How To Style A Coffee Table Into A Stunning Conversation Centerpiece


The new year is upon us, which means this is a perfect time to spruce up your living space. Especially with so many of us spending more time at home, why not make it a more comfortable and beautiful place? One great way to do this is by styling your coffee table. And the best news? It is simple and does not have to cost you a dime.

This guide will show you how to style a coffee table so that it becomes a stunning conversation centerpiece. Keep reading to learn more.

Related: 2020 Coastal Design Trends

Selecting a Coffee Table

Ready for a new coffee table? You should select a coffee table that caters to two specific needs.


Coffee tables tend to fall into two functional categories; storage or surface only. Storage tables have drawers or a chest style that allow you to store items inside. These tables are an excellent choice for families with toys, blankets, or other things that would need to be stored away.


Your coffee table in and of itself is a design centerpiece in your living space. Use it as an opportunity to express your aesthetic. For a coastal design, consider rattan or lighter wooden elements. A concrete table is perfect for a more modern, minimal design style.

Coffee Table Styling Foundations

Styling a coffee table, new or existing, is a process of adding layers. Read on for the first foundational layers of your coffee table decor.

Start With a Base Layer

The base layer of every styled coffee table is a tray. Trays are both decorative and functional. They can protect your table’s surface from potentially damaging decor items and provide an additional decorative finish. A general rule of thumb is that the tray you select should still leave between 1/2 and 2/3 of the coffee table surface area available. Choosing a tray is a simple process.

For a sleek, minimal style, choose a tray that has a similar shape to your coffee table. In achieving that modern style, you will want the tray’s finish to resemble but not be identical to your table. For a more eclectic, romantic design, consider choosing a large tray with different but complementary shapes and finishes to your coffee table.

Using Coffee Table Books

The next layer of decor should be a small selection of coffee table books. Choosing the right combination of coffee table books is an art that includes finding books that are aesthetically pleasing and also that cater to your interests.

The book covers should be in neutral or matching tones that pair well with your overall design aesthetic.

You stack your books on the decorative tray while leaving about 1/3 of the tray surface area available for other items. Now the tray is the ideal home for your favorite titles.


Adding to Your Coffee Table Decor

Once you have selected a tray and coffee table books, the next step is to finish with other functional and decorative elements.

Storage Considerations

If your coffee table is missing storage on the sides or underneath then, you will want to select a decorative box or container that you can use to store remotes, matchboxes, or other items. This box should hold items that you wish to have nearby but that does not interrupt your table’s overall decorative style. Place this small storage container on your tray.

Additional Decor Elements

The finishing touches should be decorative elements that fit your preferences and lifestyle. A few ideas include:

You should limit these decorative items to four or less.

Related: Inspiration – The Colors of Miami’s South Beach

Remember This

Decorating a coffee table is the art of combining function, design, and personality to form a centerpiece that fits your home. For more home inspiration and ideas, explore our blog.

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