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.

Use these coffee table styling tips to spruce up your living room.

Here’s Casey’s adorable round table with a squared tray….This tray on the wood coffee table is great for storage.

And here’s Bridget’s square table with a round tray (we swear we didn’t plan that)….
This industrial metal tray looks great on the wooden coffee table.
This grey coffee table tray is great for books, candles, or fresh flowers.
This silver coffee table tray works well with the tan rug.
A coffee table tray like this is great for books and storage.
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!
This West Elm marble box is great for storing card games.
This woven basket on the coffee table is ideal for storing coasters and remotes.
A coffee table tray is a smart way to store video game controllers.
This coffee table tray keeps books and remotes organized.
This mini bowl of chocolate kisses is a cute treat on the coffee table.
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 add character and charm to any space.
Personalized coffee table books are great reads for guests.
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”.
Fresh flowers and candles are cute additions to this coffee table tray.
Vases make great decorative pieces for any coffee table.
This dark wooden coffee table pairs well with the blue stools.
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.
A cute tray is a great way to decorate a coffee table.
Pretty vases, books, and boxes add decorative elements to the coffee table.
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)
This decorated coffee table pairs well with the design of the living room.
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!!
Styling your coffee table starts with a decorative tray.
Bridget and Casey Signature
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