7 ways to style your coffee table

By following a few simple guidelines, you can make your coffee table the stand out feature of your living room


The humble coffee table has to walk a tricky line between being the main focal point of the living room, while also not disrupting the overall flow and aesthetic of the space. This balancing act is hard to achieve, but by following a few fundamental design rules your coffee table can bring the whole design of your living room together. By following a few of the suggestions below, you can master the art of coffee table decoration, to ensure your table is both functional and beautiful.

Consider a vintage coffee table

Coffee tables, as the star of the living room show, need character. While some modern designs do contain a lot of personality, nothing can compare to the history and guaranteed uniqueness of a vintage coffee table. ‘Vintage’ is a term which encompasses a whole landscape of styles, from art deco to early Victorian, so a traditional table can work alongside any living room design. Check out Vinterior’s collection of vintage tables.


Composition requires play and experimentation to get right. Making sure that all the items on your coffee table work together can be very difficult. It is important that you choose something to link them together, whether its colour, a theme or shape, and stick to it. When it’s done well, it looks effortless, with seemingly unconnected items creating a gorgeous montage.

Size and scale

The items you choose to decorate your table with also need to perform their own balancing act, and this all comes down to size. They should not be so small that they get lost and have no impact, but they should also not be big enough to disrupt the entire flow of the room and appear ridiculous. Therefore you should scale your table decorations to your table, while also leaving enough room to put down drinks, books, remotes and other tools of the living room.

Similarly, when choosing a table you should scale it to your room. It should be large enough to make a contribution, but not so large that it gets in the way of day-to-day life.


Balance is the central theme when trying to achieve a successful coffee table design, and one of the best ways to attain balance is through use of symmetry. Put a central piece in the middle of your table (a vase of flowers, a small sculpture or something similar) and surround it on both sides with objects of similar size and shape. They needn’t be completely identical to create a satisfying sense of poise.

Keep it clean

There might be many treasured items you want to display proudly on your coffee table, but it’s important not to overcrowd it. Each item you put upon the table should be given room to breathe, and contribute something significant to the room’s aesthetic. Also remember to leave space for functional uses, like drinks.

A statement piece

A statement piece does not need to be something outrageous, just a single item that draws the eye and sparks conversation. This may be something of unusual shape or that is much brighter than its surroundings. Plants and flowers are a good way to achieve this. A bit of greenery or colour in an otherwise neutral-toned space, for example, works with the overall aesthetic by creating a subtle contrast.

Combine textures

Shiny and matte; round and square; light and dark. Contrast creates interest, so choose at least one item that does not fit into the same niche as what surrounds it for a bit of additional character.