How To Decorate A Coffee Table

A coffee table is so much more than a place for drinks, books, and your feet. It is a pivotal element in any home living room. Coffee tables are places for individuality to shine and functionality to prosper. Styling a coffee table with thoughtful literature, personalized trinkets, and layered finds all nod to who you are and how inviting your space is. Create a nook for you and your closest circle of people to be comfortable and relaxed in. Decorate your coffee table with neutral tones, sentimental items, and unique coasters. 

Opt to add contrast and color to the space with bright floral choices or earthy greens. Choose unique patterns for texture and differing height elements to break up space. Crate & Barrel shares how coffee table decor has the ability to anchor a living room's aesthetic. If you are looking to update your room or just embarking on a new look and vibe, continue reading for home decor details and design suggestions on creating an ideal coffee table landscape.

1. Choose a statement piece

If you find yourself drawn to a minimalist look, a single statement piece may be all your space needs. An independent item like a large vase filled with delicate flowers or simple green stems creates a focal point in the room. Elle Decor suggests styling your coffee table with a statement piece may be all it needs to complete the look. The simplicity in the singularity reflects your own personality and offers a classic look to complement your living room.

Just because you want something to "stand out" does not mean it needs to be large and take over the space. A design tip to follow is finding decor items proportionate to your living area. A statement piece should stand out from the aesthetic and be eye-catching, but it can also be simple and low-lying. As per Apartment Therapy, a sleek setup is achievable with a single decor accent such as a book or tray. This minimalist style choice offers a significant impact in a delicate way, as seen in the image above.

2. Maximize texture and shape

According to From House to Home, differing the textures of the coffee table's decor pieces creates an appealing spread. Mix different metals and wood tones together, or add reflective items like trays and bowls. This mix and match decor offers visual contrast and an opportunity to introduce new materials. Using this technique helps to accentuate the tones you choose to display and is an opportunity to incorporate new depths of color.

Styling a coffee table with a variety of shapes not only breaks up the space but it helps create dimension. You can decorate your table with three-dimensional knick-knacks like those in the image above for a modern feel. Candles are a great decor choice for shape variation and aroma, too. The versatility in style is endless with candles as they are all different shapes, styles, colors, and sizes. They add mood and dimension to a flat surface (via Pottery Barn). Set your table ablaze with the perfect tiered candle set on a tray, a trio of brass candlestick holders, or a dark brown glass jar candle with a cork lid. Create your desired look and find items that mesh with the existing design elements in the room. You may also want to consider spheres, cubes, and wooden chain decor for added texture.

3. Create stacks on the table

Create the perfect stack on your coffee table with a set of books with titles that depict who you are and design elements that create a modern look. Find literature material that interests you and share it with your guests. Choosing books for stacks should not only look good but should be purposeful and interesting to flip through. After all, this is a place for contemplation and conversation. 

Aside from content and neutrality, book stacks are a great way to add more elements to a smaller space, per Joss & Main. Stacking items frees up table space for guests' drinks or personal items, and allows the table to function as a table. A candle awaits at the top of the two or three stacked books, or possibly a dainty rose held up by a slender vase. Creating stacks is all about creating height. Piling items in different ranges of size allows for a more visually appealing space to unfold. Good Housekeeping suggests alternating the heights of the objects on the table to create extra interest. Stacks can include more than books. Opt for a tray and bowl combination, or wood knot sculpture upon decorative boxes.

4. Spruce it up with floral accents

Flourishing your space with floral elements helps create a stylish living room area. Fresh blooms are an inviting touch when entertaining, as per Good Housekeeping. Adding flowers to a coffee table can instantly change the mood and bring an organic vibe to a space. Floral arrangements, tall or small, can dramatically impact a living room. Drama unfolds when adding bright bouquets that bring color to monochromatic living spaces, or earthy greens to complement neutral color palettes. 

Apartment Therapy shares adding a touch of greenery to a space can really brighten up a coffee table. But not all florals are high maintenance, and plants such as succulents serve as the perfect alternative (via House Beautiful). There is no wrong choice to make when it comes to adding floral elements. Whichever choice you decide on for your space, it is sure to invoke character in your home. Swapping out flowers and plants makes for a quick style refresh. New blooms can certainly bring a flat coffee table to life.

