How to style a coffee table

If there’s one thing most homes have in common, it’s a coffee table. You’ll find them at your parents’ place, your grandparent’s place, and at your friends’ places, as well as in most receptions and many other locations. 

But how much thought do we actually give coffee tables? Other than putting our cuppa on them or feet up on them while we’re watching TV or leaving our remote controls on them, what do people use coffee tables for these days?

The answer – a lot.

More than you may think.

Because coffee tables are massively on-trend right now; a status that’s catapulted them into being more than just an occasional piece of furniture. So let’s explore the furniture phenomenon that is coffee tables, including what they are, and all of the many different ways you can use them and make them look wonderful in your home!

What are coffee tables?

Low tables that tend to sit at the same level as sofas and chairs.

Most traditional designs of coffee tables tend to be square or rectangular, but with their rise in popularity has come an even wider range of design options.

These days, coffee tables are available in an extensive range of styles (e.g. oval, hexagonal, round) and materials (e.g. wood, metal, glass, plastic), with some designs incorporating shelves and drawers, transforming them into multi-functional furniture items.

Vicki, our in-house stylist says: "There’s no underestimating the power of the coffee table. They’re much more than a functional piece of furniture; they’re a real key design piece that really look the part in any home. The styling options are just as varied as the design options. You can choose something that blends in with the rest of your room or go for something that’s a real statement piece, immediately providing your room with an interesting focal point. These days, coffee tables are there to be noticed in so many different ways!"

What should you display on a coffee table?

There is no right or wrong rule in relation to how you use your coffee table.

But what we can tell us is, as the designs have evolved to have more of a wow factor, coffee tables, such as the Driftwood Iona, are seen as being decorative pieces in their own right. And so they should be! 

And when you use them for display purposes, you can easily make them a key focal point in any room. Items you may want to display include: coffee table books and magazines (i.e. special edition or designer titles), plants or flowers, candles and decorative trays full of ornamental knick-knacks and treats, like @theonlywayis_pink has done:


How do you make a coffee table look elegant?

Sometimes, less is more, especially if the design of your coffee table is decorative. One or two coffee table books or magazines or a plant or candle is sometimes all you need.

You want your coffee table to be able stand out in its own right, and if the rest of your décor is already busy, or you already have a lot in your room, covering your coffee table with lots of things means it’ll easily get lost in it all. As is the case with all good interior design, factor in your colour scheme and make sure your coffee table complements it.

How do you accessorise a coffee table?

There are two main ways you can accessorise your coffee table.

  1. By the accessories you choose to put on it and;
  2. By the objects you choose to put immediately near it.

Coffee table styling ideas

1. Statement ornaments

2. Decorative trays

3. Candles

4. Coffee table books

5. Vase and flowers

6. Coasters for beverages of your choice

Are you looking at your coffee table in a whole new light now?

You can easily transform it with a strategically-positioned decorative runner or throw, a few ornaments or a candle or plant here and there.

Or, you could treat yourself to a new coffee table that blends in with the rest of your décor or brings a pop of colour or design interest to your room.

We love the range of designs and seeing how our customers are making their coffee tables shine within their homes! Planning on doing the same? Don’t forget to show us - follow us and share your pictures using #myScShome.

Shop our full range of coffee tables

Published: 20th April 2022