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Our Top Five Tips for Styling a Coffee Table

We’re trying to take on all of our most frequently asked questions with our “how-to-styling guides” and today is no different. Next to “how-to style shelves” we are most commonly asked “how do I style my coffee table?”. We’re breaking it down for you with 5 easy steps. But don’t forget to have fun with it!

Tip 1: Get Yourself a Good Base

You want to start with an item that will ground your styling which is determined by the shape and size of your coffee table. Whether it be round, rectangular or square, you need to establish how much surface area you’re going to style, this is just a rough idea you don’t need to get too technical. We like to start with a tray or large coffee table book as this helps to create a base that you can build off of. Rectangular: Typically with a rectangular coffee table like the one you see here (above), we like to use two different stacks because it mimics the width of the table surface. Extra tip: Think of mixing up your shapes. If you are using a coffee table book try using a round tray to add variety. Square or Round: Depending on the size of your coffee table surface you will likely not need both a coffee table stack and a tray, so pick one and build from there.

Leclair Extra Tip: Keep in mind colour and ways to add contrast and dimension. For example, on a black coffee table you could add The White Horse coffee table book for contrast. Similarly, in the space below we added The Home That Pinterest Built as a base on top of the white marble table.

Tip 2: Think in Groupings & Play with Shapes We like to use groupings of either two or three to help add some dimension when we are styling. Try to think of placing your objects in a triangular formation. This will prevent your display from looking over-styled. Using both organic and geometric shapes will help make your display more visually interesting. Try incorporating round vases, and abstract sculptural pieces to break up the harsh angles of books and trays. Here are some examples of groupings but don’t forget about scale (pssst… Tip #3).

Tip 3: Vary Scale & Add Height Adding height helps make sure your styling doesn’t fall flat. We love using vases and fresh cut branches to add a bit of height. Again, consider the triangle concept and create a pyramid using your tallest item as a focal point and smaller items framing it. Side note: It’s ok if your tallest item isn’t perfectly centred, asymmetrical styling will also help your display feel more natural and interesting.

Tip 4: Touching on Texture & Senses

Styling without texture tends to feel a little cold and lacklustre. Bone boxes, decorative beads, greenery and sculptural items add a playful aspect to your coffee table making it feel less formal and more inviting. As humans we are naturally drawn to elements that spark our senses. Try including accessories that trigger different senses such as; candles for scent and textures for touch. Tricks like these will naturally draw you and your guests into your space.

Leclair Extra Tip: Our favourite textural element that we love to incorporate in coffee table styling is decor beads. You can stack them on books, drape them over bowls or dress a vase with them. They have a free flowing aspect to them that’s intriguing to the eye and a textural element that you want to touch.

Tip 5: Change it Up At the end of the day it’s important to keep in mind that you’re not married to your styling, You can continuously switch up your accessories and groupings. This will help keep things fresh and interesting. We suggest by starting to refresh your displays seasonally, until you feel more comfortable doing so. By doing this you will not only find that styling will come easier to you, but also you’ll fall back in love with your home and each piece you add to your collection.

We hope that these tips have helped build your confidence and that your feeling ready to start styling your coffee table. Let us know if there is another space you’re having trouble styling and we will put together another guide!


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