5. Coasters for an added decor element

You will likely find a set of coasters anywhere you may be tempted to place a drink. A coffee table is one of those likely places. Finding a set of trendy coasters to style your coffee table is a simple way to add personal flair to your living room. Coasters are often used by guests and are the perfect complementary decor item to spruce up a tray on a coffee table. 

A stack of coasters also acts as an additional height differential element on the tablescape. These coasters may be quartz with dazzling gold edges, pristine white marble, or colorful geometric tile discs. Whichever eclectic option you choose, it is sure to be a perfect statement piece to bring visual interest to any table, as per The Spruce. Adding coasters to a coffee table also brings versatility and functionality to the living area. They are not only a beautiful accent item on your table, but they are also useful.

6. Trays for more than collecting

Try to elevate your tablescape with an accent tray. Using a tray to house the remotes and random objects a coffee table seemingly collects is a decor hack as old as time. Update your look and try using a tray to pile decorative items, too. This technique has the ability to both create a layering effect and maximize table space. 

Seize the opportunity to decorate the tray using the rule of three. It is a general design trick that keeps the look simple and sophisticated without overdoing it, as per Joss & Main. Simply keep the decor count to three pieces when styling for a refined look similar to the image above. Whether a footstool or traditional table, a styled tray upon a coffee table is a great way to focus decor on the table centrally. Adding a tray can boost its impact in the space (via Homes & Gardens). A tray is an easily removable and changeable decor item. If more space is needed on the table or tufted ottoman, you can temporarily remove the tray to make the space more functional.

7. Statues and sculptures to add character

Simplicity can often be the best decor element. Displaying unique statues on your coffee table not only creates a bold look but makes for the perfect conversation starter when entertaining guests. Tell a story through the art you display by adding geometric shapes and unique art objects to create a modern vibe. Sculptural objects like spheres make for beautiful table decor, says The Spruce

Let your personality shine through in the vignette by adding knick-knacks from your travels or a statue of your favorite animal, which you can layer on books or corral in a tray. Apartment Therapy adds that see-through accents are a fantastic way to create the illusion of space in a living room, like in the image above. If you have a small living area or table space, an abstract art piece with plenty of negative space will keep the room feeling airy rather than. Artisanal elements can liven a space and offer a chance for your table to tell a story and invite guests to share theirs.

8. Add sentiment to the space

What better way to add personality to your living space than by displaying a one-of-a-kind family heirloom or treasure? Check the china cabinet for vintage tea sets and find the perfect spot to display the antique sugar bowl. If there is no china to turn into vintage decor, find an item that brings out the sentiment in you. Entwining a sentimental item in your tablescape can be the ideal way to add a special touch to your coffee table decorations, says Elle Decor. 

Unique items such as treasured picture frames, collectible statues, or decorative bowls can be displayed on the table. They are the personal touches in your home quintessential for starting a conversation. Arrange a few artifacts on the table to achieve a gallery-style display (via Apartment Therapy). Intriguing artful finds are just as good at creating sentiment in a living room. Scour vintage shops for trinket boxes that share your uniqueness or find a unique animal statue to add a bit of charm. You will share a piece of yourself through these curated treasures and nostalgic finds, making your house more of a home.

9. Use bowls, boxes, and baskets

If your coffee table is large enough, you may want to look for a stylish bowl to accent the tabletop. Bowls can be an ideal way to decorate a coffee table as they encompass the ability to create curves and add dimension to a space. Bowls also offer added layering capabilities, with options to change the filler when needed. Filler options can range from decorative spheres to floral stems, according to MyDomaine. Bowls, baskets, and boxes are all fantastic decor pieces to adorn a coffee table. 

