We’d take a bet on your coffee table being the most used piece of furniture in the living room (after your sofa, obviously). As the centrepiece, how you style it always ends up making a big impact on the overall feel. In the spirit of low-effort- high-impact decor, here are 8 of our best ideas.
1. Coffee table books
Hands up who else has bought a book just because the cover looked nice? This tip is less about what’s inside the book, and more about how it looks (save your actual reads for the bookshelf). Style your coffee table by layering your favourite coffee table books in different sizes, starting with the largest at the bottom. Choose an overall colour scheme for your covers that works with the rest of your interiors. Whether you stack lots of books high or save a few smaller ones to put on display is up to you. To finish the look, add a decorative prop on top of your books - think candles, vases or coasters.
2. Plants and flowers
If you only have one plant in your living room, make it a coffee table one. Styling your coffee table with plants is one of the best ways to bring a fresh feel to your space. Stay small with individual succulents, or choose one statement houseplant. Elevate this even further by choosing a pot that compliments the decor. We’re big fans of stone, ceramic and wicker.
Image: @bougie.core via Pinterest
Just because something’s practical doesn’t mean it can’t be styled. From Friday night drinks to Sunday morning lattes - every coffee table needs coasters. Try stackable ones and experiment with shapes. Coasters are a great non-commital way to introduce another colour or texture to your living room. For laidback looks try coasters in linen, cork or leather. For contemporary spaces, style your coffee table with glass, slate or metal coasters.
The most memorable interiors have a signature scent, and this is where coffee tables come in. As the centrepiece of your living room, they’re naturally the best place to keep your favourite seasonal scents. A timeless more traditional coffee table calls for pillar candles and tealights. If you’re up for more experimentation, create an eclectic look with sculptural shapes.
Artwork doesn’t have to be reserved for only the walls. Add a bit of personality by styling your coffee table with abstract art pieces. Or, create a scaled-down gallery by using standing picture frames. Art is easy to switch out so look at it like an ongoing curation. Continually experimenting with removing and adding new things is key to nailing coffee table styling.
If you’re a fan of flowers on your coffee table, this one’s for you. Yes, vases serve a practical purpose, but they can also be art pieces in their own right. Create a mini flower arrangement with smaller vases at varying heights, or make a statement with a singular large vase. Choose your style of vase based on the rest of the room, and contrast them with other elements on your table. Choose asymmetric shapes and bold colours for contemporary spaces, or keep things simple with traditional styles.
Decorative trays can be used to ‘zone’ a coffee table, similar to how interior designers create distinct zones in rooms. Be led by the shape of your coffee table when choosing a tray to style it with. For example - circular or curved trays work best with round coffee tables. Keep an organic, neutral feel with wooden trays, or stay on-trend and elevate your coffee table with marble versions. Fill decorative trays with books, decorative objects, candles or vases, making sure they don’t end up cluttered with day-to-day items.
Use coffee table lamps as their own feature, and choose ones that give off a subtle, warm-toned glow. Avoid any direct, bright lights and keep them off-centre to create an inviting feel. When picking out a lamp, again, be led by the style of your living room. Mid-century and retro spaces will do well with conical shapes. Scandi and neutral living rooms will pair well with linen shades and any textured neutrals.