Heyyy guys! Today I’d like to share with you my top five tips for styling a coffee table like a pro, so that you can turn it into a beautiful focal point in your living room. I know that it is a long awaited post for some of you, but for some reason I just couldn’t find the right timing. Therefore, I decided that it might as well be now. Hence, allow me to briefly outline my styling tips so that you may give your coffee table that love and attention it deserves.
A coffee table is one of the most engaging pieces of furniture, usually at the very center of the living room. It can take on many different functions and therefore, it matters what goes on top of it. So when it comes to styling a coffee table, it’s important to create an attractive, personal synthesis without creating a visual clutter or lose its practicality altogether.
One of the first things to consider is the coffee table decor at hand. Balance is of key importance. Opt for decor that has a visual weight, looks proportional (scale-wise) to your setting and has an “entertaining” quality, like an interesting book to read. It always helps to have an eccentric piece that might serve as a conversation starter when guests over. Thus, I’ve listed below the most common decor items:
- Candelabras, candlesticks, candles
- Decorative objects – knickknacks
Adding organic elements tends to create a more bohemian feel and adds that vibe of a well-traveled person. Metallic accents add sophistication. Groupings in trays make everything look more tidy, but have a very “collected” connotation. Personally, I use them sparingly, because I prefer a more relaxed impression. They are a great fit and quite necessary for that matter, for ottoman poufs though. And let me mention that one of my all-time favorite decor items is a mini chess board made out of marble. It adds texture in a very classy way. 😉
Create highs and lows
I can’t emphasize enough how important this is. No matter how minimal your arrangement is, creating highs and lows generates visual interest. If for example you were to lay a single book on a coffee table then it will look flat – really flat and boring. If though you were to place a stack of three books, then that will immediately create a high point that will pop. Similarly, if you were to place a tall vase with some greenery in it, then you’ll get an even higher point. A note to remember is that the highest point should never obstruct visual (eye-to-eye) contact among the people who’ll be sitting around the coffee table.
Plan of action: Determine your tallest and lowest decor. The obvious thing to do is to place the tallest piece in the center. If though, you choose to place it off-center then you need to create a visual balance on the other side. In that case, I recommend placing an accent piece such as a metallic sculpture.
The power of threes
This old classic rule of the threesome applies to coffee table styling just like anywhere else. Use a single decorative object and it looks too bare; more than three and it looks too crowded. Thus, when you create groups, i.e. a stack of books, the odd number of three is your jackpot.
Tip: if all you have is three vases at varying heights, then you could group them together and turn them into a single statement piece. 😉
Needless to say, that adding greenery and blooms can liven up everything and change your mood instantly. Obviously, potted plants are a more permanent solution to fresh flowers in a vase. Therefore, consider a few plant alternatives such as a small olive tree that won’t grow too fast as a great option or a cluster of potted succulents.
Examine every angle
When creating an arrangement it’s important to examine it from every angle. People will be looking at your coffee table from every angle according to their seating. It has to be balanced, otherwise it will create an uneasy feel, like there’s something wrong but you’re not entirely sure what. If you get that feeling, then you should consider re-examining your coffee table decor arrangement again. Take note of the room around. If the rest of the room has heavy decorating, then it might be best to play down your coffee table decorating with understated styling. No need to frame your coffee table with your decor. No need to overcrowd it either. Hence, I recommend you start with less and build up on that over time.
Creating contrasts using colors and/or textures can play off the table’s color and material respectively. Sometimes all it takes is a pop of color. Other times, adding a big white stone on a stack of books will do the trick (just like in the image above). But once again, consider the entire room’s design theme. When I refer to contrast I don’t mean necessarily the decor against the coffee table. For instance, if the room feels “loaded” then, it might be a good idea to go monochromatic and use decor with the same hue as that of the coffee table. Thus, an overall contrast will result in terms of the whole room design which is much more effective and has a greater design impact. The coffee table with its decor becomes one wholesome unit within an overall design scheme. Cool, huh?!
Using a single statement piece like a big bowl or a portable lighting source are the best alternatives for those of you who don’t like a lot of stuff on your coffee table. Another option to consider is placing an open coffee table book as decor, next to a stack of other coffee tables. That way it won’t look bare, but it certainly won’t look stuffy either.
So are you ready to tackle your coffee table styling project? Be sure to share any thoughts and concerns…