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9 Designer Tips for Styling Your Boring Coffee Table

ERA Evergreen



Apr 17 4 minutes read

What makes up a living room? Aside from comfy couches, elegant lighting, and a few throw pillows here and there, it will have a plain, unattractive coffee table right in the center of it all. Sure it serves its purpose and is quite handy when you want to eat takeout during movie nights, but apart from putting some trinkets and a few plants on it, we just can’t seem to make it look more attractive. So, how do we come up with a solution for this unsolved dilemma most homeowners have been figuring out for decades?

Give your coffee table (and your living room!) an easy update with these nine coffee table design tips. By following our guide, you can create a perfectly-styled look like a pro!

Keep the Balance

A collection of small knick-knacks can make your coffee table look like a cluttered surface, and displaying ONLY large items can make it look heavy and cumbersome. So, to keep your coffee table balanced, vary the scale of your display items or stack like objects together.

Form a Grid   

Are you working with an oversized coffee table? Knowing where to begin is already half the battle, so consider taping off sections to form a grid and position objects within the squares. Doing so will help sectionalize your styling and make the task less intimidating.


Seasonal Swap-Outs are Helpful

We all know that coffee tables are a living room’s focal point, so use them to rotate seasonal decorative elements. Put out an elegant vase of fresh tulips in Spring or place a sea conch on a stack of books for beachy vibes. Come Fall, swap out the shell for a pumpkin or gourd. The choices are endless!

High and Low

Displaying items at the same eye level makes it hard for them to get noticed. To create a more eye-catching vignette, make sure to vary the height and scale of your coffee table’s decorative objects.

Three is Key

The age-old rule of threes comes in handy, even when styling your coffee table! Divide your tabletop into three sections and let it help you decide where things look best. It’s especially applicable for long, rectangular-shaped tables.

Go For a Contrast of Colors

Always choose decors that play off the color of your coffee table. If your table is in neutral or plain hues, go with bold colors on top. You can showcase metallic and crisp white tabletop items on black or dark wood, and clear tables will be your most versatile bet.

Go, Green

You don’t have to be a green thumb to put small, low-maintenance plants on your coffee table. Set it right in the center for an organic, fuss-free way to bring life into your living room.

Trays are a Good Addition    

Trays are both practical and stylish as it showcases your favorite small finds while making them easily removable for a clean surface for entertaining. It also gives structure and symmetry to a freeform table, as it anchors tabletop items that may feel like they’re floating otherwise.

Check All the Angles

Always consider how a coffee table item looks from multiple vantage points when buying. Picture frames, for instance, will only offer one good angle and will be better suited for bookcases or mantels.

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