43 Fresh Ways to Decorate Your Coffee Table

updated Apr 7, 2022
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No matter the size of your living room, a coffee table is a multifunctional piece that always deserves a spot. And the coffee table decor you choose can serve to pull the entire room together or make a dramatic statement. Or, at the very least, serve as a handy spot for that glass of wine (or even your tired feet!). 

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As the focal point of your living room, your coffee table acts as an anchor for your ottomans, armchairs, and sofas. In this article, we’ll show you how to style your coffee table for any type of surrounding, including some clever ways to make a small room appear much bigger. So, if you’re on the hunt for some posh coffee table decor, you’ve come to the right place. 

1. White on White

White trinkets like a tray and an attractive candle rest atop a white marble coffee tabletop in Julie Sprankles’ beautifully styled boho living room. Gold legs on the coffee table add a necessary pop of color in this display. 

Credit: Minette Hand

2. Embrace Flower Power

Never underestimate the impact of a bright bouquet of flowers in a sophisticated vase paired with a stylish stack of magazines as coffee table decor. The setup in Aviva Falk and Nick Bonham’s Brooklyn abode feels fun and feminine, but also functional.

3. Go Glam

In this Tennessee house tour, an edgy mix of chrome-finished vessels and a black-and-white tray turns a neutral coffee table into a stunning living room scene.

4. Get the Tray Treatment

A cute catchall tray can go a long way on a coffee table. Case in point: Apartment Therapy editor Tayrn Williford’s Atlanta, Georgia loft, where she employed a chic tray to corral controllers, matches, and more on a large travertine coffee table. 

5. Bare Naked

This small table, nestled in a cozy kid-friendly space, features no coffee table decor at all. But that leaves even more space for projects, building blocks and reading time. Two tiny stools encourage little learners to approach the table anytime they’d like. 

6. Try a Two-Tiered Table

Looking for an innovative way to bring some serious glamour to your living room? Place some flashy art objects on the lower level of a clear, two-tiered coffee table to make a statement without occupying too much surface space. Let Brittaney Elise Minton’s New York City apartment be your inspo.

Credit: Reid Rolls

7. Go Green

You can always count on a bit of greenery to brighten up a humdrum coffee table. Follow in Linda Cava’s footsteps and set a couple of succulents in petite planters on your coffee table to energize your space with natural elements, like she did inside her Brooklyn abode

8. Juxtaposition

When a coffee table serves as a clever juxtaposition for the surrounding furniture (here, a small circular table against a dark, angular velvet sofa) any coffee table decor will look just right. Carissa and Dino Tozzi opted for simple greenery and a fun family game for their coffee table.

Credit: Submitted by Amanda

9. Play With Proportions

Anchor a graciously sized coffee table with a design-savvy tray, like the silver platter styled with small plants and flowers we spotted in Amanda’s New York City apartment.

Credit: Pablo Enriquez

10. Keep it Simple

Cop a minimalist vibe while expertly storing items when you opt for a two-tiered coffee table with a solid top. In Allison and Ben Yarrow’s Brooklyn house, a lower tier holds a bevy of reading material while the coffee table decor on top features a single catchall tray for a clean look.

11. Create a Museum-Worthy Spread

Whoever said a coffee table can’t look like a museum exhibit has obviously never seen Scott Jarrell and Kristan Cunningham’s downtown Los Angeles home. Arrange a few artful artifacts and interesting baubles on your own coffee table to score a similar gallery-style display in your living room. 

Credit: Lana Kenney

12. Add Some Beads

Natural beads are a totally of-the-moment accessory, which is why a coffee table styled with them makes a statement. If you’re looking for Scandi-style coffee table decor, you’ll love the look Anne and Steve used in their Cape Town home. 

Credit: Viv Yapp

13. Flora and Fauna

All manner of plants and produce serve as coffee table decor in this colorful apartment belonging to Hannah Broadway and her husband Felix. Each item matches with the varied hues of the lively space.

14. Keep it Natural

Nothing brings boho charm to a room like natural decor accents. Adorn your coffee table with organic elements—like the crystal stones and houseplants we spotted in Jaya Williams, Maggie Shafran, and Steph Sloan’s Los Angeles home—to usher in some earthy vibes.    

15. Embrace Your Eclectic Side

Whether with a bright bouquet of flowers or a whimsical knickknack like the dinosaur toy we spotted in Hallie Glennie’s Chicago loft, a solid mix of art objects, books, and flowers can turn any coffee table into a stylish setup in seconds.

16. Make it Maximalist

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful, especially when it comes to coffee table decor. Take Peti Lau’s New York City apartment, for example. The space’s coffee table boasts a medley of books, candles, magazines, catchalls, and baubles, and provides the perfect amount of style.

17. Spruce it up With Symmetry

When decorating your coffee table, remember that placement matters, too. A symmetrical setup, like the two stacks of books separated by a plant terrarium in the center we spotted in Carly Berlin’s New York City rental, will instantly update any coffee table surface. 

18. Dramatic Greenery

Who says coffee table decor can’t be showy? This pretty collection of tall, cascading greenery pops against Jessica Isaac’s otherwise white living room. 

Credit: Ana Kamin

19. Add Some Cute Coasters

A few eye-catching coasters can work wonders for a drab coffee table. Employ an artful coaster or two on your coffee table to bring a pop of personality to your living room. Here, Cindy Zhang uses a vinyl record-turned-coaster in her San Francisco studio.

20. Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize

The bigger the coffee table, the more coffee table decor options. Follow in Genevieve Bandrowski and Ashley Campbell’s footsteps and invest in a large-scale coffee table with built-in storage so you can decorate it to your heart’s content, just like they did inside their Oakland, California rental.

