If you’ve been following along on Insta stories recently, y’all know that I had to delay writing this blog post because I couldn’t decide how I wanted to style my coffee table (classic Brighton!). So yeah, I get it might seem kinda funny that I’m here giving you advice on coffee table styling but there’s always trial and error with interior design stuff. And I don’t want to be over here pretending I’m perfect and that it’s always a smooth and easy process (especially since I change my mind about what I like EVERY TWO SECONDS).
Y’all have been loving my interior design advice so I thought I’d share the fundamental design principles you need to apply whenever you’re styling a coffee table – no matter what your style is. I’m no interior designer (or Martha Stewart) but I’m a total decorating nerd, which I definitely got from my mama. And I love sharing this stuff! And I’m always learning more as I try it out myself, so I wanted to share a few coffee table styling tips I’ve picked up along the way.
Coffee Table Styling: 8 Tips To Guide Your Styling
A coffee table isn’t the easiest thing to decorate (at least for me) but thankfully a lot of the principles that apply to styling bookshelves or cute corners of your house also apply to coffee table styling – so you can build on what you’ve already learned. All coffee tables are different and it depends what your style is but below are some tips to help you figure out what to put on a coffee table!
Keep it Balanced
If your coffee table styling doesn’t look quite right, it’s probably because your coffee table decorations aren’t balanced. And by that I mean you either have a lot of small little knick-knacks or you’ve got a few large items that look too heavy and cumbersome. Make sure your coffee table accessories are balanced by using a mixture of different sized items and grouping like-objects together.
Pay Attention To Composition
Getting the composition of your coffee table accessories right is the trickiest part of a styling a coffee table, so don’t beat yourself up if you struggle with this, K?! The key is to think of all of your coffee table decorations as a whole – they’re each one element of a bigger picture. And that picture needs to be cohesive. You can connect your coffee table decorations through style, color, theme or shape. Definitely have play around with it until it feels right; often there are just one or two items that are throwing things off.
Use The Rule of Three
Whenever I’m struggling with what to put on a coffee table (it doesn’t help that I change my opinion on things every two seconds, but ANYWAY…) I always come back to the rule of three. To use the rule of three, y’all just need to picks three items or three groupings of items whose scale and colors go with each other (and obviously also fit in with the style of the room) and then arrange them on the coffee table. It’s always important to consider scale, color and height when you’re picking your coffee table decorations but y’all can be a bit more adventurous with height (because it adds a bit more interest). I LOVE using trays when I’m styling my house and they almost always work perfectly as one of the three sections, so you can start there.
Less is More
In most cases, I think it’s better to keep your coffee table decoration simple because you want the space to be functional so there’s enough room for setting things down or putting up your feet etc. When you’re styling your coffee table it’s important that each item enhances the look rather than overwhelms it or takes away its functionality (you need to be able to use it after all). Don’t feel like you have to decorate every inch of your coffee table. Instead, if you’re working with a larger area, pick one side to focus on. Basically, don’t overdo it with your coffee table decorations. If it’s in a room that doesn’t really get used, then you don’t have to worry about functionality as much, but I’m still a fan of simplicity.
Mix it Up
Combining shapes and textures is always a good idea when it comes to coffee table decorations (which my friend at the coffee table store confirmed!). You want to mix textures, shapes, and sizes to arrive at a pleasing mix. It looks nice to mix rounded items with straighter edges – like setting a round bowl on a stack of coffee table books. For instance, if your coffee table has a smooth surface like mine then look for rougher or more textured items to create contrast. Pair curved with straight, shiny with dull, textured with smooth and hard with soft. This is one of the most helpful things to think about when you’re coming up with coffee table decor ideas.
Since a coffee table is often placed in a central area of a room, people will be seeing it from all angles so you need to make sure all of your coffee table accessories look good from all sides. This is why a picture frame does NOT work on a coffee table – someone’s going to have to look at the back of it. Which isn’t pretty (and y’all want everything to be pretty)! But a vase will look good from all angles as will books, trinkets, plants and candles. You can also use coffee table accessories like baskets or wooden boxes to store your remotes, reading glasses and everyday essentials that will make your coffee table look cluttered.
Have a Statement Piece
I always try to have at least one statement piece on my coffee table. It might standout because it’s something unusual for a coffee table or it’s a bolder color or a unique shape. Your coffee table needs a focal point to pull everything together. If y’all are looking for coffee table decor ideas or trying to figure out what to put on a coffee table, searching for a statement piece is always a good place to start! I knew from the start I wanted my statement piece to be the orchid! I got mine at Caitlin Wilson Designs if you want the exact one!
Add Something Natural
Flowers or a cute indoor plant are always a must when it comes to coffee table accessories as they liven up the space and also give it a more expensive feel (though Target always has cute fake plants – if you need something that won’t die LOL). Make sure y’all have a little fun with it and don’t be afraid to experiment with different colored flowers.
OK y’all, hope you enjoyed those tips and seeing the final photos of how I FINALLYYYY decorated my coffee table!
Any other tips to add? Do y’all like my final styling job?
Brighton Your Day
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