How to Style a Coffee Table

My most asked question from clients is how to style a coffee table. It is all about creating a balanced layout with combined textures and various heights. Today I am sharing my secret formula to styling your coffee table (or ottoman) like an interior designer.

1. Define the Space

It is easy to be overwhelmed when faced with an empty coffee table. So I like to begin by defining the space. I have two go-to formulas. The first is with a large tray in the center and all items placed inside. The second is when the table is very large I divide the table into quadrants. I use the large tray on one side and two stacks of books on the other.

2. Books as Base

Inside of the tray add a book or two to lift the accessories off the tray base. The key to a great coffee table vignette is a variety of heights.

3. Introduce Height

I love a potted orchid (real or faux), a Staffordshire dog, or a large silver vase filled with hydrangeas. A small bottle of matches and a candle work well in this mix.

4. Combine Varying Textures

My rule is: books, wood, silver, old, and living. I like to have something from each of these categories on the table. It can be interpreted however it works for your personal style, but this gives a great variety of textures.

5. Make it Personal 

This is where the fun begins. Choose something a little weird, a little off-beat, and slightly less than perfect. It will be what makes the table special, and when friends gather around I promise it will be what their eyes will be drawn to first. 

Hi, I'm Priscilla

As the daughter of an interior designer, Priscilla has been antiquing since childhood and spent summer vacations touring museums and show homes.

This early introduction and appreciation for art, fabric, and color had a huge impact on her view of the world.

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