If you're not sure how to style a coffee table, we're here to help. There's certainly no reason to be daunted when tending to this part of your living room. We've assembled a handful of key rules to follow during the decorating process, all of which will come in handy no matter the size, shape, or color of your coffee table. Yours will be looking absolutely stunning in no time.
Cut the Clutter
First things first, you'll want to clear everything off your coffee table to begin with a blank slate. Say goodbye to anything that doesn't need to live permanently in this space, such as mail, old receipts, loose change, and the like. You can make a pile of these types of items on your kitchen counter and plan to sort through them later; just remove them from the living room for now. Then, while the coffee table is empty, you will want to wipe it down to remove any stains that have resulted from fingerprints, food, or drinks. If your coffee table has a glass top, the surface will be more susceptible to markings of this kind, so be sure to give it a good clean with some glass spray.
Determine What Needs to Live on Your Coffee Table
What exactly would you like to include on your coffee table? Maybe you'd like to display a few favorite hardcover books, a candle, and a tray to corral smaller trinkets. But your coffee table should be practical, too. You might need to store your TV remote on the surface, and you'll also want to keep some coasters handy. Note that there are plenty of clever ways to make your coffee table top both functional and aesthetically pleasing. For example, if you need to keep multiple remotes within reach, why not set them inside a decorative box with a lid? There are plenty of beautiful options on the market—vintage burlwood cigar boxes are one excellent solution.
Leave Some Empty Space
Perhaps there are some people who truly have no plans to use the surface of their coffee table for anything but decor. But in most households, this won't be the case. Maybe the coffee table in your home will serve as a place for setting out food and drinks when guests come over to watch the big game. Or maybe it'll function as an everyday dining surface if you live in a small studio apartment. In either case, you'll want to ensure that the piece isn't piled high with decorative pieces. If you're a maximalist and truly have a lot of things that you wish to display, you can always opt to showcase items by housing them on trays. When you need more surface space, simply lift up the entire tray and set it elsewhere rather than having to pick up trinkets piece by piece.
Showcase Your Favorites
There's no reason that your coffee table needs to be devoid of personality. When selecting coffee table books, for example, choose titles that speak to you and your family's interests rather than opting for the same five or 10 books you see in every house on Instagram. If you're looking to save some money while shopping for hardcover books, which can be quite expensive, be sure to check out your local used bookstore, thrift store, or flea market. You may even come across some eye-catching vintage titles. There's nothing more fun than showing off a one of a kind find that no one else will have in their home.
If you frequently get the urge to redecorate, go ahead and spruce up your coffee table! It's a lot more affordable (and less time consuming) to jazz up your coffee table with new books and decorative objects every now and then than it is to make over your entire living room. And note that there are plenty of ways to celebrate the seasons through your coffee table decor. In fall, place a couple of colorful gourds on your table. In winter, fill a favorite bowl with some pinecones. Regardless of season, it's never a bad idea to place a vase full of beautiful blooms on your coffee table, either. Little touches like these will go a long way in making your house feel like a home.