Coffee tables are the heart of a gathering space if you entertain in your living room or family room. It is easy to find images with perfectly curated décor, but sometimes styling our own coffee table can be a challenge.
Especially if you have kids or maybe even large pets that tend to knock things over.
I believe that coffee table décor should be practical and thoughtfully collected. Personally, I am more of a minimalist and gravitate towards a cozy, uncluttered look that feels right for everyday living. I have an easy formula you can use to achieve this in your home as well, no matter what your style is.
How to Style a Coffee Table in 3 Steps
- Vase (0r some sort of sculpture/figure)
Using odd numbers to decorate is one of the easiest ways to make any shelf, side table or coffee table feel complete. Of course this rule of thumb can be broken, but if you are struggling or just starting out I encourage you to stick to one, three or five items of varying heights and sizes when decorating your coffee table. Use the formula above to mix and match an odd number of decorative items for your coffee table, and make sure to leave space on the table for people to place drinks or other items if needed.
Source: McGee and Co
Step One: Add an Anchor Piece
Start with a tray or a large book to serve as the anchor of your décor. You should be able to place other small décor items onto this as you add to your table. A stack of books is a great way to help vary the height of items, which adds visual interest.
Step Two: Add a Large Focal Piece
The next decorative object you add should be the focal point or the statement piece of your coffee table. It could be anything, but should be a bit larger than other items. You can use a vase (with or without lush greenery) , candle sticks with tapers in them or even a larger sized plant.
Remember, large items should be kept to the scale of the table and your room. You do not want an item so large that it blocks your view of the room or other people in your space while sitting on the sofa. You may see this done in magazines because it looks good for the photo, but it is not always practical.
Step Three: Add Smaller Décor Items
Complete your look with one - three other small decorative pieces. How many pieces that you end up adding is completely up to you and may depend on the size of the coffee table you have or the size of your living area. A small space can feel cluttered easily so you would want to stick to less.
Examples of objects you could use here are smaller candles (even if you never burn them- it adds a cozy, more intimate element to the area), cute mini vases or jars (I love thrifting for these kinds of items), little plants like succulents, decorative items like wooden beads or clay knots. You could even use smaller personal objects that have meaning to you.
Just keep in mind that there is beauty in simplicity and you do not have to fill the entire surface of your coffee table in order for it to look styled.
10 Coffee Table Décor Ideas That Will Impress Your Guests
The items you place on your coffee table should complement the style of the rest of your living space. Not sure what your style is yet? Here are 10 different coffee tables to inspire you! Don't be afraid to mix and match elements from different styles.
Bohemian Inspired Coffee Table
Boho uses a lot of natural elements and should be a bit colorful and moody. Key elements for creating a bohemian look would be rattan, jute or cane textures. A plant or two. Candles or maybe even a diffuser and fun elements like brass animal statues or poms/tassels in fun colors.
Modern Minimalist Coffee Table
Modern minimalism is all about calm, clean lines and a simple color pallet. Books and a candle or an abstract clay knot are all you need to pull this look off.
Relaxed Scandinavian Coffee Table
Source: Avenue Lifestyle
Scandinavian style is known for being a pared back style that is warm and cozy. Everything on a Scandi coffee table should be intentional. Recreate this look with a reed diffuser and an interesting vase. If you are entertaining you could also add a unique water pitcher and glasses for your guests to enjoy.
Transitional Coffee Table
Source: West of Main
Transitional style is a blend of traditional décor elements with newer modern elements. It's a classic style that can feel a bit grand and uses warm neutral colors for a soothing, inviting space. Key elements for recreating a transitional coffee table are a marble tray, books, a large vase with either faux flowers or fresh flowers, and wood chain links.