Easy Formula for Coffee Table Styling

coffee table styling Hey guys! Jacqueline here. Today I’m sharing my go-to formula for styling a coffee table, and spoiler alert- it’s actually super easy! I always love seeing how people style their coffee tables and I find so much inspiration online via Pinterest. I went months without having a coffee table after replacing our living room rug and selling the previous table. I can be pretty picky when it comes to buying furniture and I needed something very specific for the space. Not only did I miss the function of having a coffee table for drinks, daily objects, remote controls, and resting your feet after a long day, but I missed having the little vignette to style- it honestly adds a lot of warmth and coziness to your living space! Needless to say, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new coffee table and took this as an opportunity to buy some new items for styling. If you’re unsure where to start, click through for my easy formula below!


coffee table stylingMy first rule of thumb is to layer, layer, layer. I am an avid coffee table book hoarder. If I had to call myself a collector of anything it would be beautiful books. Depending on your budget, buy them new or used online- or check your local thrift store for great deals. You can find some really interesting books for a few bucks and as long as the book cover is in good shape and fits the color palette, you’re good to go! Sarah loves stocking up on books during her antiquing trips and prefers to remove the book sleeves prior to styling.

Designer tip: stack the books at varying heights in a way that best fits the shape of the table. For our round coffee table I stacked the books in a cluster towards the middle. For a rectangular table I would set them side by side or next to a round tray to help fill the negative space. The books will help anchor smaller accents such as vases, flowers, candles, coaster, etc. Plus they add height and dimension to the table, making it not feel as flat.

coffee table stylingNext comes the accessories! Some of my favorite items to add to a coffee table are:

  • candles
  • candle accessories (wick trimmer, matches, etc)
  • coasters
  • vases / flowers
  • tray
  • box
  • books
  • decorative or sculptural objects

Trays and boxes are perfect for corralling smaller items or hiding the remote controls. If everything has a place, you won’t be searching for it when it comes time to binge watch your favorite shows.

Living Room Update - Room for TuesdaySee how Sarah styled her round brass coffee table (above) and round vintage coffee table (below) in their Utah Rambler. You can make it as simplistic and minimal as you’d like, or travel toward the maximalist side with more layering.

Don’t forget about styling outdoor spaces as well. Sarah styled a rectangular coffee table in their backyard a few years ago using plants, citronella candles (to keep the bugs away), matches and even a chic speaker for enjoying music! Think of coffee table items that are functional for the space they’re in.

The nice thing about coffee table styling is, it’s super easy to rearrange items whenever you want! You can easily swap books, trade accessories, switch out flowers, add a new candle or tray, and it’ll feel like a whole new table. I’d love to know- what are some of your go-to items for styling your coffee table? Share in the comments below and shop some of my favorites below!

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  1. I absolutely LOVE your coffee table vignette, Jacqueline! Where did you find that pretty burl box?

    1. Jacqueline says:

      Thank you, Julie! The burl box was from CB2 a year or two ago. I don’t believe they still have it in stock but they do have a similar tray http://bit.ly/2L9kQxA or I found a similar box on Etsy http://bit.ly/2KZQmyf. Hope that helps! :-)

      1. Thank you! So sweet of you to go searching! :)

  2. Can you share where you got the match holder from? Does it also have a striker built in? Thanks!

    1. Jacqueline says:

      Hi Brittany! The match striker is actually Sarah’s and she said she got it from Michael’s Craft Store of all places! It’s actually a tiny vase (no match striker on the bottom) but she tosses a match strike into it with the matches. Such a fun trick, huh? :-)

  3. Can you tell me where you got the little brass footed candle holder? It’s so perfect. Thank you.