Written by in-house designer and stylist Lauren Holmes.

We all know it's the little things that make a house feel like a home. And when it comes to decorating, I believe the look and feel of your living room is created by styling your coffee table. But with so many different ways to style a coffee table, it can be hard to decide what will work best for your space and design preference. That is why I wanted to share my go-to tips as an interior designer on how to decorate your coffee table. 

Tell a unique story

Let the items you place on your coffee table tell a story about what is important to you and what you are passionate about. I suggest always using a mix of materials – wood, glass, ceramics, metallics, woven, books, and organic elements. Be sure to consider that the coffee also has a beautiful surface material itself, so you’ll want to create some negative or blank space to show this off. 

The decor items you could add to your coffee table include collected beach finds, unique ceramics and décor pieces that you found on your travels. You could also include coffee table books that are beautiful and meaningful. We love placing large coffee table books about Interiors, Architecture or Travel inspired photography.

Examples I frequently use on my coffee table include:



Curation is Key

This can often be the daunting part, but it is important to make sure that all the elements on display on your coffee table relate to the rest of the living space in some way. The way I do this is by connecting the coffee table pieces through colour, style, shape, texture or a combination, so once complete the whole space should read as one and your coffee table fits in with your broader style story. For example, if there's artwork or a large rug in the space with earthy clay tones, ensure there's one element on the table which pulls in a similar hue.  

To work out what pieces are best in the surrounding space, it really is a process of trial. I will place pieces on the table and be constantly switching out items until it feels right and relates to the background environment. 


Balanced layout 

On your coffee table it is important to create a balanced display and one of the easiest ways to do this is by creating symmetry in the layout of items. This can be achieved by dividing the table into a grid so you can place items in sections. This will depend on the shape of your coffee table, for example a round coffee table can be divided into 3, a large rectangular table into 4 and so on.

When finalising on which item to use, select items that are of varying heights and scale to draw the eye. For example, you could include a tall vase with dried florals, stacked coffee table books, a large candle or medium sized decorative object and a shallow decorative bowl. Ensure the items are different in size, shape and texture to keep it interesting. 

One of my favourite vignettes to include on a coffee table is to have a couple of books stacked horizontally, with an item placed on top to provide a grounded and overall unified feeling. Another stylist hack is to place everything on a tray to ground the pieces and then place the tray either in the centre or off to one-side of the coffee table. It does take time and practice to get the display feeling right, so don't be afraid to play around with items until you get the balance right. Be sure to keep it uncluttered and allow everything on display space to shine! It is also important that you have this space so the coffee table can function in the way it should and as well as being an aesthetically beautiful display.


Now you have seen the tips and tricks for styling your coffee table, from creating a unique story to curating pieces and balancing the layout. You are now ready to put these into action when it comes to your own coffee table set up. Don’t be afraid if you don’t get it right straight away, as styling does take time and lots of experimentation. I am also available to help you style your living room or whole house, via our styling service – so please feel free to book in with myself or one of our other amazing interior designers who can provide tailored advice and support in making your room complete. Finally, don’t forget whenever you undertake any redesigning project in your home; enjoy the journey of discovery along the way!