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Styling a Coffee Table: 3 Things To Keep In Mind

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

coffee table styling tips from a portland interior designer.

Second only to the kitchen as a prime hub of your home, the living room is a place to gather and grow. You want this space to be welcoming, relaxing, and functional. But you also want every detail to reflect, in some way, your personality and passions. And that’s why I love coffee tables. Not only does the table itself offer a great opportunity to express your style, but what you put on it can completely encapsulate who you are and what your family is all about. Take advantage of the opportunity the coffee table offers by keeping these 3 things in mind when styling a coffee table.

1. Keep It Simple.

home interior decor in portland with coffee table design in middle.

One thing I think we can all agree on is that flat surfaces like to collect stuff! Knickknacks, stacks of paper, bits and pieces, you name it, it ends up on the tables or on the shelves when we don’t know what to do with it. So I suggest styling your coffee table in a way that is simple and beautiful, that doesn’t encourage clutter and isn’t cluttered to begin with. Start with a tray, bowl, or vase (the horn vase on the mantlepiece above is one of my favorites!), fill them with a decorative item like beads, Schacht Decorative Balls, or flowers - something you like that matches the theme and aesthetic of your room. Then add a few other items like candles or sculptural pieces that coordinate with that central item. Keep the number of total decorative items to 5 or fewer so that when things inevitably gather, you can easily pair it back down to the basics.

2. Use Books to Style Your Coffee Table!

two books with small sculptural decoration on top of coffee table styled by interior design company in portland.

Books are great because they can serve multiple purposes; they are entertaining, often beautiful, and can very subtly introduce color and personality without being too bold or chaotic. Books also make a room feel a little bit warmer, even if there’s only one of them. Find books that talk about your passion or hobby, place your favorite magazine in plain view, or set a family photo album up for guests (and you) to flip through.

3. Style Your Coffee Table with Practical Items

how to style a coffee table with useful or practical items by a home decorator in portland.

Whether this is a small tray where you keep your keys, a candy dish, or decorative coasters, the coffee table is a part of your home that does serve a purpose beyond looking pretty, so make sure there is something that is useful to you on a daily basis. Another great way to add a useful element is to grab a cute basket or box that fits under the coffee table where you can store extra blankets, games, TV remotes, or slippers. That way the things that might end up cluttering the coffee table have a home close by!

No matter what your coffee table looks like, at the end of the day it’s a place to set down your drink or put that platter of movie snacks. Let your coffee table be both a decorative centerpiece in your living room and a functional piece of furniture that suits your lifestyle.

This blog may contain affiliate links or links to my shop, but I do not recommend anything I wouldn’t put in my own home!

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