Earlier this week, Bridget shared her gorgeous new rectangular coffee table in her family room. Obviously, I’m obsessed with the look since I have the taller version of this table as our dining room table!
Because Bridget’s table is so large, she has been having trouble styling it just right. You want it to function for your everyday life, but you also want it to look nice. The struggle is real. When we were making a gameplan for her to style her new table, we realized that we’ve never really chatted about styling coffee tables here on the blog. And there are so many tips to share!
First, it’s important to style based on the size and shape of your coffee table. I have a round coffee table in our family room (still loving this piece!) because the rest of the furniture in our living room has straight lines. We have a sectional with straight lines, a huge straight dining room table, and a large rectangular rug taking up a large portion of the room. Not to mention built-ins that are full of square and rectangular boxes. So many straight lines!
That’s why I knew a round coffee table was the way to go. It has helped soften the room and make things a lot less harsh in here. But what do you put on top of your table? Let’s dive into some of my tips…
How to Style a Round Coffee Table
Above All Else…Keep it Functional
Of course, we all want every surface in our home to be styled to perfection, but it’s not always realistic when you’re living a busy life! So the first tip is to make sure that your coffee table look works for you and your family. We don’t have kids or pets, so having a few “breakables” on the coffee table is a-okay. However, you may need to keep your coffee table clear most of the time, and then just style it when you entertain or have guests over. That works too!
Start with a Tray
I always recommend placing a tray on top of your coffee table. In fact, I do the same on our dining room table. If you need a clear table, you simply lift the tray and it’s empty and bare in 2.5 seconds. If you have a round table, I suggest going with a square or rectangular tray. Round on round would not be a good look. However, a round tray could work well for a rectangular tray (as evidenced by the tray on B’s dining room table).
My white tray is from West Elm and I love their selection (they have my same lacquer tray in small, square, rectangular, and round!). Target and HomeGoods are also great resources for trays. Just make sure you go large enough so they can fit all of the items that you need to style.
Add your Favorite Books
A coffee table needs some pretty coffee table books. I’ve had these 2 books on here for quite some time, but I love their size and colors. The bottom book was a gift from my mom…100 photographs from TIME magazine. It’s a gorgeous book full of historic black and white photos that have been taken over the last few decades.
I feel like every blogger and designer uses this top book because the black and white striped spine is the ultimate styling tool. What a beautiful spine to add some pattern to a boring table! If I ever write a book, I will definitely make sure the spine is on point! The book is called, “Elements of Style” and it’s by blogger/designer, Erin Gates. Of course, I love having this book out because of the pretty spine, but I also love that it gives guests a glimpse into my passion for home interiors.
When choosing coffee table books, I believe it’s crucial that they mean something to you. Yes, you want them to be the right size, hardcover, and have spines that work well with your room…but the titles should also tell a bit about your story and your interests. Be intentional with the books you choose.
Sneak in Secret Storage
I always like putting a decorative piece on top of the coffee table books. In this instance, I have a marble box. This was a gift from a few years ago and it’s another West Elm piece (this one is similar). While the box is decorative and pretty, it’s also home to some secret storage.
Inside this box, we keep our playing cards and Uno cards. Nice to have some games on hand when we’re hanging in the family room and don’t feel like simply watching TV. Boxes are great because they can secretly hide things that you might need in the family room. A bigger box could be the perfect place to stash away your remote controls and keep them out of sight.
Display Pretty Coasters
I don’t know about you, but we’re coaster people in our house. Ever since we got a new coffee table, I want to do everything I can to keep it looking good. Finn & I are both always chugging water, and the worst thing is when our water glasses sweat and leave rings around our home. That’s why we use coasters on pretty much every surface in our place.
If you want your guests to follow your lead and respect your furniture, style with cute coasters. They’ll then get the hint that you want them to use them. These marble ones are from Crate & Barrel and we’ve had them forever! I also always see cute ones at HomeGoods, so be sure to check there.
Bring in Life
Whenever I buy fresh flowers, I’ll often display them on our coffee table. It brightens up the entire room and adds some freshness to the space. Lately, I’ve been on a tulip kick…my favorite bloom for spring!
A vase full of flowers (or faux greenery) adds height to the low table and brings in some color and freshness. I highly recommend that you don’t skip this step when you style a round coffee table.
Other Table Ideas
This is my go-to formula when I have to style a round coffee table. In fact, I did a similar setup in this living room reveal. Tray, books, box, coasters, a vase with greenery…it works for just about any family room situation!
Candles are also a great coffee table addition, and you could even hide matches in a cute box. I also love the idea of doing a basket on the second level of a coffee table or even a wicker tray to add some texture.
So there you have it…my tips to style a round coffee table. Bridget is still working on the perfect look for her new coffee table, but she plans to share what she learns along the way in a blog post real soon. So whether you have to style a round coffee table, or a square/rectangular one…we will have all the tips and tricks you need to get the perfect look.
Now I want to know, what are some of your favorite coffee table books? I’d love to add some new ones to my collection!