Our Top Picks

How-to

How to Decorate a Coffee Table: Tips, Tricks & Ideas to Inspire

Recently updated on February 21st, 2024 at 11:40 am

So you’ve bought yourself a trendy new coffee table but are now stuck with the dilemma of decorating it. But don’t worry; we are here to help you out. Decorating a coffee table is easier than it may seem once you have the right ideas and inspiration. The key is to make it both practical and a focal point within your space. A coffee table is where friends and family gather, snacks are shared, and memories are made, so making it stand out is essential. In this article, we’ll share some of our favorite tips, tricks, and ideas on how to decorate a coffee table in a way that suits your style and needs.

Get ready to transform your table from bare to bold, cluttered to curated. The options are endless, so whether you like to keep it simple or want to go all out, you’ll find plenty of inspiration here. Your newly decorated coffee table will become the centerpiece of your living room in no time.

Setting the Foundation: Choosing the Right Coffee Table

Modern living room with coffee table

Photo by Mstsantaakteri from Freepik

Insight – Keep it simple and minimal. Resist the urge to clutter the space. Start with just a few pieces that match your style and build from there over time.

So you have the coffee table, but now it’s looking a little bare. Before you start decorating, think about the space you have to work with and the style you want to achieve. A large square table gives you more options than a small round one. A rustic wood table suits a different aesthetic than a modern glass top. Once you have an idea of your vision, it’s time to choose a focal point. Maybe a tray to corral smaller items, a stack of artful books, or a bold floral arrangement. Keep in mind the height—you don’t want anything that blocks conversation or the TV. Consider a tray filled with decorative accents, candles, plants, or flowers for a subtle setup.

Speaking of greenery, houseplants are ideal for bringing life to your table. Try a succulent, fern, or small potted tree like a succulent bonsai. Just be sure to place a saucer underneath in case of drips or spills. Don’t forget lighting. Feature a lamp on one end of the table or intertwine fairy lights with plants and books. Task lighting lets you dim the overheads for ambiance. Now for the finishing touches. Include decorative books, magazines, or photo albums to give a chic, lived-in look. And why not a bowl for keys, remotes, or chargers so they’re not scattered throughout your space?

Discover More: 27 Coffee Table Design Ideas You Never Knew You Needed

Coffee Table Styling 101: Layering Textures, Colors, and Heights

Coffee Table Texture and Height

Photo by Freepik

Insight – Enrich the elegance of your space with a striking centerpiece – add a sleek, empty vase and a few decorative stones for a minimalist touch.

Now you want to make it look inviting. Great! Styling a coffee table is an art form, but with a few tips you’ll be on your way to creating a welcoming centerpiece in your living room.

How To Decorate A Coffee Table: Start With a Base Layer
  • A tray to corral smaller items. Look for one with an interesting shape or pattern.
  • Candles or greenery to bring nature indoors. Group 3-5 candles of varying heights together, or place a potted plant in a decorative planter.
  • A stack of books. Art books, design books, cookbooks – any eye-catching books will do. Stack 2-3 together at an angle for added depth.
Next, add mid-level items at different heights. Things like:
  • A small decorative box or bowl to hold keys, remotes, or other odds and ends.
  • Sculptures, geodes, stones, or other decorative ornaments. Vary the size and material for visual intrigue.
  • Picture frames – A gallery wall of frames or just a single dramatic frame can make a bold impact.
Finally, include taller accent pieces to give your styling height:
  • A lamp – Feature an unconventional table lamp on one end of the coffee table to create allure.
  • Vases with branches, grasses, or flowers – Tall vases with natural elements are ideal.
  • Decorative boxes or storage ottomans. An ornate box or leather ottoman adds a multifunctional touch.

Read More: 29 Coffee Table Decor Tips: Subtle Touches for Maximum Impact

Seasonal Coffee Table Decor: Refresh for the Seasons

Seasonal vases and flowers

Photo by Pvproductions from Freepik

Insight – Transform your living space into a warm, inviting home by displaying framed family photos. Infuse your decor with the personal touch that only cherished memories can bring.

