Coffee Tables…They’re Not Just For Coffee Any More

 ~Helpful Hints for Decorating Coffee Tables~


Today I received a request from a reader, and friend, asking for a post about decorating coffee tables. So I jumped into high gear and “shopped” my house.

5 Tips for Decorating a Coffee Table

Helpful hint #1 ~ Go throughout your house and look around.  I guarantee that you will spot something and see it in a new light! Plus, it’s free! Gather things that you love. You will probably not use everything you accumulate, but unless you have the items in front of you to “try”, you really will not be able to truly discover the look you’re going for.

Here are some treasures from my “shopping spree.” You should place similar items together, which may help you to see what collections or combinations you can use.

coffee table decor

Helpful hint #2 ~ Collections or groupings of like items will give a sense of cohesiveness to the table. Limit each grouping to 3 or 4 pieces. If you have a coffee table with 15 vases, it will look like clutter. Three vases will look like a small collection, which is perfect for a coffee table.

Here is an example of a table with a set of coffee table books and some items from nature.  Notice the stack of books. Stack them. DO NOT fan them out!

Definitely bring some “nature” into your home. I’ve chosen to use a piece of coral, a piece of petrified wood and a bird’s nest under a bell jar. I added the pitcher because I love the color of it with the nest and the wood.

coffee table decor

Helpful hint #3 ~ Vary the height of the items on your coffee table. The different heights will give interest and depth to your arrangement.

Here is an example of a coffee table with pieces that are varied in height. The candles are the tallest, then the bell, the box, the bowl of apples and lastly the book. It almost feels “layered,” which gives the sense that it was created over time, as I collected and acquired little treasures.

Also notice that I have a collection of antique, rustic pieces as well as a grouping of candles. The dough bowl and the wood box were given to me by my grandmother. They are old and worn, but I like them that way. They have a story to tell.

The three candles vary in height and sit atop a stone piece that was meant for the garden, but I rather have it in the house! Don’t be afraid to use things in different ways or places than they were intended.

coffee table decor

Helpful hint #4 ~ The colors of your pieces should be cohesive. There should be a sense of purpose in your arrangement.

That doesn’t mean that you could not throw in a statement piece. For example, you could use neutral colors and then add a striking peacock-blue bowl. Don’t be afraid to throw in a random color, but be sure that the other pieces are alike in their color scheme. Make sure your “odd” colored item is flattering with the color of the rest of the display.

This example is a coffee table that uses a combination of three colors. You can see that they pull off of each other. Because the rooster has all three colors, I am able to merge the other pieces with it.

coffee table decor

Helpful hint #5  ~ Just go with it! Shop your house and create an arrangement. I’m sure you will need to rearrange it. Then you will rearrange it again. You’ll probably want to swipe things out, just keep working. Be sure to try different pieces and color schemes. You will also need to try various ways to display the items.

Get up and walk around the table. Look at it from every angle and remember that your creation will be seen from all sides.

It’s very important to use pieces you love because the coffee table is front and center. You spend a lot of time sitting in front of it so make sure it makes you happy. It should say, “My House is a beautiful home!”

Do you have a decorating request? Feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to help!
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  1. says

    you are so right! Coffee tables are no longer for the newspaper and your cuppa.. I just purchased a velvet ottoman to use as a coffee table for exactly that purpose, display! Oh practicality where art’thou… loved it xxx Cat

  2. says

    I’ll definitely come knock on you door when I get to my lounge – I have no direction as to color combinations, and to top it all I LOVE glass, the TV stand is a tiered glass table, glass side table and to top it my Coffee Table is ALL glass! Love what you did in your post {and I m a sucker for cloches too!}


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