Styling a coffee table is one of those easy decorating projects that can quickly get overwhelming—and maybe even a little out of control. Personally, I always lean toward a less is more approach in that you can typically see most of the coffee table and be able to use the space.
Here are my three simple tips for styling your coffee table:
1. Start with nothing.
What I mean is, clear everything off your coffee table that’s currently there. Wipe your coffee table down with a cleaning product that’s safe for the material. So, for a wood table, use a product that’s safe for wood to wipe it down. For our concrete table, I do a quick swipe with a disinfectant wipe and then just a damp towel to avoid a residue.If you’re truly starting with nothing — meaning you don’t have a coffee table, I added a whole section on how to choose the right coffee table for your style and space below.)
2. Select Your Base Layer.
This can be anything from a large tray — round, square, rectangular — to add some dimension and to ground everything else you’ll add. I like using just one really large base layer like the rattan basket tray I found, and then leaving the rest of the table clear for coasters and drinks or a book that might find themselves on the table. You could also use something like:
3. Add in Variety.
Coffee table books: Use various sizes and thicknesses of coffee table books to create a layer on top of your base layer. Since it’s finally spring, I decided to use a few of my favorite flower books for the table.
Small bowl: You can also incorporate a small bowl as a catchall for smaller objects like your matchbook collection, small crystals, potpourri and more.
Find The Coffee Table for Your Style & Space
If you have a a more traditional, three-cushion couch—not a sectional or doesn’t have a chaise—you have the most flexibility when it comes to the shape of the coffee table you decide to purchase. For a three-cushion, traditional sofa, I recommend a round or rectangular coffee table.
If you have a large sectional couch, choose a coffee table that fits nicely within the open space of your sectional sofa. If your couch is a U-shape, I recommend a square or round coffee table. If your couch is an L-shape, you could also fit a rectangular-shaped coffee table in front of the longer portion of your couch. You could also use a round coffee table and place it more toward the connecting point of the L-shaped couch.