Throughout its life, a coffee table will house everything from cups and saucers to discarded keys and loose change, but, aside from the functional benefits, these integral living room features also make incredible decorative platforms. As the focal point of most living spaces, coffee tables present a perfect chance to let your inner interior stylist loose.
What’s the secret to stylishly decorating coffee tables? Luckily there’s a tried-and-tested formula seen in the very best interior design projects to answer that. The formula in question—a carefully curated fusion of four key elements: varying heights, organic elements, a tray vignette and a personal touch.
Once you’ve chosen which coffee table style you want, look to our illustrated step-by-step guide for how to perfect your styling game.
A coffee table is always brought to life by something organic so it’s best to start there. Divide the coffee table into four quadrants and, in one, place a plant, a vase of flowers or a moss bowl for some colour and vibrancy.
If you have a contemporary coffee table, try out strong shapes and clean lines; if it’s more decorative, delicate blooms in a charming vase work really well. And, remember, even faux flowers can work—with even less upkeep.
Next up, height. Although most coffee table decor should be relatively low-profiled (practicality), there’s no reason why you can’t play with height, even subtly. Decor pieces sporting a range of statures will make your coffee table arrangement look a lot more interesting.
A delectable candle in an attractive container, a pretty jar or urn (storage and beauty in one) and a pattern-rich marble disc are a killer trifecta.
Refined yet useful, a coffee table tray is a styling mainstay. A tray helps smaller trinkets to not get lost amongst larger pieces, balances out proportion and emphasis and creates an easy, instant vignette.
Shape and size are completely up to you. Coordinate your tray’s shape with that of your coffee table for a pleasant repeat; contrast the textures of a rustic coffee table with the interesting undulations of a silver antique tray; or choose an oversized tray for statement appeal.
A well-curated coffee table collection isn’t complete without something a little personal. A stack of favourite coffee table books, a sculpture, a small memory box or an intriguing rock you spotted on the beach during a special holiday are just a few options.
Non-directional items—those which look good from any angle—are the key here and will end your coffee table styling on a strong note.