Decorating A Small Table – Bridget Mallon is the Editorial Director. She has seven years of experience in home decoration and design.
When it comes to living room furniture, coffee tables are as common as sofas, rugs and stylish decorations. But even though they’re always the focal point of the living room, the way these stylish surfaces are decorated can vary widely from house to house. Since this piece of furniture is the focal point of your space, it pays to design it with styles that match your personal taste (and the overall feel of your living room). From clean and elegant to maximalist-inspired themes, take inspiration from interior designers to decorate your coffee table perfectly for your space.
Decorating A Small Table
Read below for designer coffee table decorating ideas to give your living room a new look.
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“A coffee table is definitely more than stacking books; It should be welcoming and fun for your guests. I fill my coffee table with all my favorite things – and yes, that includes books on my sexy coffee table,” says interior designer Shalena Smith. Creativity starts with the style and surface of the coffee table. Be unique to your tastes and then decorate it to reflect who you are. Let me tell you a little story about you!”
To keep the style cohesive with the rest of your living room, stick to your color palette when choosing decor for the coffee table. Here, the bright living room design features white accents: white accent chairs, a blue and white striped blanket, a white pillow, and white light fixtures complement the fresh and airy walls. The style of the coffee table stays true to the theme with minimal white decor and fresh, green leaves.
“Coffee tables have become more personalized and an expression of the family living in the space,” says interior designer Jessica Gersten. “I like to have a few personal items or art pieces on the table and of course a vase so there are always fresh flowers – which are a family favourite. Choose long-lasting cut flowers in vases for floral fragrance and grand style.
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For a monochromatic look, decorate your coffee table to match the upholstery of the sofa. This round table adds a playful element of size to the corner L-sofa, and its storage bowl blends in with the rest of the furniture. Dark furniture solutions contrast beautifully with bright white walls, lots of natural light from windows and textured white ceilings.
If you’re a fan of color, use your table decorations to contrast with other bright hues in the living room. Here, minimalist green coffee tables and earthen decor appear in front of plush pink velvet sofas. Styled alongside traditional blue rugs and natural wood paneling around the room, the coffee table complements both the room’s vibrant colors and neutral hues.
“Don’t worry about needing a florist,” says interior designer Charlie Hellstern. “You can wrap a bunch of your favorite seasonal stems in a jar you already have.” If you don’t have much of a green thumb, you can also opt for artificial flowers that will stay fresh all year round.
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For living rooms that are already styled with a certain theme, look to your coffee table for a cohesive finish. In this space, natural wood grain and lush greenery are the star of the room. To keep it consistent with the rest of the design, this designer added minimal accents to each decorative item on the coffee table. A wooden tree and a trailing plant in an elegant white pot add just enough style to the table without overwhelming the room.
“[I like to use] a mix of textures and materials,” says interior designer Kate Taylor. “Brass accessories, marble trinkets, and wooden accents – all of which combine to add warmth to any coffee table and living space.” For a dynamic design, choose decorative elements of different heights to add depth to your living room.
If you’re already happy with your coffee table surface, but want to add some new design elements to the space, try additional seating. This wicker rattan stool sits perfectly under the edge of the table, bringing a boho touch to this clean, eclectic living room. It also helps to play with form as it works with rounded tables to contrast angular picture frames and modern decor.
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When it comes to placing cut leaves or fresh flowers in a coffee table vase, live and artificial versions can look equally attractive. If you don’t have a green thumb, you can choose fake leaves or dry your own long-lasting flowers.
This cozy living room has many textures, from wooden bars to pillows, upholstered sofas and woven blankets. Since the rest of the space has enough depth and dimension on its own, the designer chose a simple finish for the table: a stack of white books for the coffee table topped with a minimal vase. We love the touch of green on the table, but we’re also impressed with how the lower leaves draw attention to the tall houseplants placed behind the sofa.
“I keep a set of marble dominoes on our coffee table in the living room with a ‘conversation friendly’ Lucite box, which guests (and kids) love because it’s something to do!” says interior designer Alison Pickart. “Candles are great for an instant evening mood; And don’t be afraid to assign an architectural element or a piece of sculpture for height and texture.
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“Storage is one of those things that people rarely talk about when it comes to beautiful interiors, and I always wonder – where do people keep all their stuff?” Cho says. “Especially when you have kids, storage becomes something that requires daily maintenance. For me, in my own home, it is very important to have a functional place to store children’s toys in our living room (because toys are always there in one way or another). The solution? These chic and practical coffee tables that double as storage bins!”
This modern living room is filled with eye-catching elements in every corner. The designer used the coffee table to complement the rest of the space, playing on its angular features by building the table into sections. Each square has its own decorative character, while the color scheme is throughout the design, with some black and white elements sticking to a gray scale dotted throughout the room.
If you are tired of the simple design of the coffee table, consider adding an additional table at a slightly lower level. Not only does it add more storage to the living room, but another table creates a dimension by playing with the height. These round tables work perfectly together, and if they weren’t designed to be styled as a pair, we’d never know. We particularly like the contrast of the marble finish on the lower table to complement the bright white of the main surface.
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Oh Joy! “Paint is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to add a little new life to a plain (or old) piece. Give it a makeover with a fun mesh design,” says Joy Cho, founder and creative director of coffee table. Choose colors that complement the overall style of your room and choose slightly brighter shades than your accent colors to make it stand out.
To paint your coffee table in a geometric pattern, place painter’s tape in an arrangement of shapes you like, then fill in the negative space with your favorite shade.
A fun way to add dimension to your coffee table is to focus on shapes: choose different decorative pieces, each of which brings its own element to the design. Here, a geometric glass table with brass metal accents sits atop a polka dot rug. Above the table are decorations of various shapes, from two stacks of rectangular books to round bowls, curved vases and corner planters.
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As the focal point of your living space, a coffee table is a great place to display your favorite finds. Whether it’s a unique vase, a trendy tray or even a fun board game, what makes an area special is choosing items that reflect your own design personality. Here, bright yellow and green leaves framed in a clay vase complement the yellow accent colors of the sofa and the greenery of the side tables.
“Having a Zen element in your family room will help balance out the madness and chaos going on there,” says interior designer Robin Baron. “One way to do this is to incorporate a homemade rock garden on your coffee table. It’s a reminder to take that deep breath and take a moment of meditation to refocus.”
An important part of decorating your coffee table is considering storage space. This piece of furniture often becomes the landing spot in the living room
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