The first things that catch your eye when you enter any family or living room are the sofa and coffee table. Instead of letting your table collect coffee mug rings and food crumbs for standing in as your dining room table, it’s time to spice things up and learn how to master coffee table styling.

Let your style shine through when designing your coffee table just like any other part of your house. Do not think of it as the place to stash your multitude of remote controls; think of it as the heart and soul of your room, styling it with your personal flair and purpose.

If you need a place to store the odds and ends that you and your family use frequently that end up looking like a huge cluttered mess, opt for a wicker basket or small trunk with a lid tucked under your table that you can quickly stash away when guests come!


Coffee Table Styling Tips & Tricks

Consider adding the following elements for a simple yet stunning makeover:

  • Candlelight: add your favorite gardenia candle or various sized pillared candles to create a calming ambiance with a subtle, pleasant scent. Candles add instant, welcoming glamour to any room, so why not on your coffee table.
  • You can find a great, affordable assortment of candle sticks at TJ Maxx or Home Goods, my two favorites. Pick up some candles of varying sizes in your favorite colors, or classic white or ivory, at Hobby Lobby or the Dollar Store. I also enjoy scouring my favorite home decor resale shop for unique and thrifty accents, such as candles and candlesticks. I have purchased beautiful crystal, with name brands like Tiffany, Sworovski, and Mikasa for under $10 and have bought other candle sticks that I’ve spray painted for a quick and easy project. I feel so accomplished and proud to find great deals or when I finish a home project and smile every time I see these items in my home.
  • Tray: trays come in a variety of styles; rustic wood with metal handles would look great in your bachelor-style living room while a mirrored tray would add elegance to your chic, feminine design. No matter your style, there is a tray for you to visually organize your accent items so they do not appear carelessly scattered on your table. While many trays commonly come in square or rectangle form, you can find decorative and functional trays in an assortment of shapes, such as round and even octagonal. Other options to consider include a shallow tray, which can be beautiful and add interest but is not very functional, or deeper trays that can actually hold items more securely and can also double as serving trays.
  • Tip: add some life to your tray but including a small plant (real or artificial is fine by me!). I think hydrangeas and peonies always look pretty, feminine, and classic- plus if you get hydrangeas in summer, you can dry them for a completely different, beautiful look. My favorite faux arrangement comes from Home Goods, and I also love my “Mother-In-Law’s Tongue” plant that you only need to water once a month. Low maintenance, hard-to-kill plants work for me.
  • Books: why not add a visually stimulating book to your table that begs your guests to read it? Many coffee table books are designed to be “read” through beautiful pictures and simple, inspiring text, so try adding anywhere from one to a whole stack of books as a part of your coffee table remodel.
  • Accent pieces: whether it’s that timeless crystal Tiffany box you got from your wedding or a unique sand hourglass timer you scored at your favorite thrift store, an eclectic mix of interesting accent pieces adds instantaneous interest to your table.

No matter the style of your living or family room and regardless of the condition of your coffee table, a thoughtful makeover will add life, interest, and value to your home.  You can practice styling with items you already have in your home or check out local thrift stores for truly one-of-a-kind treasures.

To add a sentimental touch, reach out to family members to see if they have any trinkets they wouldn’t mind parting with. My mom has endless picture frames, gorgeous decorative boxes, little vases, and figurines stored away- seriously, her house is like a remote Pier 1 storage unit. These items should be displayed, not hidden away collecting dust- talk to your moms and grandmas to see what treasures they may have tucked away.