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.

Learn some of my tips and tricks on how to style a coffee table and you will become a pro in no time.

Graphic image with text "How To Style Your Coffee Table"
How To Style Your Coffee Table – Tips & Ideas
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that I think you may find useful – any purchases made via these links provide a small commission to me at no extra cost to you. This helps me keep the blog up and running.

Chairish Coffee Table Essentials Challenge

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 online 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;

table together with modern coffee table accessories
  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

Easy Guide How To Style A Coffee Table

(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 ordinary 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 easy basic guidelines that will show you how to style a coffee table like a pro.

It really isn’t that hard and this guide will help you create your own glossy magazine look coffee table in no time.

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 some 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 of)
  • Natural elements (plants, flowers, burlap, shells, stones – anything you like)
  • Candles – when lit in the evenings, the candles give the room a lovely cosy ambiance

The Basic Guidelines

Coffee Table with orchid plant and tray styled with home decor accessories
  • 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 surface 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 handy work too!

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.

*Update On How To Style A Coffee Table*

Tulip Arrangement Idea For Coffee Table Or Mantel

Since I wrote this post my kids are a lot older now so I thought I would update it with a few new ideas and images. They show how I now actually dare to use taller items on my coffee table displays without the fear of the little ones knocking them over.

2 glass vases with white tulips and spring twigs on top of coffee table

If you look through other posts that I share here on the blog you will see that I use tulips to decorate a lot because they are pretty cheap and look great.

This simple display was one that I recently shared together with a tutorial on how to make them, tulip care tips and tricks, and how to care for spring twigs and get them to bloom. You can find this here: How To Arrange Tulips In Glass Vases + Care Tips & Tricks

Homemade DIY Eucalyptus Wreath Centrepiece

Eucalyptus Candle Centerpiece
Eucalyptus Candle Centerpiece

This idea is to use a Homemade DIY Eucalyptus Weath to create a centrepiece together with a glass cake stand and some candles. I had this on show for quite a while as the eucalyptus wreath lasted really well.

Poinsettia displayed in silver rose bowl

And last but not least you can also check out my Christmas Home Tour where I show all the little seasonal decoration touches that I added around our home including the coffee table.

I hope that you enjoyed this post and have picked up a few ideas and tips to help decorate your own home.

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Orchid Image courtesy of Maggie Smith at

3 thoughts on “How To Style A Coffee Table

  • at

    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!

  • at

    This looks wonderful, especially the turquoise vase. Have a lovely day.


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