Coffee table is one of the most important pieces of furniture in your living room. It’s much more than just a place to put your coffee/wine glass or plates. It acts as an anchor for the furniture around it (chairs, sofas, etc.) and is the focal point in your living room. 

It is then quite apparent that it has to be designed to elevate your living area. Does throwing some books on it with some plant feels ‘Meh!’? Worry not my friends, my 6 steps will help you style your coffee table to the next level and with ease!

Step 1: Use Trays as a Base

Trays are a great starting point as they act as a foundation for your coffee table decor. Trays provide a definition to your design by providing structure and symmetry and also anchoring tabletop items that may otherwise feel ‘floating’. The right tray can corral items on a table into one elegant and unified presentation. And yes, you can get creative with your selection of the trays! With the right tray squared away, you are now ready to start building up on your coffee table design. For my design, I used a large stylized tray from Good Earth imprinted with imagery evocative of a royal artwork. The unique graphic on the tray makes it an instant statement piece giving a rich, curated look to the design to begin with.

Step 2: Use Books to add Layers

Books are a great way to start building up on your coffee table styling as they add layers to your design. And with their beautiful covers and graphic spines, they provide color and personality to your coffee table design. Go ahead and display some of your favorites! They’re great conversation starters, giving your guests some insight into your interests, whether home design, fashion, cooking, wildlife or gardens. They can go both on top of the tray as well as or the side. In my design, I picked a few of my favorite books to build up layers and yes, the books are interesting enough to pick up and read as well! Now we’re really starting to build up that perfect vignette!

Step 3: Create Visual Levels

Creating visual levels is key in a coffee table design as they keep the eye moving! Think about creating visual levels by using small decorative boxes, playing cards, petite pots, candle holders, etc. Make things interesting by adding a planter by way of a large or small vase. This is your chance to get creative! For my coffee table styling, I added a small vase and a decorative inlaid box to create varying levels of height to create intrigue and interest.

Step 4: Place Decor Objects on Layers

Since it’s the center of your living space, the coffee table is a great place to display your favorite finds. What makes the coffee table special is a curation of items that reflect your own personality in the design. Adding a few decor objects on top of the books is how you get there. These can be bargain finds or souvenirs (and not necessarily expensive pieces) that will bring in that curated and collected look to your coffee table design. For my design, I picked a hand blown glass knot and a glass pumpkin that I picked up in one of the Halloween pumpkin patch events. I brought in some liveliness by using a unique figurine and a Llama decor piece. Make it your own style statement… We want to create a striking coffee table vignette that can become the focal point of your living area!

Step 5: Create Mood with Candles

Candles are the perfect accessory to create some mood lighting in your living room. And your coffee table is just the right place to add in some mood lighting! Take your design up by a notch by adding attractive candle holders and scented candles (e.g. lavender, rose, etc. gives you a soothing and calming vibe) to set the mood. Candles can create mood, give off a relaxing vibe and add a touch of unique lighting to your coffee table decor. In my design, I went with a unique candle holder that creates a beautiful reflection around it with a lighted candle. And with a scented candle, it becomes a perfect setting for those quiet and cozy evenings!

Step 6: Liven up with Greenery/Flowers

Greenery helps liven up your space and makes the area feel energized and alive. Add your favorite greenery to your coffee table to energize your space. You can bring in a couple of succulent plants in petite planters or use fresh flowers. Small plants are a great low maintenance fuss-free way to bring life to your space! Alternatively, Opt for faux plants if you find yourself forgetting to water your plants often. For my design, I found the perfect ceramic planter to drop in a plant. Because of its unique design, this has become a conversation piece in itself!

Bonus Tip!

You can also do so much more if you have a two level coffee table. The lower level can be home to a great selection of coffee table books, maybe even some board games for a quick game night or home to a couple of small baskets to corral your remotes and game controllers. The possibilities are endless!

Armed with these 6 steps, you can go from a ‘Blah!’ Coffee Table to a visually stunning vignette in your living room!