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Tips for Coffee Table Styling

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

Our coffee table is one of my favorite pieces in our home. Styling a coffee table is very simple, but there are a few rules of thumb to make sure your space is clean and dynamic. Read on for my tips on how to style a coffee table.

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The living room is definitely where we spend most of our time and our extra large coffee table is probably my favorite piece. This large wooden coffee table is perfect for game nights and entertaining (especially with pets because there is enough room to put wine and water glasses far enough away from the edge safe from tail wags and dog zoomies 🙃). But whether you have a large coffee table, a small one, rectangular or round, styling your coffee table is a simple way to make your living room more homey, have some of your favorite things front and center, and reinforce your home style. Here are my 8 tips that I used for styling my coffee table.

Coffee Table Style Tips


Add objects in groups. This keeps the décor organized and clean. Using books, large bowls, and trays is an easy way to create groups -- my acrylic tray from Amazon is a personal fave! It organizes some of my favorite objects without adding a big block of color to cover up the beautiful wood of our farmhouse coffee table. NOTE: If you coffee table is glass, maybe opt for a solid, wood or marbled tray to bring a different color or texture you your space.

If you have a bottom section to your coffee table, stacking books or photo albums, storage baskets or extra throw blankets are great ways to make groups.


To make the space dynamic and balanced, you want to create different levels with the décor on your coffee table. Adding items that have different heights and using stacked books to make different levels will help the surface feel balanced. I always have a tall vase with something in it, a tall diffuser, bowl or candle and then lower books, coasters or shallow trays. Some other ideas for height are tall tapered candles, long sculptures or decorative vases.


This one may be obvious but it is worth mentioning -- leave blank space on the surface of your coffee table. First, you don't want it to feel too cluttered or crowded, and second, you want your family and guests to have easy places to set drinks, plates, phones etc. when sitting around your living room.


For a homey feel, adding something natural as a focal point will help create height and a warmth to your space. Whether that is fresh or dried flowers, stems or greenery or even faux, something from nature will bring a different texture and feel to the décor. If you are on a budget and can't have fresh flowers every week, try a dried bundle. They last much longer and are just as beautiful in my opinion.

This is also where I switch up my décor seasonally. In the spring and summer, it is fun to have fresh flowers and/or greenery like large silver dollar eucalyptus; in the fall having some harvest-colored dried stems or pampas grass warms everything up, and winter pine bunches that match your holiday trees or garlands is always fun and cohesive.


It is no secret that coffee table books are some of my favorite things. There are so many gorgeous ones out there that you can find the perfect size and color that you are looking for. I recommend heading to a second hand bookstore or Half Priced Books to search through previously-loved books to get some winners for less.

This is also where you can show your personality. Choose books (or even magazines) that are interesting to you or remind you of something or somewhere you love. Magazines are a great way to get "the stack" on a budget, but make sure they are similar sizes and colors so it doesn't come off too cluttered or junky.


Show your personality not only through sight, but the sense of smell as well. Reed diffusers are my favorite because you don't need to light them for them to make your room smell like your favorite scent. Both diffusers and candles can be beautiful decorative objects that appeal to multiple senses to make your living room feel more homey and personal. Plus yummy smells make people happy!


Remember to be mindful of colors and textures as you add objects, books and trays so your coffee table décor matches the rest of your living room and home style. Too many colors can appear cluttered if not done correctly. Introducing different textures like ceramics, glass, wood and metals can add different elements without introducing too many bright colors.


And my final tip is remember coasters! Having coasters easily seen and accessible will make it easier for you and your family to remember to use them so you don't wreck your beautiful coffee table. It's also nice to have them out and easily seen for when guests are over so they do not have to ask or hold their drink the whole time 😊.


There you have it -- eight simple steps to styling your coffee table. If you are interested in how I style the rest of my living room, follow me in the app! 🤍 Shop my coffee table and other items below.

Shop the post! @nettie_schmidty on


Check out more of my home styling tips in my Home & Lifestyle blog section.



What is your favorite piece of décor on your coffee table? Tell me in the comments!


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