion for the size of the table
- Too bare
- Too cluttered