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Easy Coffee Table Styling like a Designer

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Don’t let your coffee table be bare or boring! Here are the essential elements for coffee table styling like a designer and how to transform your coffee table into a stunning display!

Pulling together the perfect combination of accessories for a beautiful (and still functional) coffee table can be tricky.

So for today’s post, I am breaking down for you what I believe to be the essential elements to decorating a coffee table and how to assemble them.

Coffee Table Styling - How to Decorate your Coffee Table like a Designer

I absolutely love styling coffee tables – probably because they’re the living room’s version of the dining room table and I just love setting a table. 😉


How to Style a Coffee Table

5 Essentials for Coffee Table Styling

The most important thing to remember when selecting items for your coffee table is that they need to have colors and textures that go with the rest of your room’s existing decor.

Your coffee table IS NOT the place to try adding a new style to the space – you want it to be cohesive with the room and accentuate the beauty of the room’s existing style.

Use neutrals for most of your display with just 1-2 simple pops of color.

1. Books

Stacked books are one of the most popular coffee table decor items.

I mean, there are even books that are called “coffee table books!”

When selecting books for your coffee table, get 2-3 large books that have covers that color coordinate with your room’s decor and, when stacked, are a bit taller than the sides of your tray.

If you’re in the market for books to use as decor, I’d encourage you to search the local thrift stores and garage sales.

The content doesn’t necessarily matter, since they’re primarily just for looks, and thrift stores have a large selection of hard bound books with all different colored covers. Plus, it’s a great way to save on cost!

2. Tray

A tray is a simple way to add both style and function to your coffee table!

Not only does it ground the decor in your display, but it also makes it easier for you to remove the decor when you want to clear the table for cleaning or use.

One of my favorite ways to add some extra dimension to the coffee table, is by using a tray that’s a different shape than the coffee table.

If you have an oval or round coffee table, try a square or rectangle tray or visa-versa. For sizing, get one that fills about a third of your table top.

3. Large Décor Item

Your large décor item will have the most presence in your display and should be something that matches well with the rest of the room.

Try to think of something with both height and width – my favorites are a robust floral arrangement, tall pillar candle holders, a large empty vase, or even a lantern!

4. Medium Décor Item

The medium decor item is my favorite way to add something with personality.

Get something that’s true to your style and adds a bit of spunk or interest to the table.

Like an animal figurine, a geometric piece or a funky succulent.

5. Small Décor Item

Typical choices for this would be a candle, coasters, or a small figurine.

The goal with this is to round out the display by giving it all sorts of heights, textures and styles.

Essential elements for coffee table styling like a designer.

As you pull together these elements, don’t over think it!

Most likely you have items sitting around your house or tucked away in storage that can easily be used for your coffee table display.


How to assemble:

First, stack your books and set them next to your tray in the center of the coffee table.

I like to put the bound side against the tray so the raw page edges are more visible, but you can put them either way – both ways look nice. 🙂

Place your large and small decor items in the tray and your medium decor item on top of the books.

And that’s it! You now have a beautifully decorated coffee table that’s both functional and stylish. Easy, right? 😉

If you’re wondering, this fabulous coffee table belongs to my in-laws – did you see this living room makeover we did for them??


Let me know if you have any questions as you go to decorate your coffee table!

I hope this simple tutorial helps, and honestly, it’s truly an easy process so I know you can do it. 🙂

What’s your favorite coffee table accessory?? Let me know in the comments!




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