5 Ways to Style a Coffee Table Like a Pro

There is a mix of both art and science to decorating, whether it’s an entire home, a single room, or even a simple array of objects on your coffee table. The art is selecting the style of furniture or objects on display, and the science is what makes putting these objects together to be pleasing to our eye. I have 5 never-fail tips for styling a coffee table, making it the difference between a jumbled mess of remotes and magazines, and a beautiful, curated collection of objects.

1. My favorite element for coffee table styling is a tray, an instant organizer. In this coastal retreat project, I used 2 trays in contrasting materials, one blue lacquer and one a reed basketweave. A group of small things placed on a tabletop is really sort of a mess, but placed within the confines of a tray, they gather into an instant collection. And while this table was clearly staged with the camera in mind, in real life a tray is where the accoutrements of modern living end up being contained, like remotes, coasters, reading glasses, etc.

Beth Lindsey Interior Design

Beth Lindsey Interior Design

2. My second rule of coffee table styling is to include something living - either a plant or flowers from your garden. Coffee tables by their very nature are hard, flat surfaces so they really need the organic element to liven them up!

Beth Lindsey Interior Design

Beth Lindsey Interior Design

3. Next, you should vary heights. Always ensure that an object with height is included in your tablescape. It doesn’t have to be too tall, as that can become a distraction (or a hazard, if you have kids), but tall enough to draw the eye. In this case the designer used flowers as the tallest element, but even without the flowers, the vase is tall enough on its own.

William McLure

William McLure

4. My fourth element in the art and science of coffee table styling is books. There is a reason they are called “coffee table books,” so use them lavishly! 

Elle Decor

Elle Decor

5. And my final element for a successful tablescape is a scented candle. Coffee tables are usually in the center of the room, so there is no better place to distribute a scent. Plus, when lit, they are so pretty flickering in the middle of the room.

One Kings Lane

One Kings Lane

I hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial. Happy styling! 

Warmly, 

Beth