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Coffee Table Chic -A Guide to Well Styled Tablescapes

Updated: Aug 10, 2023

Do you ever admire those beautifully styled coffee tables that you see in the pages of magazines or on Instagram or other social media sites? A room can have custom furniture, chic lamps and a statement coffee table, but look lifeless and lackluster without layering in accessories.

Coffee tables are a great canvas for displaying favourite collectibles. I’ve always been enamored by a well styled table. Here, I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you achieve a designer look with curated styling choices. When styling your coffee table, bear in mind this formula that every coffee table needs:

◾️Something Larger in Scale

Begin decorating your coffee table as you would your room. Start with larger pieces like a large tray or a statement coffee table book. This will be the first layer upon which to arrange other books or collectibles.

◾️Something with Colour or Contrast

Look at the design aesthetic of your room. For a more eclectic room composition, the elements don’t have to focus on coordinating or being ‘matchy matchy’ so have a little fun! For those who prefer seamless flow, add some playful elements that work together with the colours and style of your room. Choosing bold colours or high contrast elements add a punch of something unexpected!

For other more conservative design styles, look to your fabric and art choices for colour direction and inspiration. Display curated collections of books and accessories that flow

seamlessly with the room’s aesthetic!

◾️Something Sculptural

Add interest through a statue or sculptural vase or bowl. A sculptural piece is a nice contrast to the more angular elements of the room like the coffee table books and, in many cases the furniture pieces.

◾️Something Floral/Scented

Nothing sets the tone of a room like a scented candle or a floral arrangement. It stimulates the senses and is a great touch when entertaining.

◾️Something with Texture

Visual interest can be achieved by adding otexture. Accessories with texture will contrast the sleeker surfaces of the room, which most often include the case goods surfaces themselves!

◾️Odd Numbers

Though this is not a hard and fast rule, accessorizing with odd numbers creates an asymmetric ensemble which is pleasing to the eye. Make sure that when you are accessorizing, you are including pieces that are at different height levels. The simplest configuration is to assemble three items on the table.

Three object groupings will create an even more sophisticated, layered look. A ’grouping’ is an assortment of elements that read together as one whole. An example would be a stack of books with a sculpture atop which would read as one grouping. Keep in mind, a larger coffee table may work better with five items or groupings.

◾️Something to Read

Books that reflect the passion and interests of members of your household are important to have easy access to, especially in todays digital environment, where it’s so easy to turn to technology! When on display, book collections not only look beautiful, but you’ll find that when they‘re visible and easy to access, they will be perused again and again! Like any collection, showcasing your favourite books will add a personal, unique vibe to your room while inspiring interesting conversations with guests! Creatively displaying books as a part of your room design will ensure that the fun doesn’t end just because the book is finished!

Objects such as art, personal mementos and books create a visual narrative about your home and your unique personal style. Some prep work is needed before actual execution. Take a visual inventory of everything you have to work with. This may include but is not limited to trays, books, potted plants, sculptures, bowls, beads and storage boxes. Consider the elements that make an effective tablescape grouping and fill in the gaps where necessary to unify your arrangement.

While it is important to select items that infuse your tablescape with personality, be sure to edit and evaluate along the way. Stand back, take a look or even a photo. Beware of clutter and aim for a clean, streamlined vignette. Remember, great styling can completely transform a room!

Check out some of my very favourite coffee table reads from Indigo for the design junkie!


I hope these tips give you some ideas on how to create a gorgeous and chic tablescape!

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