5 Mistakes To Avoid When Decorating Your Coffee Table

When decorating a living room, a coffee table is an essential furniture piece to have. It's simple but can tie an entire room together, especially if it's well decorated. Many styles, such as top marble, wooden, glass, etc., can fit any interior living room. Blogger Emily Henderson takes a deep dive into the right way to pick out a coffee table. Finding the perfect one for your living room depends on the size and shape of your couch. However, oval and rectangular coffee tables are the typical shapes for a living room. Once you figure out the form that will complement the space, picking out the color and texture will be easy.

On the other hand, decorating a coffee table can be difficult. You don't want to overwhelm the space with too many items or make it look empty with just a couple of décors. Nonetheless, picking the right amount and style of decorative items can make a difference in the coffee table. We know you have a coffee table waiting to be decorated, so we've gathered tips on things to avoid when adorning your coffee table and what to do instead.

1. Overcrowding the surface

Deciding which décor items to add to your coffee table can be overwhelming. You might want to put a stack of your favorite books, a vase full of flowers, a few coasters, candles, and smaller knick-knacks, but loading the surface with everything can make the table look messy. Of course, the number of items you place on the table will depend on the size of the furniture piece. It might make the decorating process easier or harder, but the results will be worth it.

Home interior blogger Dianne Decor claims that when you're thinking about what you want to put on your coffee table, consider three things: a type of book, a plant, and a board game. The best way to figure out how many items to place on the table is to put everything on a medium-sized tray, and if everything fits on the tray, it'll look perfect. Per Dianne Decor, a rule of thumb to follow is if you have to move things around to place your coffee cup on the surface, there are too many items.

2. Displaying too many books

While books bring happiness to everyone who looks at them, they can make or break a coffee table. Too many colors and sizes of books can impact the surface if they're not paired with similar décors. Strategically placing them on the coffee table will heighten the space. When stacking books, stick with two to three books max that are similar in color, or if they're different colors, create an ombré effect, notes The Decorating Coach. The spine and the front cover will always be on display and the first things visitors see.

You can place them horizontally on the table with a giant book on the bottom and put a couple of bookends on each side. Or, if you prefer to have a variety of décor, use a book or two as a platform and place a small vase, candle, or plant on top of them, per The Decorating Coach. Books can sit alone on the coffee table; they just need to be spread along the top, and creating two stacks on either end can fill the table without overdoing it. The best coffee table books relate to your hobbies, whether traveling, nature, sports, fashion, etc.; they'll give your guests a small insight into who you are.

3. Placing things under the table

Buying a table with a bottom shelf can come in handy, but it should sometimes be left alone. If you plan on styling the bottom bracket of your coffee table, place things with intention. Don't force the décor to fit; some things are better when they're simple. How the top tier is showcased can set the mood for the bottom level. A simple tabletop with a single vase leaves room to go all out with the bottom shelf and vice versa. Home interior blog Cuckoo4Design suggests saving the larger décors for the bottom section while using thin pieces for the top.

If you enjoy a minimalist style, leaving the bottom shelf empty can be ideal so that the entire table isn't overcrowded. Sporadically placing items on the top level can tie the whole look together. A great way to use the space is to establish a plain basket that can hold a couple of small blankets so they're within reach of the couch. It'll give the coffee table a cozy look without overwhelming it.

4. Keeping electronic devices in plain sight

We know that sometimes couches don't come with their storage place to keep the remotes, so they're placed on the coffee tables. While it can be a last resort to leave them on the surface, finding a storage area is better. When guests are over, you don't want the remotes lying around, especially if the coffee table is gorgeously decorated. Home Blog Up To Date Interiors claims any box that fits the theme of your coffee table is perfect for remotes, such as wooden boxes, jewelry boxes, or antique boxes with any significant details.

Shopping around discount stores like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or your favorite thrift stores will provide various options for you to choose from. On the other hand, perusing your home might land you an unused storage container perfect for your electronic devices (via Up To Date Interiors). You might have to rearrange a few things on your coffee table to prevent it from looking cluttered. If there's a tray holding a few other things, you'll be able to fit the container depending on the size.

5. Sticking with one décor style

Decorating a coffee table calls for creativity, which means never placing many décors that look the same. For example, if you enjoy candles and can't decide which ones to display, choose a couple of the best-smelling ones instead of putting four or five. In addition, a couple of candles allows for other décors to be placed on the table rather than letting one style fill up the entire space. Although, if you prefer for the candles to be the main focal point, include at least three different heights and colors to make them stand out, claims Living Cozy. In addition, setting a fresh bouquet next to them will enhance the overall look.

Home interior blog Living Cozy lists numerous tips on ways to style a coffee table that helps stray from using one type of décor. Layering items can help mix textures and colors, forcing you to think outside the box. Grouping things in three makes it easier to visualize how everything is going to look and helps decide if there are items that need to be replaced. Living Cozy suggests using a tray, a stack of books, and a vase, then going into the details with other accessories. Try laying everything on the table at once to move things around and get a feel for different setups until you find one that works perfectly.