How to Achieve Perfect Coffee Table Styling in 3 Easy Steps

You have found the perfect coffee table for your living room, but now what? Many of our clients tell us that they struggle with styling their coffee tables. By adding a few choice pieces of decor, your coffee table will become the beautiful centerpiece of your room without spending too much time or breaking the bank! Follow along with these 3 easy steps:


  1. First find a tray. It can be any style tray, but if you have kids and pets, I would recommend finding a tray that is slightly deeper with taller sides.. The reason for this is that the sides protect your decor from kids and also act as a deterrent from the mouths of doggies (at least this works for our dog). Like this one:


Pier 1 farmhouse tray


  1. Find 3 pieces of decor in varying sizes – 1 large item, 1 medium and 1 small. Group them together in the middle of the tray. Grouping in 3’s is an important design rule. I suggest a tall vase for the taller item – glass vases are always nice in a living room that has lots of natural light.  Here is a good example:

Target Vase


For the medium sized item, I suggest an airy sculptural sphere like this:

West Elm Sculptural Sphere


For the smaller item, I suggest a small planter with a succulent,  a candle or a smaller vase. If you choose a smaller vase, make sure it a different texture and finish – you don’t want it to be too matchy-matchy to the larger vase.

Such as this:

Target Vase


Make sure the 3 items, plus the tray, all tie in together through color, texture or finish. For example, in my vignette, the gold in the sculptural piece ties in with the gold metal in the vase. The little vase has a light gray tone and the larger vase has a dark gray tone. The tray has warm golden wood tones which tie in with the gold in the vase and the sculptural sphere. The darker tones in the wood tie in with the smoky gray color of the glass vase. All the gray tones tie in with each other and with the colors in my room. **Designer trick: if you are having trouble achieving the desired height for one of your items, place a book or stack of books underneath the item – simple!

Mixing 4 different materials makes for 1 lovely coffee table vignette


  1. Table runners aren’t just for dining tables! Runners are an easy and inexpensive way to quickly add texture, color or pattern to your coffee table. Layer the runner under your tray : )

Target Project 62 


Voiua! Easy-peasy – you have a beautifully styled coffee table that didn’t take a lot of time or money and it isn’t over- cluttered or over-styled. You should still have plenty of space to place coffee cups, magazines, toys or anything else your family decides to lay down.

Your turn…try this at home, take a picture and share with us how you achieved styling bliss for your coffee table!


Leave a Reply