Admittedly, coffee tables exist for function more than anything. You need a spot to put your drinks, magazines, car keys, and all of your random knick-knacks, after all.
But, your coffee table also presents an opportunity to add some style to your living room.
You can stack some books on it and call it a day, but you wouldn't be reaching the full potential of your coffee table.
Whether you need to organize your chaos, or you prefer things as minimalistic as possible, there are plenty of options for you to style your coffee table.
But don't underestimate it; coffee table styling is its own art form.
Your coffee table has a prominent position in your living room, so it is essential that it looks good and functions the way it should all at once.
Fortunately, once you get a few ideas, coffee table styling is easy to master.
Table Of Contents
- Maintain Balance
- Get Creative
- Composition Is Key
- Form A Grid
- Don't Overdo It
- Use A Tray
- Seasonal Swap Outs
- Use A Runner
- Work With The Room
- Don't Forget The Bottom
- Remember Your Coffee Table
1. Maintain Balance
Nothing makes for a cluttered surface faster than a bunch of random, small knick-knacks thrown on your coffee table.
Contrastingly, displaying only large items can look bulky and cumbersome.
Going the super minimal route and not displaying anything is boring.
To keep your coffee table balanced and stylish, vary the scale of display items and stack or group similar objects together.
2. Get Creative
Styling your coffee table starts with the table itself.
Instead of a traditional rectangle coffee table, uses heavy sculptural cylinders which can be moved around easily.
Or opt for a spool coffee table to make your living space truly unique.
3. Composition Is Key
Composition is a tricky thing to get the hang of, especially when it comes to coffee tables.
They key is to think about how all of the items on your coffee table will work together as a whole.
Sometimes they connect through color, sometimes, style, sometimes shape, and sometimes by theme.
Once it's completed your coffee table will look like a single unit, with each item fitting together with those around it.
When it's done really well, even items that are seemingly unconnected will still appear as one.
4. Form A Grid
Especially when working with an oversized coffee table, knowing where to begin is half the battle.
A simple way to make this less intimidating is to tape off sections to form a grid and position objects within the squares.
5. Don't Overdo It
Whether you're working with a big table or a small table, make sure you don't try to overdo it.
If you're working with an uncharacteristically small table, limit yourself to one, maybe two carefully selected items.
Even if you have a large table, don't go crazy and pile as much stuff on it as possible. Don't get objects that are too big, either.
6. Use A Tray
There's one simple trick many stylists use to ensure the items on a coffee table are going to work well together.
They use a tray to corral all the items.
It's an excellent way to force items together, and it helps make your table look unified.
If you're having trouble styling your table, take all of your items and try to make them work together on a tray.
If that doesn't work, start getting rid of some of the items.
7. Seasonal Swap Outs
If you're the type of person who has a short attention span when it comes to decorations, and you're always planning your next style, seasonal swap outs are just for you.
As a living room focal point, your coffee table is an excellent place to rotate seasonal decorative elements.
Nothing says summer like a conch shell; nothing says spring like a vase of fresh tulips.
8. Use A Runner
This is a good idea especially if you have an upholstered coffee table, like an ottoman.
Use your runner to experiment and play with patterns that pop against your table.
9. Work With The Room
Your coffee table doesn't exist in isolation, and it should work with the other items in your living room.
For example, if you have rough wood in your mantel and wood blinds, you can compliment them with a raw wood coffee table and some of the accents.
10. Don't Forget The Bottom
If you have a two-tiered coffee table, it will require special considerations.
When it comes to the bottom shelf you still need to consider balance, composition, and scale, but it should always be simpler than the display above it.
Keep the styles similar, but try not to detract from what's above.
Remember Your Coffee Table
When you're designing your living room, don't forget about your coffee table.
If it's utilized correctly, it can add style, class, and personality to your living room without much effort.
However, if you neglect your coffee table and use it for knick-knacks and empty soda cans, it can take away from the living room, and it's often the only thing people notice, for all the wrong reasons.
Using the ten ideas above, you can style a coffee table that enhances your living room and impresses your guests.
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