Let’s give credit to the unsung hero of the living room, the center of attention: the coffee table. It’s the focal point of the living room, so make sure it’s dressed to the nines with the right decor and never boring. But styling a coffee table requires more than you might think. Read on to see how to decorate a coffee table as well as styling tips for different coffee table shapes and sizes.
Start with a main piece (or pieces).
No matter what shape your coffee table is, you’ll have a large grounding piece atop with decor items. Maybe it’s a tray, a plant, floral arrangement, or some coffee table books (or all of the above, if it fits!). Whatever the item is, make sure it doesn’t overwhelm (or underwhelm the coffee table). A large coffee table doesn’t look quite right with a very small tray. But give pieces room to breathe, too! Too much stuff or not angled in a way that looks good can appear sloppy.
Play with height.
Add some depth and visual interest to your coffee table with decor that varies in height. You can do this by styling with vases, plants, a decorative object, and a stack of books, for example. Vases in sets will usually have different heights and widths, which is handy! Variation in size, texture, and color is important when decorating a coffee table. Sculptural elements will make a table appear rounded out, staggered, and effortless rather than flat and one-dimensional.
Do a balancing act.
Symmetry is key in design and decorating, but with round, square, and rectangular coffee tables, it’s not only important, it’s easy to do. Stacks of books always look balanced from different angles. Try two stacks of books and a long tray next to them. Within the tray, you can display anything you want — a vase, potted plant, flowers, decorative objects, and three vases or candle-holders.
Divide the surface space.
Decorating a round coffee table can seem a little more difficult than a square or rectangular coffee table. But here’s a tip to make you style like an interior designer: The easiest way to style a round coffee table is to split the circle in half and work on each side (the same applies to a rectangular or square coffee table, too). Apply all of the same tips listed above but style each side with groupings of accessories you like. Just remember to keep some space for functional purposes with your coffee table display.
Check out this video to see a few examples of these coffee table decorating ideas in action:
Now that you’ve got some styling tips and inspiration for how to decorate and style a coffee table, find pieces you love! Whether your style is farmhouse, modern, mid-century, minimalist, or a little bit of everything, have fun finding the items that speak to you.