How to Style a Coffee Table

Coffee tables are a must when it comes to furniture elements to complete a living room space. It’s usually the focal point of your living room, with the exception of a fireplace if one is present.

In this post, I am going to list out and describe the five must-have elements for styling a coffee table. Plus a few options to choose from if you’re in the hunt for these items.

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Must-Have Coffee Table Decor Accessory #1: Trays

Trays are definitely a must! It gives you a second canvas (surface) as a platform for decorating. It also helps to bring separation to the items you place on the tray so they don’t get lost or look insignificant on the larger surface of a coffee table. Your options for choosing the perfect tray are endless. There’s a vast variety of style to choose from – wood trays, galvanized metal trays (if you’re going for the farmhouse look), mirrored trays, or you can grab a plain wood tray from Target or a craft store and customize it to your style. Want to save some extra bucks? Visit your local thrift store to find a tray you can update to your taste. See my tray update DIY here.

Uttermost Acela Natural Wood and Metal Round TrayMagot 18

Suprema Rhinestone Square Mirrored TrayMarnie Rectangular Mango Wood 2-Piece Trays Set

Must-Have Coffee Table Decor Accessory #2: Greenery/Something Natural

Having something green is not only recommended for your coffee table, it’s a must. You should have something green or faux green item in every room of your home. Anything that represents nature is great! Bring nature indoors brings life to your room and is also calming. Ofcourse real life plants is what I would recommend but sometimes anything faux green is great too. Faux flowers or plant stems in a vase are perfect for a coffee table. You can also consider a budget-friendly option of doing it yourself. Visit your local dollar store for faux flowers and glass vases. You can probably make “something green/natural for less than $5!

Pink Hydrangeas, Rose and Peony 11

Uttermost Hard Cream Coral 2-Piece Accent Sculpture Set

Cream Calla Lily and Grass 15 1/2

Must-Have Coffee Table Decor Accessory #3: Vertical Decorative Items

Tall decorative pieces add dimension to you decor. A mix of small, medium and tall objects helps to bring the eye up and down to different levels and keep the coffee table interesting to look at. Some options for tall decorative objects include sculptures, tall decorative vases, candlestick holders (or use long candles on a smaller candle holder),  lanterns, etc.

Corillian Rustic and Clear Lantern Pillar Candle Holder



Sparkle Black and Gold Table Decor Set of 2

Crystal with Silver Accents Taper Candle Holder

Must-Have Coffee Table Decor Accessory #4: Something Horizontal

Having horizontal items like books on your coffee table also gives it dimension. You can use it to add height to an item and to add a pop of color to your decor. Books do double duty also, as they serve as something for your guests to pick and browse through when there’s a quiet moment.  Fashion or Autobiography books are great because they serve as conversational pieces as well.


Chanel : Collections and Creations - by Daniele Bott (Hardcover) - image 1 of 1

Chanel : The Vocabulary of Style (Hardcover) (Jerome Gautier) - image 1 of 1

Vogue Living : Houses, Gardens, People (Hardcover) (Hamish Bowles) - image 1 of 1

Must-Have Coffee Table Decor Accessory #5: Something personal/unique

Having something unique and rare helps to bring personality and character to your coffee table. Try to find something that is not very common or is one-of-a kind. Scroll through some one-of-a-kind finds for ideas below!

Silver Pineapple 11 3/4

Walking Elephant 12 3/4

Silver Abstract 14 3/4

Uttermost Oja 27 1/4

Uttermost Mishka Metallic Gold Leaf Candelabra Candle Holder

Candelo 4 1/4


In conclusion….

The size of these coffee table essentials  should depend on the size of your coffee table. If you have a large coffee table, then go big on the trays, vases and other items.  Be mindul of the dimensions of your table.

Also, consider the color and design pattern of your coffee table. If your coffee table is already a piece of art on it’s own, you will need less decor than if it is just plain and simple. Less is more for a coffee table in the image below.


Still want more….

This piece is not exactly budget-freindly, but I could not resisit adding it on to this budget-friendly list. It’s just so unique and cute! Click on it!


Silver Decorative 9 3/4

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