Ways To Style A Coffee Table

A coffee table is many things: a place to set your drink, a footrest, somewhere to stash the remote and — of course — a beautiful decorative addition to your living room. Or, at least, it has the potential to be all of these things. Your coffee table can also become a cluttered mess if you aren’t careful, or a drab disappointment if you’re scared to get a little creative.

1. Use books as a base. There are diverse items on this artfully styled coffee table, but the look is still neat and orderly. Beautiful books (or other flat items like serving trays or even stylish magazines) are a great base for layering.

2. Circles and squares. Books add smart structure, but if every piece is rectangular, the look can feel a little stuffy. This is where the circle comes in. Playing elegant curves against crisp rectangular corners mixes up the look for a classic combination. Try a circular vase, bowl, candle or paperweight either on or between squarer items to break up the lines and add visual interest.

3. Play with heights. Another way to add energy to your coffee table look is by playing with the heights of items. The rule of three can apply here as well. Try to achieve three different heights, using items of different sizes or by stacking them higher.

4. Candles and flowers. Flowers and taper candles are two design standbys that will help your coffee table style reach new heights. Additionally, flowers add a pop of color, while candlesticks can add a flash of glam metal, so they’re even better together. If you have multiple candlesticks, try slicing an inch or two off the bottom of one candle to vary the heights, adding even more interest.

5. Easy being green. Plant life also adds energy, introducing organic lines that contrast manufactured pieces.

6. Simple asymmetry. It’s worth noting at this point that these styling suggestions so far are just one approach. If all of these rules and formulas seem overwhelming, try the easiest approach of all: one item (or stack) placed asymmetrically almost all the way to one end. An asymmetrical approach is also very effective if your table is beautiful in and of itself. Place items off to one side or in a corner and let the table surface do most of the talking.

7. Square tables. For a perfectly square table, you may be tempted to use four matching pieces for a perfectly symmetrical look. However, you can get a more intriguing look by using two pieces or groups, one in each corner. Try a tall vase or lantern in one corner with a stack of two or three books in the other (and an airy sculptural accent on top).

8. Glass tables. Don’t forget when styling a glass coffee table that it’s not just about what goes on top, but also what goes below. A see-through table practically demands a graphic rug. Try a black-and-white rug and use similarly stark accents in differing shapes, or leave the top completely undressed and let the rug be the star of the show.

9. Two-shelf tables. If your coffee table has a lower shelf, you don’t have to fill both levels, but if you choose to, try lining up the items on each tier. Use two pairs instead of threes, and don’t forget to play with heights. A lidded storage box or small basket can help keep the bottom level looking sharp while giving you a place to stash items like remote controls.

10. Unusually shaped tables. Plants are even more friendly when the table is an unusual curvy shape. Gently drooping blossoms like tulips are especially great, as the organic forms will work together with the table shape and

Pretty Ways to Style a Coffee Table

  1. The Art of Coffee Table Styling
  2. Keep it Balanced
  3. Use a Tray
  4. Size Matters
  5. Work with the Room
  6. Keep it Low
  7. Don’t Overcrowd
  8. Stick with the Classics
  9. Take a 360 Approach
  10. Include One Statement Piece