33 Fresh Coffee Table Decor Ideas

updated Feb 26, 2024
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Colorful painting above red vintage sofa in studio apartment living room.

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!). 

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 ideas, you’ve come to the right place. 

Credit: Liisi Väli

1. Stack Things Up

Stacking one item on another is a surefire way to add some visual interest to your coffee table. As a bonus, it can allow you to keep out more items than you would if you fanned them out individually. And, if you use an ottoman as a coffee table like the resident of this Estonia apartment, hard items like books can add a little more stability to a slightly soft, not-quite-flat surface so you can safely display candles or flower vases.

2. Set Out a Tray

Sometimes you want to display fun, cute items on your coffee table, but sometimes you need to clear the space to lay out snacks for a party or just to zone out and eat takeout food in front of the TV. Putting your decorations on a stylish tray, like the one used in this Norweigan home, are a great solution because you can easily move everything. This layout also makes cleaning the table a breeze.

3. Add a Small Lamp

Coffee table books are great, but what happens when the ambient lighting makes it difficult to enjoy these great tomes? Add a cute, battery-powered light, like the one in this Canadian home, to add a little practicality and style to your layout.

4. Stack Your Coffee Table

An arched wicker coffee table could easily look a little bland, but by placing a smaller one below the main table, these California homeowners added some much-needed flair to the space. The bottom table can also be useful for storing other attractive and functional accessories, like chic, cozy blankets.

5. Add Wavy Accessories

Just one of these cool, curvy candle holders is visually interesting on its own, but as a pair, it makes the eyes do a little dance as they trace the curvy pattern. While you may not be able to find the exact candle holders used in this Berlin apartment, adding a pair of eye-catching pieces like this can instantly up your coffee table game.

Credit: Andrew Bui

6. Embrace Maximalism

Can’t decide how to decorate your coffee table? Take a cue from Nicole Cueto. From family photos to candles to coffee table books, she doesn’t hold back when it comes to the coffee table in her Manhattan apartment

7. Blend In Your Remotes

By its nature, the coffee table tends to be in the center of things. It can be tempting to sacrifice functionality for aesthetics, but this Brooklyn apartment (where two TV remotes blend seamlessly into the stylish decor) is proof that you don’t have to choose one or the other. 

8. Add Retro Elements

Megan Housekeeper, the mastermind behind Mid-Century Millennial, is a lover of all things retro. The perfectly curated coffee table in her Austin, Texas home showcases her personality and passions.

9. Choose Contrasting Colors

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.

10. Organize Small Items With Trays

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. 

11. Leave It Empty

This small table, nestled in a cozy kid-friendly space in Detroit, 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. 

12. Add Some Disco Balls

Looking for an innovative way to bring some serious glamour to your living room? Place some flashy art objects — like these funky disco balls — 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

13. Add a Houseplant

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

14. Make it a Gaming Space

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: Pablo Enriquez

15. Choose a Two-Tiered Table

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.

Credit: Lana Kenney

16. 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. 

17. Decorate With Items from Nature

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.    

18. Mix and Match Accessories

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.

19. Put Your Interests on Display

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.

20. 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. 

21. Add Dramatic Greenery

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

Credit: Ana Kamin

22. 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-inspired coaster in her San Francisco studio.

23. Space Items 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.

24. Organize The Underside 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

25. Bundle Up Accessories

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. 

Credit: Lula Poggi

26. Add Some Chairs

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

27. 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.

28. 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.

29. Place Decor on a Serving Board

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

30. Use Magazines to Lift Accessories

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.

31. Take Advantage of 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).

32. Slide Some Storage Underneath

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.

Credit: Claire Bock

33. 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.