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Styling Your Space: How to Decorate an Ottoman Coffee Table

DISCLAIMER: The images in this post are for informational purposes to illustrate potential possibilities, recognizing that individual tastes vary. We aim to capture your wants and needs, expanding on each style where possible to offer a range of available tables from reputable designers and affiliated brands. This selection process considers a variety of factors to ensure we cater to the diverse preferences of our readers.

If you’ve decided to indulge in an ottoman coffee table, you’ve made an exceptional choice for sure! These padded cubes are more versatile than you might think. Not only can they serve as a comfortable footrest, but they can also be a blank canvas for displaying your style. However, a plain ottoman can be pretty uninteresting, which leads us to the question of how to decorate an ottoman coffee table. Adding decor that reflects your personality and the ambiance you want to create is the key to making it look distinguished.

Rest assured, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll guide you on how to decorate your ottoman in a way that aligns with your preferences. Whether you favor an eclectic bohemian style, a sleek and modern minimalistic style, or cozy rustic farmhouse decor, we’ve got ideas to help you make your coffee table the chic focal point of your space. Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!

Bohemian living room with armchair and round table

Photo by Dayalguru from Freepik

Insight – Include table linens. A simple tablecloth or runner in a coordinating color or pattern can help unify your ottoman’s decor and add visual interest.

Choosing the Right Ottoman Coffee Table for Your Space

The perfect ottoman coffee table depends on your wants and needs. For small spaces, a round coffee table is ideal since corners take up extra room, whereas rectangular or square ottomans work well for larger areas. You’ll also want to consider the height—aim for something around 16 to 20 inches tall, high enough to rest your feet but not too tall to reach a drink.

In terms of design, an ottoman offers a range of options. Tufted ottomans with buttons or nailhead trim provide a luxurious look. Storage ottomans give extra space for blankets, books, or board games. Leather or faux-leather ottomans have a casual yet upscale vibe. Plus, you can also find wood, rattan, or upholstered ottomans in any fabric to match your setup. Think about how you’ll use the ottoman. If it’s mostly for resting your feet, padding and comfort are key. For surface space, look for a flat top with minimal tufting.

An ottoman that doubles as extra seating should be sturdy, at least 36 inches wide, and preferably have arms. Also, consider casters or wheels so you can easily move the ottoman around. An ottoman table provides an anchor for your living room while also giving you flexibility. 

Related Article: 15 Radiant Ottoman Coffee Table Ideas to Transform Your Space

Neutral living room with round upholstered table

Photo by Studioworkstock from Freepik

Insight – Place a table runner. A long runner down the center of the table adds pattern and color. Choose one made of fabric or even jute.

How to Decorate an Ottoman Coffee Table: Prepping and Styling

Now that you have your ottoman in place, it’s time for the fun part—decorating! To create an inviting focal point for your living room, start with the base. First, declutter the ottoman surface. Remove any knickknacks, books, or trays and wipe them down to give you a clean slate. Next, consider a tray.

A decorative tray is ideal for corralling smaller items and devising a stylish base layer. Look for a tray with an interesting texture, pattern, or metallic sheen, then place it in the center of the ottoman. You’ll also want to include a statement book. A large book on the subject of decor, architecture, gardening, or your favorite hobby makes an eye-catching centerpiece. Stack a few colorful books together for extra height.

Related Article: Serving Trays With Handles: The Secret to Effortless Entertaining

Candles are another must-have. A pair of pillar candles, taper candles, or a cluster of votives arranged on the tray or directly on the ottoman surface will provide a warm glow. Choose unscented candles in a natural material like beeswax or soy for an inviting ambiance without heavy fragrance. Finally, add a plant or two.

A small potted plant, succulent, or bouquet of fresh blooms does wonders for bringing life to a space. Look for plants with sculptural shapes and place them in opposite corners of the ottoman for balance. With a decluttered base, tray, statement book, candles, and greenery, your coffee table will become a focal point and a place to set a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

White home interior with tuft upholstered square table

Photo by Yliakhvoshch from Freepik

Insight – Display decorative figurines. Collectible figurines like elephants, horses, or birds make charming decorations on an ottoman table.

How to Decorate an Ottoman Coffee Table: Layering Textures and Materials

Layering different textures on your table creates an inviting display. Mixing materials with various visual and tactile qualities gives depth and warmth to your space.


Start with a wooden tray or board as your base. The natural grains and knots in wood add visual interest. Place the tray slightly off-center on your ottoman for an asymmetrical look. Then, group a few decorative items of varying heights on the tray, such as:

  • Candleholders in different metals like gold, silver, or copper. The flickering candlelight will enrich the wood grain.
  • A stack of antiqued books. The worn, softened edges of old books pair nicely with the organic feel of wood.
  • A small stone or crystal. The hard, cool stone provides contrast against the soft, warm wood.

Discover More: A Guide to Classic Modernity With 33 Wood Coffee Table Designs


Introduce touches of gold, silver, copper, or pewter for a glimmer of shine. Ideas include:

  • A metallic photo frame holding a cherished memory or inspirational quote.
  • A miniature metallic vase with a single flower stem or leafy sprig.
  • Decorative glass or stone boxes with metallic accents or lids. They add height and an element of mystery.
  • A pair of metallic candlesticks for a symmetrical look. Group them on either end of your tray.

Gain Insight: Think Outside the Box: 24 Opulent Metal Coffee Table Design Ideas

Natural Elements

Bring in natural elements like greenery, rocks, shells, or feathers. For example:

  • Place a few shapely stones, sea shells, or a dramatic feather on your tray.
  • Display a trio of succulents or a trailing ivy in small planters. Greenery freshens up a space and connects you to nature.
  • Fill a shallow metallic bowl with moss, bark, pine cones, or river stones for an organic centerpiece.

Read More: 23 Sleek Stone Coffee Table Ideas to Incorporate Natural Accents

By combining wood, metals, and natural materials on your table, you’ll curate a warm and welcoming spot for enjoying a cup of coffee, lounging with a book, or entertaining friends. Mix and match elements to express style, but most importantly, include items that spark joy and comfort for you.

Living room interior with leather ottoman table

Photo by Dayalguru from Freepik

Using Your Ottoman as Extra Seating

An ottoman coffee table is a versatile and practical piece for hosting guests. Its sturdy top can provide extra seating when needed. Arrange your ottoman to create additional seating, topped with accent pillows and throws for casual get-togethers. Guests will appreciate extra options, especially in smaller spaces.

To create a cozy lounge area, you can use a large ottoman as a centerpiece. Surround the ottoman with low chairs, floor cushions, or poufs. This provides a comfortable spot for people to sit, rest, and enjoy snacks or drinks while conversing. An upholstered ottoman especially lends itself well to additional seating. Look for one with a sturdy, padded top and a boxy shape that provides ample space for sitting. Leather or woven fabrics are durable and easy to wipe clean in the case of spills.

White living room with blue ottoman coffee table

Photo by Anne-leven from Freepik

Insight – Incorporate throw pillows. Pillows are a soft, cozy addition to any furniture piece. Choose complementary colors and textures to tie your ottoman’s design together.

Final Thoughts

As we approach the end of our guide, it’s fair to say you’re now equipped with a few easy tips on how to decorate an ottoman coffee table and make a statement in your interior. Whether you choose to go minimal with a tray, bold with a large decorative bowl, or eclectic with a combination of accessories, adding decorative touches to your ottoman table can transform the look and feel of your space. The options are endless. Now, unleash your inner designer, get out there, and create a customized coffee table vignette that reflects your unique style. Your living room will thank you, and you’ll have a decorative focal point that you can be proud to showcase. Happy decorating!

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