How to Decorate a Coffee Table Like a Pro: 13 Designer Styling Tips 

Elevate your living room's ambiance with deisgners coffee table decorating tips. Discover how to blend functionality with style, incorporating elements like books, candles, and personal touches to create a visually appealing and inviting space. From the basics of decor to seasonal updates, master the art of coffee table styling with our comprehensive guide.
how to Decorate a Coffee Table Like a Pro


The coffee table: often the centerpiece of any living room, it’s more than just a spot to rest your drink or display a stack of books. It’s a key player in defining the ambiance of your space, blending functionality with personal style. 

Whether you’re aiming to refresh your room’s look or starting from scratch, the art of decorating a coffee table can transform your living area into a harmonious and inviting space. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through practical tips and creative ideas on how to decorate a coffee table, turning it into a stunning focal point that reflects your style and meets your living needs.

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How to Decorate a Coffee Table: Understanding the 3 Basics

noguchi table

Before diving into the trays, books, and decorative pieces, let’s establish the groundwork for a well-styled coffee table. Achieving that magazine-worthy look requires a blend of functionality, style, and personal touch.

Functionality Meets Style

Your coffee table should not only be functional but also reflect your style. Decorate it keeping in mind your daily usage, leaving enough space for your coffee cups or remote controls.

Choosing a Theme

Align your coffee table decor with the theme or style of your living room. Choose a cohesive element that complements the overall vibe of your space, either through color, material, or decorative accents.

Color Scheme Coordination

A cohesive color scheme is vital for a well-decorated table. Look around your living room and take note of the dominant colors and accents. Your coffee table decor should harmonize with these hues, whether you’re matching with the room’s color palette or choosing complementary colors for a pop of contrast.

By keeping these foundational principles in mind, you’re well on your way to creating a coffee table display that not only looks great but also serves its purpose. Next, we’ll delve into the essential elements of coffee table styling, where the real fun begins.

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How to Decorate a Coffee Table: 7 Essential Elements to Work On

A well-styled coffee table is not just about placing random objects on a surface. It’s about carefully selecting items that enhance the room’s decor while adding functionality. Here are 7 key elements that our designer says things you must consider:

1. Books and Magazines

oh to Decorate a Coffee Table with  Book and magazine

Start with a stack of beautiful hardcover books or a selection of magazines. Choose topics that interest you or titles with visually appealing covers that match your room’s aesthetic. Not only do they add color and texture, but they also provide guests with something to browse.

2. Trays and Containers

coffee table Trays and Containers

Trays are incredibly versatile for coffee table decor. They help corral smaller items, keeping the table organized and visually appealing. Consider a tray that contrasts with your coffee table for an eye-catching effect. Containers like small boxes or bowls can hold miscellaneous items like remotes, keeping them handy but out of sight.

3. Decorative Objects

coffee table:  Decorative Objects

Incorporate objects that speak to you, whether it’s a vintage find, a sculptural piece, or something that holds sentimental value. Playing with items of various heights and textures adds depth and interest to your coffee table. Just ensure a cohesive aspect, like material or color, tying them together.

4. Greenery and Flowers

to decorate coffee table with flowers

Adding a touch of greenery or a floral arrangement brings life and color to your coffee table and, by extension, your living room. Whether it’s a low-maintenance succulent, a vibrant bouquet, or a simple potted plant, greenery can complement any decor style.

5. Candles and Scents

to decorate a coffee table w

Candles not only add a warm glow but also can introduce a pleasant aroma to your living space. Choose candles in jars that match your decor or go for scent diffusers. These elements add a layer of ambiance, making your living room feel cozy and inviting.

6. Personal Artifacts and Collectibles

to decorate a coffee table with personal things

Adding personal artifacts or collectibles can give your table a unique touch that reflects your interests and travels. Whether it’s a piece of pottery picked up on vacation, a handcrafted sculpture, or a collection of vintage camera lenses, these items can tell a story and serve as great conversation starters. Displaying personal artifacts adds a layer of intimacy and character to your living space, making it distinctly yours.

7. Interactive Elements

to decorate a coffee table with chess

Consider adding interactive elements to your coffee table decor to engage guests and create a dynamic space. This could include a beautiful chess set, a stack of intriguing card games, or a collection of interesting coasters from different countries. Not only do these items add a playful touch, but they also encourage guests to interact with the space, making your living room more inviting and entertaining..

8. Ottomans as Coffee Tables

to decorate a coffee table with an ottoman

An ottoman can double as a coffee table and offer additional benefits such as extra seating or storage. When using an ottoman, consider a tray to provide a stable surface for decorative items or beverages. Choose an ottoman that complements your living room’s aesthetic, whether through color, texture, or style.

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How to Decorate a Coffee Table: 5 Layout and Arrangement Tips

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Creating a visually appealing coffee table display is an art. Here are some of our designer tips to help you achieve balance and style:

1. The Rule of Three

Grouping items in threes creates a visually pleasing arrangement. This rule of thumb can apply to clusters of objects, sets of books, or any other grouping on your table.

2. Varying Heights

Mix items of different heights to create depth and keep the eye moving. Consider a tall vase next to a low stack of books, or play with the heights of candles and planters.

3. Space for Necessities

While styling is important, functionality is key. Leave enough space on your coffee table for everyday items like beverages, snacks, or remote controls. A well-designed coffee table serves both aesthetic and practical purposes.

4. Texture and Material Contrast

Mixing textures and materials on your coffee table can create a visually compelling setup. Combining sleek metallic with soft woven or glass elements with rustic wooden pieces can add depth and coziness to your living space.

5. Negative Space

Don’t overlook negative space on your coffee table. Leave some parts clear to avoid clutter and highlight your chosen items. It can enhance the overall aesthetic and give it a more intentional look.

Seasonal Updates and Refreshing Your Decor

So there you are, 13 designer tips to keep your guest’s eyes blazing with awe. However, things should not stop here. Alike of your old Android, the periodic update is needed. 

To keep your coffee table decor fresh is as simple as introducing seasonal touches or rotating displays. Swap out decorative items, books, or floral arrangements to reflect the current season or upcoming holidays. This not only keeps your living room looking vibrant but also allows you to experiment with new styles and arrangements. 

Like this spring-ish ottoman that should bloom like a beautiful plump flower in the early spring. For one that is not only aesthetically practical but also versatile enough to accompany your lovely coffee table:

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As we wrap up, remember that decorating your coffee table is an opportunity to express your style and enhance the overall ambiance of your living room. Experiment with different arrangements and elements to discover what works best for your space and lifestyle.


How do I choose the right size decor for my coffee table?

Choose decor items that are proportional to your coffee table’s size. Aim for items that leave at least a third of the surface area visible. Also, consider the height of items to avoid obstructing the view across the table or interfering with conversation.

Can I mix different styles on my coffee table?

Absolutely! Mixing different styles can add depth and interest to your coffee table decor. Find a unifying element that ties the different styles together, such as a color scheme or material. Remember to maintain balance and avoid overcrowding the table with too many conflicting styles.

What if I have a small coffee table?

To decorate a small coffee table, focus on a few statement pieces that don’t take up too much space. Use items with dual purposes, like a decorative box that can serve as storage. Remember, less is often more; prioritize simplicity and elegance.

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