The coffee table really is the workhorse of a living room. It’s expected to hold drinks, serve as an occasional foot rest and maybe even as an impromptu dining table — all while looking great. And while it might seem like styling a coffee table should be an easy feat, it’s one of those tricky details that can prove to be a little challenging. With that in mind we asked our designers to dish up a few tricks for putting the final touches on coffee table decor.
Pictured: Styled coffee table in our NYC apartment redesign.
Use a tray
A tray can be the difference between your coffee table feeling cluttered or pulled together. Corral all those knick-knacks! Image via Skonahem
Bring the outdoors in
A beautiful rock or shell can be just the sculptural touch that your coffee table needs. Image via Pinterest
To keep everything from feeling flat, bring in vases or candles for some height. Image via The Home I Create
They’re called coffee table books for a reason. Play with color coordinating the books on your coffee table or just pick out those with your favorite covers to display. Image My Domaine
Round Coffee Table Styling
Just because the coffee table in our New York City pied a terre project is small, that doesn’t mean it can’t make a big impact. We made a textual statement with the juxtaposition of quartz, Lucite and leather.
Coffee Table Tray
Vary the object heights for visual interest. We like grouping our objects in threes for a cohesive feel. Image via Rue Magazine
Coffee Table Styling
Use color to unify the objects on your coffee table by sticking with a limited palette. Image via Lonny
Colorful Lacquered Trays
The wood lacquered trays from West Elm come a wide variety of sizes and colors, so you’re sure to find one that works for keeping all your objects in one place and looking great.
Resin Display Boxes
These honeycombed patterned boxes made of resin and bone pack a graphic punch and are perfect for hiding away TV remotes.
These handmade copper candlesticks are inspired by 1980s Italian design and traditional American colonial candlesticks. Modern with a vintage twist, they’re the perfect way to add a little height to your coffee table vignette.
This amethyst point does triple duty — adds a sculptural element, a pop of color and brings in bit of nature. And that little bit of sparkle doesn’t hurt.