5 Elements to Decorate A Coffee Table Like A Pro

Recently I have begin doing a ton of Facebook Lives in hopes to reach out and get to know my readers better and to know what they want to learn about. One thing that was asked about a lot was how to decorate a coffee table. This is something I love to share and work on with my readers. Keep reading to see how I go about styling any coffee table in my home. I want to share some great coffee table centerpiece ideas as well!

How to style a coffee table like a pro!

There are so many different coffee tables styles out there and there are so many different ways you can style a coffee table to suit your personal decor aesthetic. Here are some of my favorite coffee tables…..

You can also check out my Coffee Table Board on Pinterest~

When I am looking to decorate a coffee table, I have a certain method to my madness that I want to share, here are some coffee table decor ideas:

First, you need a focal point. A floral arrangement is a great option as well as the perfect centerpiece. A modern sculpture is also another great option if you are looking for a statement piece. In addition to these I am sharing some key pieces that you should look into

In my opinion there are 5 different elements you want to consider and use when styling a coffee table. I Like to consider this a “capsule wardrobe” for my homes decor. I keep decor pieces that fall in one of these categories. Lets talk about what these decorative objects and how to use them:

  • Books or stacks of books or coffee table books
  • decorative tray, crate or other storage type decorative items
  • Mixed materials such as metal, wood, wicker, glass, and ceramic vase
  • Blankets
  • Accessories such as picture frames, small trinkets and more
  • vase of fresh flowers

Now lets talk about why I consider these 5 elements to be important when decorating a coffee table, and why I try to use all 5:


I love using books in my home decor. I use them on my bookshelves(obviously). But, I also use them on my fireplace mantels, on my dining room shelves, benches, and coffee tables. They are such an easy and inexpensive way to add decor to any surface.  The coffee table is the perfect place to add decorative books.

I often find my books at a thrift store. If you want to mainly use them for decor, this is the perfect way to go. You can search for ones that land in the color category that you want. Take my home for example, I look for neutral colored books as well as blues/grays/ and blacks.  

  • One tip is to take the books jacket off to see what the color of the book is and keep the jacket off. Most often, the book is so much cooler under the paper jacket.  

I use books on my mantels to raise up and layer items when I want some height and can’t get it otherwise.  

I love to use books to style coffee tables. From layering them in a tray, stacking them on a bottom shelf and using them to prop a basket on, they can be used in so many versatile ways.

Trays / Baskets / Containers / Decorative Boxes-

Having a tray or basket on your coffee table is also an important element in my opinion. There are so many options to what you can use. 

I have often found cute baskets and even wire baskets at thrift stores and have used them in my coffee table styling. A wooden tray or wooden crate can act as a place to collect some of those books or other accessories you want to feature. Try to find items with interesting shapes.

Layering a basket on top of some books is an easy way to style a coffee table.  I would highly recommend checking a thrift store for these items before going and purchasing elsewhere. I cannot believe how many I have found there and still use daily in my home decor.

Mixing Materials-

I think making sure you mix textures and materials is another important element in how to style a coffee table. Mixing woods, metals, glass and wicker(baskets) add interest and texture to your home. 

If I use a painted coffee table I will focus on materials with wood/glass and metal. If I use my coffee table that is raw wood, like my wire spool coffee table, I will try to incorporate more soft materials such as a blanket/metals/ and ceramics to counter balance the wood.


Blankets and pillows are great decor items you can use on your coffee table. They add a bit of softness to an otherwise hard surface. I have used them in many different ways. You can drape them on the top of the coffee table, setting a few items on the blanket to add more interest. 

You can also fold it neatly and add it to the bottom shelf. What about adding it to a basket on the table, or below the coffee table on a shelf. Whats great is that it is also a functional piece. Use it to take that afternoon nap and then put it back on the coffee table.  

Small Accessories that tell a story-

Modern farmhouse coffee table styling ideas, tips, and tricks

One way to really personalize your coffee table is to add smaller accessories. I love adding personal pieces that have some kind of story. One Item I like to use is drift wood and rocks. Every trip we go on as a family, we always try to get a piece of driftwood or some cool rocks.  

It is so fun for the kids to see and talk about those items when they see them displayed on the coffee tables or shelves around our home. 

This is a great way to bring in some conversation pieces that will bring interest to your home decor, instead of items that you may have no connection to.


One last bonus item you should add to your coffee table styling is the use of natural elements…such as rocks, wood, moss, or other items, like deer antlers and plants.  

5 elements to help you to decorate a coffee table like a pro!

Now, lets talk about how to use these items to decorate your coffee table.

Here is a video I shared on Facebook where we talked all about how to decorate a coffee table and we tried out many different options:

When planning out what you want to use to style your coffee table, you want to make sure that you consider the table from all angles. It is not like styling shelving. You want to remember that people will be able to see your coffee table from all side of the room and so you want to make sure that the items you choose are things that will balance wherever they are seen.

You also want to consider the theme of the room and the colors in the space as well. I try to pull a few colors that I have throughout the room while keeping it simple and interchangeable with the other decor items in the room. I am one that loves to change up my decor often, but I like to be able to recycle and reuse the decor items that I have.

Coffee table centerpiece ideas

How to layer items on your coffee table 

Want your table centerpieces to be the focal point of your living room? Layering items together can bring dramatic impact to your living space.Take consideration of the 5 elements that I listed above.  

Layer a basket atop a stack of books or top the books with some candle holders. Fill the basket with some accessories such as moss balls, pine cones or stylish rocks.

How to decorate a coffee table like a pro!

You want to balance this with another item of similar size or a couple items grouped together. I like to decorate with our driftwood collection, and I have a quite large piece that works well as a decor item all on its own.

5 elements that help me easily decorate a coffee table like a pro in no time!

If your coffee table has a lower shelf, you can stack books, folded blankets , throw pillows, or even an old corbel like I have. There are so many different ideas.

Beautifully styled coffee table in this modern farmhouse bedroom. Try these tips to learn how to style a coffee table like a pro!

Its all about balance when it comes to knowing how to style a coffee table. I like to angle my items towards each other or opposite depending on what balances best.

Groupings are best when styling a coffee table. You wouldn’t want to just simply place a bunch of items on a coffee table with no rhyme or reason. Group similar items together and make a few different vignette groupings. Books and a crate/tray/or basket, a grouping of bottles or a blanket stacked with some more books. There are so many ways to style a coffee table with the same items. You can easily move them around until they find their home. 

Whether you have a round coffee table, square coffee table, or rectangular coffee tables, a small table or large table, you can create a cohesive look with this piece of furniture. Even a simple wooden bowl with fresh greenery can create the impact that you want. You can create a stylish coffee table in a simple way.

How to decorate a coffee table like a professional with these 5 elements!

If you watch my video at the beginning of this post, I show many different layouts with the same items. I show my items grouped and choose from each of the 5 elements that I like to use.  

This is an easy way to give yourself a bit of an edge when you are learning how to decorate a coffee table if you are not very confident in doing it.  

I promise you can do it, and I hope that my tips today have given your some inspiration.  

Check out these tips and tricks on how to decorate a coffee table like a professional!


Now, if you like this about how to decorate coffee tables, check out these:

How to Style Decorative Wall Shelves Like a Designer

The Insanely Inexpensive Farmhouse Style Bedding Hack

5 Inexpensive Bathroom Decor Ideas That can Transform a Space

How to Choose the Perfect Drop Cloth Canvas for Home Decor

How to Use a Paint Sprayer to Paint Furniture

Farmhouse Industrial Coffee Table Styling Ideas

Styling Tips and DIY Chalk Paint




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