How to Decorate a Coffee Table: Simple Tips and Ideas for Stylish Decor

Learn how to style your coffee table with these practical decorating tips for a chic and inviting living space.

Use a Tray

use a tray

A well-chosen tray can anchor your coffee table design while keeping small items organized. Opt for a material that complements your room’s style—wooden trays inject warmth, metal adds a sleek touch, and acrylic provides a modern look without visual clutter. Place your favorite books, a small vase, or a candle on the tray for a tidy yet decorative touch. This approach not only enhances visual appeal but also makes it easy to clear the table when you need space quickly.

Display Greenery

Incorporating plants breathes life into any coffee table setup. Small potted plants or succulents add a burst of vitality without overwhelming the space. They’re not only visually appealing but also improve air quality, making your living area feel fresh and invigorating. A singular, stunning orchid can serve as a focal point, while smaller, leafy arrangements complement other decor elements subtly. For those who shy away from the responsibility of live plants, high-quality faux options offer a maintenance-free alternative that still captures the essence of greenery.

Include Personal Elements

Every coffee table should showcase glimpses of who you are. Mix in items that tell your story through small, meaningful details. A stack of books from your recent reads reflects your interests and invites conversation. Cherished family photographs in elegant frames can breathe warmth into the room. Even souvenirs from travels or a collection of vintage coasters can serve as intriguing conversation starters.

Consider a minimalist approach to retain a clean look. Rotate these elements seasonally or as you find new treasures that speak to your evolving tastes. This strategy keeps the display fresh and engaging, reflecting your current passions and experiences.

Add Some Color

Brighten up the space with a splash of color to catch the eye and stir conversation. Consider a vibrant vase, colorful books, or decorative bowls. Choose hues that complement the overall room decor but stand out enough to make the coffee table a focal point. For a harmonious look, stick to a consistent color palette across all your table elements. Alternatively, for a more eclectic touch, mix different shades and textures to create visual interest and depth. Keep the balance by not overcrowding; sometimes, a single bold item can make the strongest statement.

Incorporate Storage

Storage options can be both stylish and functional on your coffee table. Consider using decorative boxes or baskets to keep remote controls, coasters, or reading glasses within easy reach but out of sight. Stack a few beautifully bound books that can act as a base to elevate other decorative items while offering quick access to reading material. For smaller tables, opt for multi-functional pieces like a hollow ottoman that doubles as additional seating or a small drawer unit that can slide underneath when not in use. These choices help maintain a clutter-free surface, creating a cleaner and more appealing look.