Interiors Living

OE Guide to Styling a Coffee Table


The coffee table is the centre piece of a room and can be so much more than just a place where mugs are dumped and old magazines go to die.

We think that it’s a space that, while still practical and functional, can also be a stylish, elegant focal point to regularly update with new accessories, freshening up a room.

Here are our tips on how to style the perfect coffee table.




Firstly you have to get the right table.  Start by considering the space you have. Coffee tables come in all shapes and sizes and can be completely bespoke if you want yours to be an exact design or measurement.

Remember it has to be within easy reach of sofas and chairs. Aim for no more than 80cm or it becomes a bit of a stretch to put your cuppa down.

What style and look do you want? A chunky, rustic oak table or a sleek, glass design? Think about what will work best in your room, but not just from an aesthetic point of view.

Pointy glass corners aren’t suited to house with a toddler but glass is also wipe clean and won’t mark easy so a compromise could be a wooden frame with an inlaid glass top.

Or if someone in the house really likes to put their feet up (shoes off or course!) then consider a leather ottoman.  Pop a tray on it when you want to put cups down and removed all accessories if you need us it for extra seating.



Once you have your ideal table the fun really begins. There is no right or wrong way to style a coffee table but by considering certain key elements you can create something that’s a real visual treat.

Coffee table books earned their name for a reason – because they are hefty art, style and photography tombs that look gorgeous on display.

If you are starting from scratch the best selections can be found in museum shops (think the V&A or the National Gallery), specialist book shops (the book shop at the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour) or the book departments of large stores (Selfridges, Harrods).

Try a few different sizes and stack them or even open one at a particularly beautiful page. You can also add the latest editions of your favourite magazines to your literary styling.

Trays are a fantastic addition and can create separate more delicate area within the table top. Place the tray in the centre and books around it or put in in a corner. On it you can put a candle, a trinket box, a match stick holder, shells– any pretty little item really.


Greenery and flowers are a must but don’t go for anything too lofty, the trick to coffee table styling is to keep it low.  Depending on the feel of the room, a small pot of succulents or a pretty dish with a few peonies cut very short, will add just the right amount of colour and life.

Don’t forget about coasters. Ultimately a coffee table will be home to cups and, especially if it’s wooden, you have to remember that ring marks are a risk. Scatter some pretty coasters across it and your guests should get the jist.

Remember your coffee table is an extension of the décor in the rest of the room. If yours is a monochrome space then stick to that or if you have a mix of colour and pattern then more eclectic groups will be more suitable. See your table top as a little window into your taste in interiors.


Here are some of our favourite coffee tables and some suggestions of what to style them with


Coasters, Lux Deco, £225


Faux Flower Cube, John Lewis, £50


Faux coral, Zara, £29.99



Coasters, Marks and Spencer, £19.50



Tom Dixon Candle, £55


Match Striker, Lux Deco, £300


Terrarium, The Urban Botanist, £195




West Elm, £24john-lewis-trayTray, John Lewis, £25




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