How to Style your Coffee Table


You’re coffee table shouldn’t be just a place to throw your books, pile up clutter and use as a cup holder. It actually can serve as a piece of home decor if decorated right. I mean, it is usually the centerpiece of a room! It doesn’t matter how large or small the table might be, there are plenty of ways to spice it up and make your table pop.

Books and Magazines. Books and magazines are a great coffee table filler and add a personal touch. Stack them or lay them out so they don’t touch. Use books and magazines that you enjoy and reflect your interests. For monochromatic homes, coffee table books are a great way to add that pop of color you’ve been searching for without going overboard.


Trays. Trays are the classic coffee table accessory. They will never go out of style. Trays are a way to contain all the action happening on your coffee table. They bring everything together. You can put your candles, lanterns, books and magazines, vases and more in a tray and leave the rest of the table cleared off for everyday use. Trays are also a great way to make larger tables feel less massive.

Candles. I love the look of candles with different heights layered next to each other. A rectangle coffee table with 3-7 candles placed in the center makes for great coffee table decor. They key is to have an odd number of candles and makes sure the heights vary. The height of all the objects on the table cannot be the same. It is more appealing to the eye to have a variety of sizes and textures.

Plants and Succulents. Plants and succulants are great table fillers. If possible, fresh flowers are stunning but they require quite a bit of attention. That is why succulents can be a better option. Succulents require little care but add the touch of nature that your space is lacking.


Pottery. Vases are another go-to coffee table decor option and a classic centerpiece. You don’t always have to fill the vases or potter if the piece stands out enough on its own. Another variation of pottery are glass bottles.

Games. I wouldn’t recommend pulling out The Game of Life or Apple to Apples out of your closet and throwing them on the table, but I would suggest finding a wooden Dominoes set or Chess board. Believe it or not, stores like Restoration Hardware and Pier 1 Imports sell games that should be used as decor and they’re quite beautiful. I think Scrabble and Backgammon are also great coffee table classics if you can find the perfect set. Search for wooden boards for the transitional or rustic home, but for the contemporary or modern home look for metal or marble game boards.

Lanterns.Lanterns will always be my favorite piece of decor. It doesn’t matter if you place them outside your front door, on your night stand, on top of your dresser or on your coffee table, they always stand out. I would pair a medium sized lantern with  a small sized lantern that are the identical or similar on your coffee table. Make sure whatever lantern you use, it’s not so tall that you can’t see family, friends or the TV. The varying lantern heights makes for a great table composition and dimension.

Personal pieces. Objects that are irregularly shaped and unexpected to the eye, like spheres, sculptures, jewelry, or collectibles are great examples. Look through your junk drawers or check out the boxes piled in your basement.  This is your chance to be unique and bring something different and personal to the table (no pun intended).

Candy dish. How many times have you been excited to go to a home where you knew candy would be present? Maybe that’s just me. Buy a nice candy dish and fill it with treats that fit the season. I love wood carved candy dishes, like from Pier 1 Imports, or a marble dish, like at Restoration Hardware. The dish and candy becomes decor.

There are two instances where decorating your coffee table is unnecessary: If you’re space is for the minimalist or your coffee table is art in itself. There’s no reason to add a bunch of decor to your coffee table if it clutters your space. For a minimalist, less is usually better. If you have a coffee table that stands out and should be noticed on it’s own, do not worry about putting decor on it. Maybe one coffee table book or plant but besides that let it speak for itself.

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