You can opt for woven baskets to bring texture into the design or add checkered boxes for a more modern touch. These elements offer the opportunity for you to show off your favorite finds and add fun, smaller pieces like beads or magnifying glasses, per Studio McGee. Baskets are so versatile and can be added to the top of a coffee table, or underneath it if space allows. Using items such as these also helps create additional storage capabilities in a living room. They can even be the perfect place to hide a Bluetooth speaker or set of gaming controllers.

10. Match the decor to the room's color palette

Keep things simple and match the tablescape to the existing color palette. If the room does not need bold, bright colors, stick to a single color scheme. Joss & Main shares that an effective way to pull a look together is by subtly matching the living space's colors. Keep the coffee table on theme by finding complementary shades of the colors you love in stylish boxes, vibrant flowers, or candles. Corral these items on trays or on top of a book pile for a complete look. 

If finding matching hues of grays, taupes, blues, and greens is not a fit for your space, opt for items made of similar materials instead. Discover pieces crafted from wood, ceramic, and glass and pair them together for a complete look. Items with finishes such as metals and woods are often carried through accent pieces like vases, lamps, and art, per MyMove. Accenting the table with decor of the same shades, tones, or natural elements keeps the space mellow and evokes a sense of calm in the area.

11. Keep up with seasonal changes

The coffee table is a place to rotate in seasonal decorative elements, according to HGTV. Keeping decor simple and transitional with accent pieces that can be seasonally changed is a great way to keep your look fresh. Bowls and glass vases are classic ways to add a pop of color to the coffee table, and are easy to change out or add flowers to. Blend in brown and taupe tones for fall feels, and pastel blues and pinks for a spring look. Create a cozy winter wonderland with shimmery silvers and rosy reds, or add some warmth during the summer months with fresh green tones. 

The coffee table is the perfect space to make the seasons come alive. A simple arrangement of seasonally appropriate flowers, some new books, and updated candle scents is all it takes (via Good Housekeeping). Make your space a whole mood for all the seasons this year.

12. Decorate below the table, too

Some coffee tables have a second shelf or space beneath the tabletop that can be decorated. If you need extra storage space, Apartment Therapy suggests adding baskets underneath as a possible solution. Additional storage is perfect for keeping remote controls, games, and coasters tucked away until needed. Complete the look with multiple baskets of the same color to help create a more uniform aesthetic. 

If baskets do not fit, try decorative boxes, or as TLC Interiors suggests, complement the space with storage poufs or ottomans. You may choose to style the bottom area with trinkets and small jars or seating options as pictured above. Remember to keep your personal style intact and practicality in mind. Aim to find baskets that complement the existing tones in the rooms or weave in an accent color. Focus on creating a space you want to spend time in. After all, it is your home.

13. Explore functional and purposeful pieces

Items such as trays, baskets, bowls, and coasters are perfect examples of both eye-pleasing and functional decor. Finding decor is a breeze when what you are searching for not only fits your style but your needs. Living rooms are places for you and your guests to relax, and a perfectly styled coffee table helps sustain that serene environment. 

When a space is clutter-free, it's easier to relax, as per Homes & Gardens. Pair your coffee table with items that will not only elevate your living room, but increase the quality of your life. For example, adding simple games and attractive books are excellent ways to bring uniqueness and purpose to the table. Find games dominoes or a sleek deck of cards to display here that double as decor. You can also leave your current favorite boolyingng open on the tabletop to encourage activity, suggests HGTV. Create a coffee table spread that is not only chic but also serves a purpose in your home.

14. Balance it out

The shape of the coffee table is often a determining factor in decor decisions. When making choices about your design ideas, keep shape in mind to find the perfect pieces to accent the coffee table. Look to adorn the tabletop with items that create a flow to help balance the space. HGTV suggests forming a grid to compartmentalize the styling arrangement. The squares you make when forming the grids help keep the decor complementary and uniform while still adding character. 

To help create balance and maintain functionality, TLC Interiors suggests leaving room for the pieces to breathe. No one wants plant leaves drooping in their drinks. Create the perfect tablescape on your coffee table by adding drama, creating focal points, and adjusting the height arrangement of objects in different sections on the table. Pile your stacks with personal pieces that speak about who you are and what your interests entail, allowing you to tell your story through your coffee table decor.