Blank surfaces can be one of the hardest things to decorate in a home. You get all of the big pieces in place. Couch, rug, coffee table, tv stand, bed, dresser, table. But then the empty surfaces stare at you and mock you with their possibilities. Big pieces are important, but it's the little things like shelves and tabletops that make a space feel loved and lived in.
A furniture company called Chairish asked me to talk about how I style a coffee table. They curate and sell beautiful one of a kind pieces, and i can't help but want to fill my home with some of their gorgeous finds. Check out some of their coffee tables here (https://www.chairish.com/collection/cocktail-and-coffee-tables) For now, however, I will show you what I do with our existing coffee table and then show you how I would style something a little different from Chairish.
First, let's take a look at two different looks for my coffee table.
In this setup, a tray keeps everything centered on the coffee table which makes filling space easier.
In this second setup, I kept things spread out the width of the rectangular coffee table, and I created three separate sections.
I try to incorporate three things into pretty much every vignette:
1. Something Living: This usually means something in a vase. Succulents, lavender, faux greenery, fresh flowers, etc. There's nothing like fresh flowers and plants, but there are some beautiful faux florals out there that make life easier.
2. Something Stacked: I keep beautiful books on hand all the time and use them on my mantel, shelves, and displays. Take jackets off the books on your bookshelf and pick colors that you like to use for display. Keep an eye out at antique stores, yard sales, and estate sales for beautiful old books that will look good on display. You can even stack magazines (I love Kinfolk, Domino, and HGTV Magazine) or photo albums.
3. Something Decorative: This is your chance to inject personality into your coffee table display. Quirky animal figurines, beautiful candles, and unique bowls filled with a vase filler are some of my favorite go-to space fillers.
There are three main things I keep in mind when styling a coffee table.
1. The Rule of Threes
This rule applies to pretty much any vignette. Put three things together and it automatically looks complete. If you have more than three things, always stick to an odd number. In Vignette 1, I used just three things centered in a tray. In Vignette 2, I used the rule of threes by creating three separate sections of odd numbered groupings.
2. The Rule of Variety
When grouping small objects together on a surface, focus on grouping things together that vary in size, color, and shape.
3. The Rule of No Rules
Ultimately, you have to decide how you want to decorate your coffee table. Your home is your own, so although "rules" of decorating can be helpful, in the end, it's important to fill your space with things you love and that function well for your family.
Our living room is sophisticated farmhouse style. It has evolved over several years, and I love the way it feels now, but sometimes I day dream about our next house and going a completely different direction stylistically. Chairish.com has some great coffee tables, and this mid-century one below is one of my favorites. If I were to style a mid-century table, I would use the same principles I already discussed while trying to incorporate objects that have a little bit more quirk and mid-century flair. Here are some of my favorite finds.
Be sure to check out Chairish.com for unique furniture for your home!