Before and After: How to Style a Trendy (and Practical!) Coffee Table With Just $32

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Welcome to Apartment Therapy’s $32 Design Challenge. Finding the perfect piece of furniture is hard enough… but then it can be surprisingly tricky—and expensive—to style it just right for your home. We challenged five staffers to style five different areas of the home, from the entryway to a desk, with a budget of just $32. Follow along with the whole series here.

Credit: AT Video

Challenge: Style a coffee table (like this one) with $32

Where Sarah shopped:

  • Flying Tiger
  • Amazon
  • Trader Joe’s
  • H&M
  • Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
  • Target

What she bought:

  • Blue bowl
  • Candle
  • Geometric tray
  • Tulips
  • Vase
  • Book
Credit: AT Video

Big splurge: This geometric tray from Amazon. It cost almost $10, but set the backdrop for everything else.

Big saving: Free matches scored from local bars and restaurants!

One tip to remember: One simple way to mix patterns is to choose ones that complement, rather than compete. “You don’t want to do two big patterns,” Sarah says. She chose a bold pattern for her bowl and a more subdued pattern for her candle, all within the same color family. 

Check out how Sarah styled her coffee table, plus her four essentials for a pulled-together look in the video above. And find out if she stayed on budget!