Decorating your table for the seasons is an effortless way to freshen up your living room and keep things interesting. Here are some simple ideas to try:

Spring

Spring is all about renewal, so use this season as an excuse to rearrange and declutter your table. Replace heavy winter accents with lighter, brighter touches. 

  • A vase of fresh flowers, like tulips, daffodils, or hyacinths. Their vibrant colors and sweet scents evoke the feeling of spring.
  • Greenery, such as eucalyptus sprigs, lavender stems, or rosemary.
  • Light a fresh-scented candle in a springtime fragrance like lemon, jasmine, or gardenia.

Summer

Create a relaxed, casual vibe for summer with these accents:
  • A bowl of seashells, coral, or beach glass collected from a trip to the shore.
  • Scented candles in tropical fragrances like coconut, mango or pineapple.
  • A tray filled with sunglasses, sunscreen, and a good summer read.
  • A vase of colorful summer blooms like sunflowers, zinnias, or gerbera daisies.

Fall

Transition into fall with accents in warm, cozy colors and natural materials:
  • A decorative bowl filled with pine cones, acorns, nuts, or gourds.
  • Group pillar candles in fall hues of red, orange, brown and gold. Surround them with leaves for an autumnal feel.
  • A tray displaying a pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, or a spiced cider candle.
  • A woven wood or rattan basket to hold throws, blankets, or extra pillows for cooler nights.

Winter

Create a warm and inviting space for winter with these accents:
  • Evergreen branches, berries, and cinnamon sticks in a vase for a natural winter aroma.
  • A plaid blanket or faux fur throw for added coziness.
  • A candle in a scent like cinnamon, nutmeg, or pine to make your space feel cozy.
  • A tray with mugs of hot cocoa, marshmallows, candy canes, or other sweet treats for extra winter comforts.

Refreshing your coffee table for the seasons is an easy, low-effort way to bring the spirit of spring, summer, fall, or winter into your home. Have fun with different colors, scents, textures, and accents to reflect the natural world outside. Your guests will surely appreciate such a thoughtful touch!

Gain Insight: 6 Tips for Stunning Autumn Furniture and Decor

DIY Coffee Table Decor: Quick & Budget-Friendly Projects

DIY crafting with ceramic pots

Photo by user13983931 from Freepik

When decorating your coffee table, don’t feel like you have to spend a lot. There are so many easy DIY projects you can do to spruce it up without breaking the bank. One of the most straightforward ideas is to arrange a serving tray with decorative accents on the table.

You can find trays at thrift stores or dollar stores and fill them with things like:
  • Candles – Group a few candles together for a subtle aura. Just be sure to use a tray or plate under them in case of wax drips!
  • Books – Stack a few coffee table books or other decorative books in a pile.
  • Magazines – Fan out some fashion, home decor, or hobby magazines you can include for a simple pop of color.
  • Natural Elements – Add things like stones, greenery, or branches for an organic feel.
Decorative boxes or baskets that you can decorate from a craft store with:
  • Paint – Give them a coat of chalk paint or stencil a design on the sides, then seal with a clear sealant.
  • Wrapping Paper – Cover the boxes in decorative paper, then seal them with Mod Podge or double-sided tape to adhere them in place.
  • Fabric – Glue fabric onto the boxes and seal the edges with hot glue for a custom look.
Once you have your decorated boxes or baskets, fill them with items to display on your table like:
  • Remote Controls – Keep them organized in a box and within arm’s reach.
  • Coasters – Have guests place their drinks on coasters in the box or basket.
  • Napkins – Fold vibrant cloth napkins in a box for a decorative touch.
  • Office Supplies – Corral pens, pencils, paper clips, and other items to keep your table clutter-free.

For More Info: Craft a Custom Piece With Our 19 DIY Coffee Table Design Ideas

Final Thoughts

Learning new ways on how to decorate your coffee table can be a fun and creative activity. Mix and match different elements, or try something unique that reflects your personality and preferences. Your table is a focal point of your living room, so make it WOW, sparking conversation and making you smile each time you walk by. With the help of our tips, tricks, and ideas, you can create a magazine-worthy coffee table in no time. So go ahead, unleash your creativity, and transform your table into a chic and inviting centerpiece that reflects your character. Happy decorating!

Want to Save this Guide?

Enter your email & get this guide sent to your inbox.