12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to style you’re coffee table, this is the post for you.  I have provided you with some tips and tricks to give you a formula/system so that you can whip up a decorated coffee table in minutes.  Plus it can be simple and functional for every day use, and can be elevated and dramatic for entertaining purposes.  Either way, you will have budget-friendly ideas and inspiration to create a beautiful focal point in your living room.  Here are 12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips.  

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips

First Things First:  

I wanted to start off by saying that the room that your coffee table is in, will determine what items you will put on top of/under your coffee table.

  • Is your coffee table in your formal living room, casual living room, game room, media room or playroom?


Remember that function should still be your top priority when decorating your coffee table.  Ugh- yep, now it’s out there!!

  • What do you use your coffee table for?  Food/drinks, toy storage, books/magazines, blankets/pillows?

Why am I addressing these points – lol?

It’s your home, so YOU will decide what styling accent pieces work best for you and your family! 

Ok, let’s get to the 12 simple coffee table styling tips!

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips

Tip #1:  Start With a Tray

The easiest way to anchor your coffee table, is to start with a tray.  It gives the eye a natural place to rest, and sets the focal point of the room.

Don’t be afraid to use different shapes, textures, and types of trays either: 

  • shapes:  rectangular, round, oval, and square trays
  • textures:  wood, rattan/wicker, ceramic, mirrored, and glass
  • types:  serving trays, appetizer platters, and cake stands 

Trick #1:  The bigger the tray, the better it looks as a stand-alone. 

This means it will look more substantial – (like 2/3 area of your table), and you won’t have to add something on the outside of the tray to balance out the weight.

Trick #2:  Don’t forget about serving trays (that are just collecting dust in those kitchen cabinets) as well.  They can “serve” as double duty on your coffee table.

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips  

Tip #2:  Protect Your Table Top

Remember to protect your table by putting felt pads on the bottom of your tray or any other decoration that is placed directly onto your table.

  • I love these little felt tabs because they come in a variety of sizes, and slide easily. 

This helps when we need to move our tray quickly around the table.

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Tip #3:  Add Two Similar Accents with Different Sizes

For this coffee table styling vignette, I used two ceramic vases similar in color and texture – but with different sizes.  

They both are an oatmeal (creamy) color, and both have texture to them, but one is taller and the other is medium-size.

The different sizes help keep the eye moving along the tray, and the similarities add “focal” weight to the tray.

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Tip #4:  Add Greenery or Flowers

I kind of got lucky on my coffee table vignette planning because my smaller “similar” accent in Tip #3 – already had some greenery in it.  

  • Here pictured below, is another vignette I styled.  I just wanted to show another way to use flowers and greenery, and how much life it adds to your table.
  • Again, there are 2 similar (blue and white striped vases), in 2 different sizes.

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Tip #5:  Use Books 

Another simple (& budget-friendly) way to add a little interest to your coffee table is to use books. 

  • They can help elevate decorative accents to create different levels, and they are a great way to add some contrasting colors.

I chose a dark gray/charcoal book with gold lettering to add contrast against the lighter-colored vases and bamboo tray color.

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Trick #3:   If you want to maximize the look of your vignette, add books:  that are larger in size, greater quantity (3 or 5), and stack them.

Using books will also help fill up more of your tray, making it look nicer and more substantial.    

  • You can tell from the picture below how the book takes up a little more space on the tray. 

Since this post is directed to “simple tips,” I am only using one book.

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Tip #6:  Use at Least One Metal Accent

So for this decorating ensemble, I decided to go with a silver mercury glass bowl as my metal accent piece.

  • Using a metal accent rule is similar to “use one black accent item/room rule.” 

It just adds interest to wood, ceramic, or glass accents.

(Look for the pink in both of the pictures below – that’s me taking the photos )- haha!!  I just noticed it right now. 

Oops moment – oh well!

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Why did I choose a silver metal accent versus brass or gold? 

I went with silver to contrast against the warmer bamboo tray handles and tray bottom, gold book lettering, and the brass drawer knobs.

This vignette already had a lot of warmer undertones, so I needed a pop of “cooler” contrasting tones.

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Trick #4:  If you are more of a modern farmhouse gal, use black metal (iron).  If you are more of a boho or glam gal, use mercury glass.

  • Black iron accents give weight, contrast, and a natural focal point to the vignette.
  • Mercury glass bounces off the light in the room giving it a shimmer, which keeps the vignette “lighter,” and helps to keep it from falling flat.

Tip #7:  Use Wooden Beads

I love the look of these natural wooden beads.  They are a very easy and simple way to add movement and interest to your coffee table ensemble.  

Fill a bowl or even a clear candle lantern with them.  

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Then just let the two strands gently fall out of the bowl and loosely intertwine like it was a natural movement.

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Tip #8:  Leave Extra Space for TV Remote

Not all of this decorative fuss is just for looks – LOL!  Using a tray helps hide your not-so-pretty functional items like the remote.

Just make sure to leave enough room on your tray so that you can get to it easily.

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Tip #9:  Tuck Magazines in Drawers

If you are fortunate to have a coffee table with drawers, tuck magazines, books, or other reading materials in them to keep the table top tidy.

If you do not have drawers, just tuck them into a basket underneath your table.

Trick #5:  You can use your magazines as “the books” portion of your vignette styling.  Then keep one pretty magazine or book as the TOP layer, so that it always looks nice.

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Tip #10:  Store Extra Blankets Under Table

Place functional items like extra blankets or throw pillows under your coffee table.  

  • This way, they are close enough to reach when needed, but out of sight when guests come over.

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


For more information on our coffee table or to purchase click:

You can also use baskets to keep things looking tidy, especially if your coffee table doesn’t have a lower shelf.

  • These baskets work great for magazines, toys, and pet supplies also.

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Tip #11:  Use Inspirational Signs 

With 2020 behind us, we could all use a little encouragement for this new year.

  • Try using an inspirational sign or even a biblical scripture, and place it onto your coffee table tray.

Since we are all watching A LOT more tv these days – ugh!! – we will see these words every.single.day!

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Tip #12:  Add Candles for Ambiance/Entertaining

And when things finally return back to normal, and you can actually entertain again, add some candles for a little extra ambiance.

What’s great about this simple coffee table styling vignette, is that it allows you to punch it up when needed.

You can add some candles and extra flowers, and it will really make a bigger statement piece.


12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Just remember to keep sight lines “clean” so that you can still see others when conversing, and see the tv if watching a sporting event, etc.

I hope you found some helpful tips and decorating tricks to get your coffee table styled like a designer pro!

12 Simple Coffee Table Styling Tips


Have a Great Week Everyone!!

Love & Hugs 🙂

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