Creative Ways to Style a Coffee Table

Like if this Guide is helpful
Creative Ways to Style a Coffee Table

Coffee tables are functional pieces of furniture that occupy varying amounts of space in communal areas like living or recreation rooms. While coffee tables are often the visual focal point of the room, they are also the objects around which seating and social spaces are arranged. Therefore, coffee tables, as well as the items that are stored or displayed here, should be used to enhance the overall look and feel of the room, without creating clutter. Taking the time to add creative touches and design elements to the coffee table will improve the aesthetic appeal of the room and make it an inviting place to be.


Creative Concepts

When it comes to finding innovative ways to decorate a coffee table, some creative concepts and important considerations are:


Modern décor is characterised by strong lines, polished surfaces, stark colours, and a less-is-more approach to furniture and accessories. The classic style features vintage items and reproductions, plain colours and patterns, as well as traditional, coordinating, and comfortable pieces arranged in an orderly and conventional fashion. While homes decorated in an organic style combine neutral hues and clean lines with rustic décor, natural light, and indoor plants, eclectic designs incorporate unique artwork, furnishings, fabrics, and colours alongside handmade items or pieces from different eras for a high degree of contrast.

Colours and Textures

Polished or shiny items in gold or silver provide interesting accents in rooms without many patterns or colours. Pair wood furnishings with antiques, earth tones, or rich colours like red and orange to create a warm and inviting feel. Combine neutral coffee table décor pieces with textured wallpaper, feature walls, or bold prints. Incorporating decorative items in seasonal shades can refresh a room without the trouble and expense of repainting. Textured objects, such as metallics, silks, flowers, and stone carvings, add character, depth, and dimension to the room.

Quantity and Size

The number and size of items displayed on your coffee table depends on personal preference, design style, usage requirements, and available space. While eclectic coffee tables incorporate multiple items of irregular size and shape, modernist or minimalist tables will feature only one or two items. Smaller objects work best when several items occupy the coffee table. Conversely, large objects or centrepieces are typically standalone articles that can be paired with a single complimentary item.


Although ingenuity and resourcefulness can be an important part of the creative process, presentation is key. Create visual symmetry by grouping objects with similar sizes or shapes in geometric patterns. Display diverse items within a decorative serving tray for an ordered and aesthetically appealing presentation. Keep in mind that coffee tables and their décor should be tailored to the space and furnishings currently exist in the home, not "dream rooms" that are planned for the future of the home.


Ideas for Coffee Table Themes

There is an endless array of ideas of how a coffee table can by styled. Here are a few to get started with:

Bring Outside Inside

Organic items found in nature, such as seashells, pinecones, driftwood, and potted plants, compliment highly textured wallpaper like bamboo and can be updated seasonally. Amethyst and other precious stones add an attractive splash of colour to coffee tables, while small rock gardens cultivate a calm or relaxing atmosphere. In addition to their pleasant aroma, floral arrangements can be presented in clear or coloured vases, recycled wine bottles, antique lanterns, or alongside floating candles.

Interact and Inspire

Novel objects that encourage interactivity or raise curiosity are inviting and can serve as icebreakers. For example, small handheld games or puzzles, magnifying glass, autographed book or baseball, phonograph, framed mini chalkboard, coin collection, or guest book.

Personalise With the Sentimental

Add a personal touch by including children's crafts, homemade candles or carvings, black and white family photographs, scrapbooks, or vacation souvenirs on the table. For those with some artistic skill, consider hand painting a family crest or family tree onto the coffee table.


Conceal clutter created by keys, electronics, and change within small, ornamental boxes on the tabletop. While the space underneath coffee tables can function as additional home storage, this area can also be creatively styled using board games, books with brightly coloured spines, ottomans, magazine racks, and large decorative boxes that make it easy to access blankets or kids' toys.


Do-it-yourself coffee table ideas include placing photographs, dried flowers, or artwork by local artists beneath glass tabletops. When working with coffee tables made of wood, strip off old paint or varnish and refinish with a trendy paint colour or varnish that highlights the original wood grain. Affix repurposed materials like bits of broken, multicoloured glass to metal tabletops to create a unique, mosaic design and texture. Refresh older coffee tables by reupholstering them with animal prints, abstract designs, or geometric patterns.

Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides