It’s no secret around here that I love to create tablescapes. I create a new one for each season, and sometimes multiple ones in between. I even hosted a thanksgiving tablescape tour this past fall, and had a bunch of my friends join in with me on the fun and share their tablescapes. While creating tablescapes are fun, and truly a way I express my creative art, styling a coffee table is much different. When I create a tablescape, I’m envisioning a space that is inviting and interesting for my guests. A place that is elegant and beautiful for all to sit and enjoy. However, most of the time when creating a tablescape they are temporary. So their design can be a bit more elaborate because it doesn’t need to withstand everyday life. Coffee tables on the other hand, aren’t meant to be grand or inviting, but we don’t want them to be boring either? So where do we draw the line on what’s too much, and what’s enough when it comes to styling a coffee table? Today I’m going to share with you my go-to’s for styling a coffee table, that I hope with help you as well.
When I’m not decorating for a holiday, primarily christmas, I have some hands down accessories I go to every time I style our coffee table. Some items could be considered seasonal, but for the most part theses pieces will last year round.
First off, trays are your best friend. They are perfect for keeping things organized and collected. They make it easy to clear off your coffee table quickly for little ones to play, or for those dinners that end up being in front of the tv. Using trays are a great way to add depth to your coffee table, which also help keep it from feeling flat. Sometimes it’s hard to keep things from being too spread out on your coffee table, and a tray is a great way to keep items together, especially when using many items. A tray will ground your vignette, and also give you a distinctive area to work in. If styling a coffee table is daunting to you, a tray is great tool to start with, because your styling area is already defined by the parameters of the tray. Trays truly are your best friend.
Flowers, fresh or faux, always add interest to your coffee table. Not only do they bring life into your entire space, but they are kind of like the magic fix-it button when styling a coffee table. If something feels off, or not quite complete, flowers of any sort are sure to solve your problem. Having fresh flowers in the house is the one thing I will splurge on, because just like hanging curtains, it makes that much of an impact. They bring a smile to my face and a sense of ease whenever I have them in my home, so it’s worth it to me to have them. I once shared that instead of treating myself to chocolate or something sweet, I treat myself to fresh flowers in my home. I enjoy it more, and it’s much easier on my waistline. Here you can see just a simple arrangement of white hydrangeas, in a tray basket with a candle to complete the vignette. Flowers will take the simplest vignette and make it feel complete. Here is an arrangement I did last summer when I was apart of the Tour of Homes, and I styled them with a few stacked books and some knick knacks.
Which leads me to my next styling element. Books & knick knacks. Technically these are two separate elements, but for me they go hand in hand. In all my coffee table vignettes next to flowers, my go-to are stacked books or magazines. It’s always nice to have something on your coffee table that is not only pretty to look at, but that you can thumb through on a lazy day without having to reach to far. They help add height to your coffee table, giving you more dimension to look at. They also provide a flat surface to be topped off with a piece of interest. Here is where the knick knacks come into play. Adding a knick knack is the perfect way to express your personality. Think of it like adding jewelry to your outfit. It’s the fun little sparkle that gets to stand out, without throwing the entire look off. Depending on what season we are in will depict what knick knack I go for. Maybe it’s a cluster of driftwood, or a metal object, an antler, or a tiny statue of something. This is the perfect opportunity to introduce a different material. If everything you’ve added so far has a matte finish, it’s time to throw in a shiny finished object. Mix up your shapes. Add interest. And remember don’t go overboard in the knick knack department, because then it just looks like clutter. You want it to look purposeful. I usually limit my knick knacks to one or two items depending on the vignette. Candles fall into this category as well. You can never go wrong with adding a candle, or for a simple vignette using a grouping of candles in different heights. White is my go-to color, because it goes with everything, and you never have to worry about it going out of style.
Here are a two more examples of how I incorporate a little bit of everything when I style my coffee table to make all of those elements work together.
My tray was the first thing I grabbed in both of these coffee tables. Like I stated before, it makes it so easy to clear off at a moments notice, whether it’s your kids wanting a flat surface to play on, or your husband wanting space to put his feet up. When you can accommodate your families needs easily, than your decor is successfully working for you.
Each time, I used fresh flowers from my local grocery store, a stack of magazines, and then finished things off with some knick knacks to add some personality and flair to the space. If styling a coffee table is intimidating to you, think of it as putting on your outfit. Start with the main pieces, add some layers and finish it off with a fun accessory!
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