5 Tips to Style your Coffee Table

When it comes to home decor, styling tops the list as our most favorite part of the decorating process. Oftentimes we fly through a DIY project, in eager anticipation of the final step…styling the big after shot!

We’ve both come a long way in styling vignettes, but we’ve only gotten better with practice and trial & error. Whether it’s a bookshelf, a kitchen nook, or a bar cart you just gotta play around with the area and tweak it as you go.

Today we’re going to give you some tips to style the perfect coffee table. This is just a basic guide or “formula” that you can use to transform your own table to give it a look that works with your home and your style.

In fact, we even styled 2 totally different coffee table looks using the same basic techniques. So class, let’s dive into Coffee Table Styling: 101.

Coffee Table Styling Tips

Here’s Casey’s adorable round table with a squared tray….White-Sectional-Couch-Coffee-Table

And here’s Bridget’s square table with a round tray (we swear we didn’t plan that)….
Gray coffee table tray
Tray
Tip #1
Use a Tray: We both firmly believe that trays are a must-have when it comes to styling a coffee table. Why you ask? Because if you ever need to clear the table quickly, you simply pick up the tray and set it to the side. Your little vignette stays cute and tidy, and you now have a nice spacious area to kick up your feet and relax. Trays help you corral all of your goodies and keeps everything in a nice, centralized space on your table and places like HomeGoods offer a very large variety of trays- all on the cheap!
West elm marble box
Basket for storage
Tip #2
Secret Storage: Similar to the tray idea, it is nice to have a way to corral the clutter while also HIDING it at the same time. Since our coffee table is two-tiered we have a nice little basket on the bottom level. This guy holds lots of “ugly” stuff. Remote controls, Xbox controllers, extra coasters, etc. It’s nice to just pull out the basket and toss stuff inside so you don’t have stuff everywhere! We also have some “secret storage” going on with that beautiful marble box. It’s from West Elm and was a housewarming gift. Not only is it gorgeous, but it also holds all of our Uno and playing cards. Functional and fashionable? Yes please! Bridget uses a faux marble looking tray from HomeGoods to hide her remote controls & X-box controller. She also hides a few kisses for her guests (or Matt..wink, wink) to enjoy.
Coffee-Table-Books
Tip #3
Make it Personal: A coffee table is an area where you can make a statement and showcase your style. Why not personalize it a bit so your guests can learn a little bit about you and your tastes? Coffee table books can often help show off your personality. Not only are they pretty, but they’re also entertaining so your guests can flip through your favorite finds. If books aren’t your thing, magazines, photo albums, or even a journal could be your “personal touch”.
Blue-Hydrangea-Plant
Tip #4
Add some Life: We’ve both admitted that we have complete brown thumbs. But that doesn’t mean we don’t attempt to keep things alive around here. Fresh flowers, a hydrangea plant, or even some (fake) greenery can all liven up a coffee table display. (Full disclosure here…this is hydrangea plant #2 for me, after the first had an untimely death after a weekend of no watering. Gotta love Trader Joe’s and their always amazing display of fresh plants and flowers. I found a replacement in no time!) We suggest you channel your inner gardener and bring some beauty to your table with something fresh.
Coffee Table style
Tip #5
Make it Pretty: Okay, so this may be very similar to Tip #3, but we still think it deserves its own category. So many people tend to throw cords, remote controls, and just general clutter on their coffee tables. But it doesn’t need to be that way. This is an area where you can show off your decor taste and overall style, so use it wisely! Shiny candles, pretty trinkets…anything is fair game for your coffee table display. Just keep it somewhat simple and don’t overdo it. You want it to look classy…not cluttered.
So let’s review….
1. Get a tray (they are everywhere now a days…)
2. Add some secret storage (a nice decor compromise for the gentleman’s coffee tray must-haves)
3. Add some personal touches (favorite books/magazines, candles, table topics… something!)
4. Add life (flowers, succulents, something that freshens up the space)
5. Make it pretty (our favorite part of course, but remember- LESS is more)
coffee table
Optional: 6. Sit back, pour yourself a beverage and enjoy the new look! We’re proud of you and that glamorous new coffee table tray!!
coffetablestyling
Bridget and Casey Signature
If you’re new to the DIY Playbook, we’d love to connect with you! You can find us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter. Or… come check out our homes, make yourself comfortable & stay while. We’re glad you stopped by!! 

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  • KristyDoyle

    I’m a big fan of leaving the top of the coffee table clear of everything, so it’s a blank space for your cups (or feet, as the case may be), so when we purchased a two-tiered coffee table a few months ago, I ordered a three-basket set from Amazon to slide on the second tier. Now the basket closest to the front door (our front door opens right into the living room) holds hats, scarves and mittens in the winter and sunglasses in the summer, the second basket holds phone chargers and “extra” remotes, and the third basket holds notebooks, pens and reading material. Then, on the top I have a small basket for the remotes we use on a regular basis. I love being able to corral our clutter and leaving the coffee table as blank as can be. Although I do love your adorable styling of the coffee tables!

  • Baskets are the best! Corral the clutter and keep it all looking nice…good thinking! If you do ever want to style up your table just a little bit, we definitely recommend using a tray. You can have that coffee table bare (and ready for feet!) in no time at all.