How To Style A Coffee Table - Saltbox Sash

How To Style A Coffee Table

Today, we are talking about styling your coffee table in seven simple steps. Whether you're looking to refresh your coffee table or starting from scratch, these steps are the groundwork for achieving a collected, layered style you'll love. As a major focal point in the living room/family room, the coffee table is a workhorse serving many purposes in most homes. So much life and action happen around this table; I like to think of it as a second dining table. Families use the coffee table to set down drinks, and snacks, and play games and are often found gathering around the coffee table watching movies, reading books, and engaging in conversation. Next to the sofa, the coffee table is one of the most significant pieces of furniture in your living room. It presents an opportunity to express your personal style and create visual interests while retaining functionality. 

Styled Coffee Table

Woven Tray

Step One: Ground your coffee table with a tray to corral items and display your décor. A tray is a key element to success when laying out your table design. A tray will take up a lot of real estate space on your table, more than any other piece of décor you choose. A helpful hint is to use a tray that contrasts in color with your coffee table or has a texture that doesn't blend in. Also, think about scale; if your coffee table is on the bigger side, use a larger tray that doesn't look lost. Our handled palm leaf basket tray has a timeless, minimalist design that would work well with most styles. Handwoven from date palm leaves and featuring tan leather handles by artisans in rural Bangladesh.

Coffee Table Books

Step Two: I love incorporating books that are intentionally stacked and displayed in groupings on my coffee table. The best way to approach stacking is to use the largest book on the bottom and work your way up with no more than two or three smaller books on top. Mostly, I will use books to arrange other decorative objects atop them to create a more interesting layout. Books can also be used as a pedestal when you need to elevate a décor piece. Choose books that are either neutral in color or complementary to the color scheme you're going for so that the overall design will look more cohesive. If the book has a jacket that is a bit noisy in color, try removing it to reveal a neutral book cover underneath. 
Golden Treasure Box

Step Three: Boxes are not only decorative, but they add functionality to a space that typically may have not-so-pretty items that are inevitable in a living/family room. Remotes and gaming controllers can be smartly stored away in a box while not detracting from the aesthetic of your space. Our handcrafted golden treasure box was ethically made in India by skilled artisans who are masters at engraving and embossing. The metal detail has a gold floral design that adds charm and sophistication.

Natural Decorative Elements

Step Four: Add natural elements such as fresh or faux flowers and greenery, or a small potted plant to give your coffee table a bit of life, texture, and movement. High-quality faux flowers or greenery can be a bit pricey, but a worthy investment if you truly love them. The grocery store or farmer's market always has inexpensive fresh options, or you could just snip them from your own backyard. If you have any special small collections of wine corks, rocks, sea glass, seashells, or moss, intentionally display them in a small bowl sitting on a stack of books.

Unity Sculpture

Step Five: Introduce an object that is a bit unusual or quirky to sit on a stack of books or in the tray. I prefer pieces that are oddly shaped or have an interesting texture. A sculpture or a treasure from your travels would work really well as an opportunity to have fun and share your personality. Our unity sculpture is expertly hand-carved from Kisii stone by seasoned artisans in Kenya. This natural stone will have varying tones and colors that make each piece truly one of a kind. 

Large Vessel

Step Six: To create visual interest and bounce the eye around, play with height. Bring in an item that sits higher than the rest of the décor. Just be sure to think about scale. You don't want it to be super tall and overwhelm the rest of the décor or block your view of the TV or the person sitting across from you. Experiment and play around to balance out the design of your table. A vase filled with flowers, branches, or greenery (fresh or not) or a tall sculpture will complement and tie the whole table together. 

Vintage Tribal BeadsStep Seven: Finalize the look of your coffee table by accessorizing it with small details such as a string of wood or glass beads. Style your beads by either draping them over a stack of books or placing them half in a decorative bowl and half cascading out. Other low-lying items to try styled on stacked books, or in a tray are chain links or a small piece of found driftwood.

One final thought on styling your coffee table; consider how you use this space in your home and leave room for life to happen so you can enjoy it stress-free.

I hope you found this post helpful and use some or all of the steps to help you achieve a coffee table design that expresses your personal style. 

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