Top tips for styling your coffee table

Top tips for styling your coffee table

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Creating a stylish living room takes a keen eye for detail and a strong knowledge of your style and the colours, patterns, shapes, and looks that you like. The best place to start when you’re crafting your perfect living room is with your coffee table – this is the part of your living room where you can display different parts of your personality and style in one place.

We’ll start by explaining why styling your coffee table is really important for creating a living room that you’ll love, and then we’ll take a look at some of the different styles of coffee tables that you could experiment with or explore more, as well as some styling ideas you could try out with things you already own in your home.

Why should I style my coffee table?

Having a coffee table in your living room is a great excuse to display some items you feel will show people your style and personality. Having a styled coffee table is also a really helpful way of collecting and curating items – for example, you can select your to-be-read pile by keeping it on your coffee table or find coasters that perfectly match your favourite coffee table book, and it has a distinct Parisian style. It's also a great way to inject some of your personal style into your decor - especially if you're looking ways to make your rental property feel like a home.

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How to style a coffee table

Styling a coffee table is a lot easier than you may think – there are no rules when it comes to choosing a look you enjoy, but if you want examples to follow, here are some guides for different types of coffee tables you could try.

Round coffee tables

Round coffee tables are great for smaller living rooms. They’re much easier to move around and you can arrange your furniture around it in whatever layout you prefer without worrying about it looking balanced. When it comes to laying out your round coffee table, try to create more angles with clean lines from books and squares or keep your items clustered in groups of three.

You can use round trays for candles, or vases of flowers and greenery. These create strong focal points, and you can play with multiple levels here too. The tray or books can create a low level, while you can use a picture frame or medium-level decorative element like a small sculpture to drawing the eye line further upwards. This can be topped off with the height of a plant or flowers to create a strong balance - just take a look at our list of hard-to-kill house plants for some inspiration.

Finally, pay attention to the little details, like books with interesting or eye-catching covers which will draw attention from your guests. These will contrast with the greenery of your plants and the smooth lines of your coffee table.

Rectangular coffee tables

Rectangular coffee tables are often much longer than round coffee tables and can come with either sharp or rounded corners depending on their design. Rectangular coffee tables can be anchored with four points of interest that are different heights – try a vase of flowers, a stack of books, a low bowl with potpourri and a decorative statue.

Alternatively, you can try to create a rough triangle shape with your items of interest to apply the rule of three – create a major moment slightly off-centre like a large vase of flowers or a tall statue, and then frame it with two smaller moments, like a stack of three books and a large candle.

Multi-level coffee tables

A coffee table with multiple levels, or multiple coffee tables in one cluster creates interest on its own, but you can create an eye-catching display by playing with different textures on your coffee tables – use wood, glass, crystal, or cloth in different combinations across different items to increase the interest in your room.

Multi-level coffee tables are a great way to make your coffee table both functional and stylish – you can keep practical items like remotes and coasters in chic storage boxes on the lower levels to keep the top layer free of everyday clutter and reserve the top layer for your stylised items.

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Coffee table styling ideas

If you want some more ideas of different ways you could style your coffee table, take a dive into our quick tips and tricks:

  • Use a monochromatic coffee table to break up a vibrant colour palette in your living room
  • Use an ottoman if you want to maximise your storage space and be able to make use of an extra seat when you have guests around.
  • An antique coffee table can help to break up the clean lines of minimal space and add some character to a neutral space.
  • If you are aiming for a maximalist-style coffee table, try using a glass coffee table on which you can put multiple accessories. The glass will ensure that your coffee table doesn’t detract from the interesting items you’ve put on top.
  • Use one statement piece if you don’t want to make your coffee table too busy – try a large bunch of flowers, a decorative bowl, or a diffuser with your signature home fragrance that takes up most of the space.
  • Incorporate sentimental elements into your coffee table as great conversation starters and add a special touch to your space.
  • Try not to clutter with too many little trinkets – keep it simpler with larger items like big books and vases of flowers.

How to style your coffee table in your living room

You can ground your coffee table with a patterned rug underneath – did you know that you can make your rug from your favourite Tapi carpets using our carpet whipping service? This way you can create a stylish rug to your specifications. You can also use contrasting wood for your coffee table to your wooden floors if you have laminate or luxury vinyl tiles in your living room.

Check out our Ideas Hub for more tips and ideas – you can find real ways people have styled their living rooms on our Flooring Ideas page, or more style inspiration, like how to create a bar cart, tips on hosting a brunch at home, and how to clean white walls. Why not pop into your local Tapi store to speak to one of our floorologists about ways you can create a stylish living room, or even book a free home appointment for one of our experts to visit you and give their expert opinions?


Published: 30-11-2022