How To Style A Coffee Table

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Our coffee table is the one area in our home that I constantly change.

I love to switch, update and add seasonal touches

After taking a peek at, it has inspired me to take part in their “Coffee Table Essentials” Challenge.


For those of you that don’t already know Chairish, it is a great on-line site where you can buy and sell beautiful vintage furniture and décor, the shop exclusively features curator-approved treasures.


If you have never visited their site you should definitely make the effort – you may well find some inspiration!


The challenge involved styling one of their lovely coffee tables.  I chose the  ‘1 Drawer Tuscan Wash’ Coffee Table.


All the items I have included in the selection are available on the Chairish site (you can find the links to these items below).


Here’s what I came up with;


picture showing vintage decor accessories for the living room

  1. Glidden Ceramic Turquoise Planter
  2. Mirrored Stars – Set of 3
  3. 1 Drawer Tuscan Wash Coffee Table
  4. Vintage Indian Solid Brass Candlesticks – Set of 3
  5. Large Chrome & White Tray
  6. Large Turquoise Glidden Ceramic Vase


Coffee Table Styling

(It’s Not Difficult When You Know How)
Do you adore all the beautiful images of perfectly styled coffee tables that you see all over the
internet and in glossy magazines?  I know I do.


I used to think that it was only the top stylists that could fathom the mysteries of creating vignettes and curating numerous interesting curiosities.


Since moving to the Netherlands I have realised that this is not the case.


Many of my friends and family here have beautiful homes.


I’m not talking about the super expensive luxury homes of rich money tycoons but normal people like you or me.


Here it is normal to have stylish little displays placed effortlessly throughout the home.


The coffee table more often than not is the central focus of the room (especially when it is someone’s birthday and the house is filled with friends and family drinking coffee and eating cake).


Here are some guidelines that will help you create your own glossy magazine look coffee table.


The Basics – Ideas  Of What To Include In Your Display

  • First and foremost you need your coffee table! (I know, I know, I’m stating the obvious 😉 )
  • Find a tray!  Trays are great for creating a boundary
    and framing your accessories
  • Choose something with height
    – this can be anything from a large candlestick to a vase with some
    flowers (it’s up to you)
  • Choose something horizontal (could be books, an ornament or a low planter)
  • Some interesting or sentimental items (items you enjoy looking at or have special memories)
  • Natural elements (plants, flowers, burlap, shells, stones – anything you like)
  • Candles – when lit in the evenings, the candles give the room a lovely cosy ambience


The Basic Guidelines

  • Get a table that fits with the scale of the room
  • Pay attention that you choose items that have the correct proportions – you don’t want to swamp the table
  • Don’t be afraid of space – never use too many items and make sure you leave some of the table free (otherwise it can look cluttered and disorganised)
  • Stagger the heights, group similar items such as candles or ornaments and vary their height
  • Balance colour, texture and size (not too many different colours)
  • Try to pick a theme and stick with it (don’t try to include every nick-nack you own because it
    needs a certain amount of continuity)


Make It Personal

  • Play around!  Stand back, look at it and go with your
    gut feeling (I switch things around until I hit the right combination).  When you have got the right look you will know – then step away!  🙂
  • And finally, invite someone round for
    coffee so they can enjoy your handiwork too!
How to style a coffee table

My exceptions to the rule;


In our house, it’s no good having a really tall object because;

a) the kids will knock it over
b) we have a really small home so anything too big will look out of place
c) and to my annoyance, my other half will remove it every evening from the table as he can’t see the tv!

With the horizontal items;

Many style articles suggest that you need books.  I generally don’t do this (I’m not saying I never will though).  I create my horizontal with other items.


Here are some of the items I’ve had on my coffee table over the last couple of months.





 Easter Vignette Display On Cream Side Table


Curly Willow Twigs in A Glass Vase Displaying Cute Easter Decorations


Upcycled Office Chair With Modern Faux Fur Material
Orchid Image courtesy of Maggie Smith at

4 thoughts on “How To Style A Coffee Table

  • March 4, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Great tips, Sam! I've not heard of Chairish, but I'll definitely have to check them out! I LOVE that coffee table and the pretty blue accents you chose!

  • March 6, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    I have always kept mine just bare since if I put things on it they seem to be pushed aside for one of the kids projects. I would love for it to look like yours does. So pretty! Maybe I will try again.


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