5 Ideas to Accessorizing Your Coffee Table Decor

June 9, 2011

I’m always swooning over a nicely decorating and “put together” coffee table.  It’s the center of  most living / family rooms, yet it’s often forgotten about or is cluttered with magazines, papers, and remotes.  Because the coffee table is the focal point of the space, why not dress it up to reflect your style and interior decor?!

Because the coffee table can have numerous functions, it’s often difficult to know how to style it.  Have you asked yourself, what should I do with this large flat surface?  Here are five easy tips to create a beautiful and stylish coffee table.

1. Introduce Organic Elements

Adding flowers, succulents, or even herbs can provide such a beautiful and colorful focal point to the space.  Choose one large arrangement or multiple, smaller potted arrangements to showcase organic elements.

An alternative to flowers is to add a large candle in a glass hurricane to bring comfort and a calming to the room.

2. Add Scale and Height

Similar to arranging a fireplace mantel or bookshelf, a well-styled coffee table should have accessories with varying heights and scale. Use books, small sculptural elements, flowers, bowls, etc. that will provide visual interest to your setting.  You’ll want to avoid items that have all the same height or all the same size/scale.  Using elements that are different will give your table interest and flow.

One idea to add height: Stack items on top of each other.  Books are best to help with varying heights!  Then add candles or a vase filled with flowers.

3. Use a Tray

By including a tray on your coffee table, it adds another layer of intrigue.  Trays are also great to make the scale of the surface a little smaller so your coffee table doesn’t seem like a sea of wood or glass.  Accessorize the top of the tray, which then can easily be moved to use the coffee table as another function.  Because of the hard surface of a decorative tray, it’s also a perfect element to add on top of an upholstered ottoman or uneven surface.

4. Include a Personalized Focal Point

When collecting / searching for items to display on your coffee table, add a focal point and/or something that showcases and symbolizes you and your interests. Personalizing a space truly makes it yours!  You’ll want one piece or element to dominate the table surface.  Try a large vase, candles, sculpture, or anything that is eye-catching.

5. Use the “right” coffee table

Last, but most important ~ Before accessorizing your coffee table, it’s important to actually select a coffee table style that fits your needs and lifestyle.  Before deciding on a table, think about it’s function and how it will be used.  Is the coffee table in a formal living room or is it in a space where the kids will be hanging out doing homework or your husband will be putting his feet up watching ESPN? Determining the use of your coffee table needs will point you in the right direction on what to select AND how to accessorize it!

What do you display on your coffee table?
What style coffee table do you have?
What are it’s functions?

Images Courtesy of: Decor Pad, Pinterest, Sarah Richardson, Velvet and Linen, House Beautiful, Lonny Magazine, Pottery Barn, Tobi Fairley, Country Living, Ron Marvin, Apartment Therapy

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  1. Hi Jenna-

    Very informative post. I love the wicker tray photo – had to pin it.

    My best- Diane
    Diane@InMyOwnStyle recently posted..Are You Party Ready

  2. Great post! I love the tray ideas. I have a toddler so my coffee table is currently pretty bare but I think I can work a tray in. The tables on wheels are beautiful as well. So modern and chic.

    • Thanks for visiting SAS Interiors, Nicolette. Sad to say, but admittedly, my coffee table is often bare as well because I too have a toddler. I try and display child-friendly accessories and books. I keep telling myself that it won’t be forever, lol.

  3. Stopping by from Tatertots & Jello – thanks for the tips! Our coffee table needs to be rescued from one too many magazines!

    • Hi Susan, welcome to SAS Interiors! One too many magazines can be overwhelming on a coffee table. Keep/display the most current copies, and either toss the rest or keep them in a box for referencing in the future. Have a great weekend! xo Jenna

  4. Love it! Great tips!

    • Thanks Lauren for stopping by SAS Interiors…glad you enjoyed reading the 5 tips on accessorizing your coffee table! xo Jenna

  5. Hmmm. I am so guilty! My coffee table right this second has magazines, ceramic coasters, my camera, my phone and iced tea. Oh, and the remotes. At least I have those corralled into a basket. Does that count for something? Those are beautiful photos, definitely inspiration to try harder…..

    • Thanks Christine for visiting SAS Interiors and for the kind comment. With having a one year old, my coffee table doesn’t look like any of the pictures either… I keep telling myself…someday! Have a great weekend!! xo Jenna

  6. Great tips and I love that yellow coffee table in the last pic! Can’t wait for my toddler terror to be out of his grab everything phase and throw it on the floor so I can apply some of the helpful tips.

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I totally understand – I am in the same boat ~ my coffee table is barely styled since my toddler is always grabbing everything. It too shall pass soon. Thanks for stopping by SAS Interiors!

  7. I prefer introducing bamboo decors in the coffee table. Like mine in the house, I used bamboo decor for it is so relaxing and inspired by a “Think Green” decoration. :)

  8. Great post! coffee table with storage is very useful…

  9. I have a large vase with sunflowers (32 inches tall) in the middle of my coffee table in the living room. I think it may be too tall and was hoping for feedback…..

    • An almost 3′ vase on a coffee table is probably too high. Try that tall vase on a mantel and instead something lower for the coffee table.

  10. I am looking for ideas for my coffee table in between holiday seasons. II love to decorate it for Christmas, Fall, Easter, etc.

  11. I like decorating my coffee table for the holidays (i.e. Christmas, fall, Easter, etc.) but I am looking for ideas in between. I have a round wood coffee table and I consider my style traditional with french country accents and colors (blue and yellow).

  12. I love the ideas but did anyone comment on the photo with the cat. I’m just waiting for it to jump on the table and pick apart the greenery. I know that’s what my cats would do. I like the basic ideas of using a tray to group some things and varying the scale of items. I have a large round glass coffee table that seems to get lost because I put just a couple of small things on it. I’ll be looking for a beautiful tray to get started on this project and then work from there. Thank you for the ideas.

  13. Hi!

    I enjoyed these ideas– I’m looking for suggestions on how to accessorize a round glass-top coffee table. Any ideas?



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