21. A Sleek Setup

As Luke and Claire Staszak’s Chicago apartment shows, a single decor accent can be all it takes to make a statement on a coffee table. Whether with a colorful tray or a bold book, a lone (but attractive) decorative object can make a big impact on your coffee table decor.

22. Space it Out

Searching for a simple (and symmetrical) way to upgrade your living room in a pinch? A handful of evenly-spaced books or magazines on your coffee table looks surprisingly hip and design-savvy, just like we saw in Carina Michelli’s Buenos Aires home.

23. Organize With a Basket

Not working with a ton of storage space on your coffee table? No problem. A small but chic storage basket can slide right under your coffee table to offer up extra room for stashing stuff. For inspiration, check out Meghan and Jesse Arlen’s Los Angeles abode

Credit: Senaida Mehmedovic

24. Seamless Integration

We love how this circular rattan tray contains items that seem to pull the entire space together perfectly. It’s a great example of how Senaida Mehmedovic has used coffee table decor as a design element for her studio apartment. 

25. Grab Some Greens

One big plant can transform your entire coffee table surface into a stylish scene in seconds. Take a cue from Alison and Derek Fandel and use a large, leafy green houseplant to anchor a long coffee table just like we saw in their Atlanta, Georgia, living room. 

26. Create a Colorful Surface

Looking for a goof-proof way to bring all the different colors in your living room together? Decorate the surface of your coffee table with accent items that draw from the room’s color palette, just like we saw in Des Ellis’ Houston, Texas, home

Credit: Lula Poggi

27. Pull up a Seat

A pair of petite accent chairs, like the ones we spotted in Clara Marina’s Barcelona abode, is a clever way to dress up a pared-down coffee table and offer some child-sized seating in your living room.

Credit: Cathy Pyle

28. Put a Pitcher on It

Why invest in an old-fashioned flower vase when you can put your bouquets in a pretty pitcher on your coffee table instead? Follow in Katy and Jules’ footsteps and opt for a pitcher to hold flowers or plants for an unexpectedly sophisticated coffee table display, just like they did inside their living room in London.

29. Flex your DIY Muscle

Transform even the tiniest of coffee tables into a storage-savvy setup with nothing more than an attractive catchall tray. Natasha and Rob Habermann’s 350-square foot New York City apartment offers endless inspiration.

30. Build a Planter

Who needs a planter when you can turn your coffee table into an indoor garden? The coffee table turned planter in Chelsea Pursley’s Austin, Texas rental is perfect for growing small plants—no vessels necessary.

31. Get Geometric

Searching for a fun way to dress up a round coffee table? Geometrical objects, like the mini pyramid sculpture we spotted in Cindy Epping’s Portland, Oregon living room, provides a nice contrast to a shapely coffee table. 

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

32. Mix and Match Styles

Update your old coffee table by styling it with a few modern art objects or vessels to instantly update the space, just like we saw in Cynthia Zamaria and Graham Loughton’s Ontario home

Credit: Ana Kamin

33. Master the Pared-Down Look

Ana Kamin’s San Francisco apartment makes a case for neutrals. Here, the pared-down accents complete the coffee table without overpowering its eye-catching design.

34. Lay Low

A low-lying coffee table, like the one we spotted in Angela’s Portland, Oregon home, is a great place to show off your small (but treasured!) trinkets and knick-knacks.  

35. Be Bold

A clear coffee table is no match for a few carefully curated, colorful items. Salvatore and Amina’s downtown Los Angeles rental features a glass-topped coffee table energized by bright flowers and loads of multicolored origami accent pieces. 

36. Raise it Up

A sleek serving board, like the marble one we spotted in Amanda Holstein’s San Francisco living room, instantly elevates a coffee table while still providing plenty of storage space.

Credit: Kim Lucian

37. Style a Stack

When in doubt, you can always count a couple of neatly stacked piles of books or magazines to liven up your coffee table. In Jesica Ryzenberg’s San Francisco rental, she made a statement by placing an interesting accent on top of a pristine stack of magazines.

Credit: Alexis Buryk

38. Invest in Transparent Pieces

See-through furnishings are awesome for creating the illusion of more space in a small apartment—and Felicity Graham Sargent’s Brooklyn studio is no exception. Instead of cramping up her tiny living room zone with bold and bulky decorative items, she stuck with a glass coffee table and transparent accent pieces to keep the space clean and clear.

39. Specialize in Sneaky Storage

Searching for a minimalist-minded way to style your coffee table?  A coffee table with built-in storage—like the option in Melissa and Ramzy’s Canadian home—allows you to keep your favorite reading materials within arm’s reach (sans the unsightly clutter).

40. Take a Seat

Nothing maximizes a small space like multifunctional furniture. Turn your coffee table into a makeshift dining nook by throwing a couple of plush floor pillows or poufs underneath it, just like we saw in Soffia Gardarsdottir’s farmhouse in Alftanes, Iceland.

41. Double-Duty Design

Pro tip: Turn a dresser into a coffee table, as seen in Shelley Worrell and Janluk Stanislas’ Brooklyn home. In the living room, the pair stylishly conceal a three-drawer dresser under a slim-framed side table to forge a coffee table arrangement with loads of storage opportunities.

42. Wow With a Rug

The fun rug in Kimberlee Brown’s South Australia living room livens up a glass coffee table without taking up an inch of surface space. 

Credit: Claire Bock

43. Add a Pop of Color

Looking for a failsafe way to bring some color into your living room? A couple of brightly hued decorative items on your coffee table—like the neon yellow and pink vessels we spotted in Steve and Heather Sack’s San Francisco home–add a pop of color to the room without overpowering the space.