How To Style A Coffee Table


When it comes to styling a coffee table, the options are seemingly endless. These living room staples typically have a large surface area and lower height which begs to display books and other decorative items. The design possibilities are exciting, but we hear from many homeowners they can also be a little overwhelming. We’re here to help! We’ve put together a list of foolproof rules to make any coffee table look sensational.

Vary Your Heights

style a coffee table

The key to coffee table styling– and all decorating!– is achieving a harmonized yet casual look. You want guests to notice the beauty of your space yet feel comfortable enough to settle in and kick off their shoes. A tip to cultivate this relaxed look is to vary the height of knick-knacks on your coffee table. Heights that are too similar will look rigid and stiff. Different heights add interest to the eye and give off a stylish yet homey vibe.

Use Artificial Silk Flowers

style a coffee table

Who doesn’t love fresh flowers? Of course, the time and care they require can be a little demanding on the average person’s resources. Our suggestion is to stick to silk flowers and plants. High-quality artificial plants look just like the real thing (unless you’re looking very, very closely!), and require zero care. They’re a great addition when you style a coffee table.

Stack Coffee Table Books in a Grid

style a coffee table

Coffee table books get their name because the low height of a coffee table is ideal for displaying beautifully designed covers. Stacking your books in a grid formation allows them to look great from any angle, and brings symmetry when you style a coffee table. Just be sure to add an odd number of other knick- knacks (like in the example above), which will prevent your arrangement from looking rigid.

Pull Accent Colours From Other Parts of the Room

how to style a coffee table

When it comes to picking colours to style a coffee table, you’ll want to look at accent colours that are already in your space. When we say ‘accent,’ we mean shades that are present but not dominant. Instead of matching to the walls, match to your window treatment or throw pillows. This gives your colour scheme harmony as well as variety.

Rule of 3s

style a coffee table

Odd numbers are very common in decorating because too much symmetry can often appear stiff and unwelcoming. There are exceptions –matching bedside tables and lamps, for example –, but generally when arranging ornamental items, groups of three look best. Test this out with a group of candles or vases and you’ll see how great your coffee table looks!

Use Contrasting Colours

style a coffee table

Generally, colours that match best are opposite in tones. Think of a colour wheel, with purple and yellows, blues and oranges, and reds and greens on opposing sides. Of course, you probably won’t want to stick to all primary and secondary colours while decorating since that palette can appear slightly childish. However, even if you use relatively neutral colours, you can use the colour wheel to guide you. A yellow-based taupe will look good with a muted lavender, for example. Or pair deep navy with orange, as in the picture above. When you style a coffee table, ask yourself what the base shade of a colour is and search for it’s opposite for a beautifully balanced template.

Now that you have these simple rules on hand, we’re sure your coffee table will come together in no time! Happy decorating, and be sure to follow along on the Medallion blog for more great decor ideas.