It’s week two of our Design at Home series and this week Aryn Guillory, interior designer and founder of her design firm, Oyster Creek Studios is sharing how to style your coffee table! Whether your table is round square or rectangular – she’s got you covered.
We didn’t have a coffee table in the living room of our home because it was too small – so I was thrilled when our new living space allowed us to have quite a large table – we ended up going with this disappearing acrylic/glass table from Wisteria. At 50 inches long and 38.25 inches wide, it’s quite a statement piece – but since it’s clear, it doesn’t overpower the space and let’s the rest of our furniture and our printed rug stand out. We have wood pieces, brass, upholstered furniture, raffia, and bamboo woven shades in our living room and I love how the acrylic table adds another element. The top of our table is glass and easy to clean – we set our drinks on it, the kids play with legos, tic-tac-toe, etc. We love it!
I was always inspired by the way Aryn styles coffee tables and used some of her tips for our own space as you can see below.
HOW TO STYLE YOUR COFFEE TABLE VIA OYSTER CREEK STUDIOS
All images below are by Harlow & May Studios.
To be honest – I re-style my coffee table in my own home ALL. THE. TIME. I just love to change it up every few months (just like my built-ins!)
I’ve learned over the years there are countless ways to style a coffee table and there are so many different sizes and shapes of coffee tables. However, there is a difference in styling when it comes to a square vs. round coffee tables. But good news – some of the styling tips overlap!
First and foremost, consider how you use your coffee table before you choose how to style it. Do you typically set your drink down on it when watching TV? Do you love to play board games on it? The best coffee tables may be perfectly styled, but they aren’t functional if they don’t serve a purpose for you and your family.
Some things to keep in mind when styling your coffee table regardless off its shape or size:
GROUPINGS: You don’t want the top of your coffee table to look like a chaotic mess with too many shapes going on and remotes and gadgets taking up the top surface. We typically only like to work with 3-4 groupings on the table – think either a grid or a triangular shape for placing objects.
START WITH A FOCAL POINT: Start with a large piece that will stand out the most on the table. This could be a large vase, a large wooden bowl, or a taller sculptural object. I like to use this wooden tic-tac-toe game on tables. It’s fun for the kid’s and it’s a conversational piece.
STACK IT UP! We love stacking coffee table books to create height and to create a landing place for other decorative items. However, be sure to style your table with pretty books in which the cover is visually appealing and goes with the aesthetic of your home. I tend to use design related books but use what makes you happy! Amazon and Homegoods have great coffee table books!
ADD A PERSONAL TOUCH: Add decorative objects on top of your stack of books for a personal touch. Pretty candles, sculptural objects, a geo rock, blue and/or blue & white ginger jars all give your surface a more dynamic and interesting feel. These objects will also create height where things might otherwise feel a little flat. Again, use just one or two smaller pieces on the table and don’t over crowd it.
TRAYS: Use pretty trays or boxes to coral your remotes and gadgets. I love to use acrylic trays, wooden trays, and/or rattan like trays. I sometimes even stack my coffee table books inside the tray.
GO GREEN: Greenery goes a long way! Start with an interesting plant or greenery arrangement to make your coffee table feel more organic and less staged. When I don’t have fresh flowers on our coffee table, I love to use succulents or moss bowls. Just don’t turn your table into a jungle with all the different plants and flowers!
Style note: If your table has a bottom section, be sure to anchor that space with a larger object like a large tray. Don’t make it look like a place to throw random belongings! Use larger, more substantial pieces in this lower section.
STYLING COFFEE TABLES: ROUND VS. SQUARE
- Round coffee tables can be a little tricky. Generally, round tables look their best when items are arranged in a triangular shape: a stack of books, a tray and a moss bowl. This keeps it looking visually interesting and full of dimension, and has a purpose!
- Too many square or rectangular items on a round coffee table can make a round surface feel a little off.
- On square coffee tables, I like to either divide the surface into quadrants and display an arrangement of four main items or I use the triangular method but use a much longer tray. To me the grid feels organized and dynamic, but currently I’m using the triangular method on my square coffee table!
Overall, just keep it simple – there’s nothing worse than too much clutter on your coffee table. Also, you should love the items on display and the objects should have some sort of meaning behind them. If anything else, just remember these 3 tips: something green, stacked coffee table books, and a pretty candle!
COFFEE TABLE STYLING FAVORITES:
- Veronika’s favorite coffee table books here
- Tic-tac-toe (lucite)
- Acrylic tray
- Rattan tray
- Square white tray
- Greens: super moss, Spanish moss, moss balls
- More greenery options here, here and here
- Wavy bowls (see my tutorial on how to paint them here) more options here
- Wood welcome beads
- Large coral piece
- Cane tray
- Gold object
- Decorative objects
- More decorative objects (and here)
SHOP THE POST:
Thank you Aryn for all of these incredible styling tips! You can see more of Aryn’s work on her website!