How to style a coffee table

Coffee tables always evolve. They develop and change overtime and the thing about them is that, we can change the way we style them to "redecorate" our homes without really going through the reconstruction phase. I mean, coffee tables have great impact in homes and I've put together a few tips on how to style a coffee table with the Anglo-Indian Mid-Century Brass Tray Side Table from Chairish.

How to style a coffee table - Basic Tips

TIP # 1 - The Basics
Candles + Tray + Books or Magazines

The basic pieces that you can use in styling your coffee table are candles, small tray to hold your candles so they won't look cluttered, and books or magazines so your guests and visitors could read while waiting. 

TIP # 2 - Bird Cage & Candlestick
Place a candlestick or candlesticks inside the birdcage and that is it. Very stylish if you're opting to create a shabby chic vibe.

TIP # 3 - Succulents and Cacti
Arrange succulents and cacti in a group of 3 or 5. Use similar pots or the same color of pots to unify the whole look. You can also use different sizes of pots for depth. Artificial or real, it's up to you but make sure you place the group of succulents and cacti at the center of your coffee table.

TIP # 4 - Terrarium
Place one medium or large but not too large terrarium in the middle of the center table.

How to style a coffee table - On Design Styles

I will not tackle all design styles but I will share a few tips in styling and accessorizing coffee tables when you have a design style at home such as Boho, Shabby Chic, Modern, Scandinavian, and Industrial design styles still using the Anglo-Indian Mid-Century Brass Tray Side Table.

Boho Design Style
For boho design style, what you can do to style your coffee table is to use lace or crocheted pieces and top it off with succulents and cacti or potted plants, bowl or plate (either thrifted or brand new and either wood or porcelein) with seashell finds, rocks, and candies; messenger bottles, and crystals.

Shabby Chic Design Style
For shabby chic design style, you can style your coffee table by placing a white round tray with scallop detail, pretty thrifted candlestick holder, and little floral boxes and tin cans. You can also paint the legs of the coffee table white or any pastel color you like.

Modern Design Style
For the modern design style, keep it simple and minimalist. Place a small geometric sculpture or place 3 books or magazines of the same color.

SIMPLE DIY TIP: You can cover your magazines in plain gift wrappers. Or you can use pretty pocket folders and place them inside.

Scandinavian Design Style
For Scandinavian design style, what you can do to style your coffee table is to use wooden pieces such as a wooden box or a wooden bowl and then place a plant in a clear glass. You can also paint your table white.

Industrial Design Style
For industrial design style, use metal and wood. You can use a sculpture made of pipes or metals or use a metal vase.

The Art of Styling a Coffee Table

Here's a little secret in designing a coffee table: Don't put too much in it. When I was in design school, my professor thought us that when it comes to coffee tables, aesthetics become a priority rather than functionality and that's not the right thing to do in a home. Coffee tables are supposed to hold your guests' bags and belongings and they are supposed to hold the tray of drinks and snacks and you can't do that if you have so many stuff being displayed in the table. So here's a simple formula to remember when styling coffee tables.

To sum it up, the important thing to remember when styling your coffee table is space as functionality is more important than aesthetics. But when it comes to aesthetics, always use a tray or a any piece of which it will unify your items to create an uncluttered coffee table.

Have fun styling!

Disclaimer: This article is written in collaboration with Chairish but all thoughts and opinions are mine.

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  1. Love your styling tips, and the coffee table! Gemma x

  2. Really nice post!! Loved it!

    xoxo ♥

    Jéssica || Fashion Jacket

  3. Lovely post dear! Have a great weekend! xx

  4. I love these design ideas! We currently have some nice books on our coffee table. I would love to have plants on it, but my cats would just knock them over or eat them. -_-

  5. Rae, I like how you take one table and give it so many looks... they look amazing xox

  6. Oh very cute DIY darling!