• Wendy Martin

how to style a coffee table in 5 easy steps

A well-dressed coffee table is an easy way to freshen up a room.

It's also a way you can show others a glimpse into a secret you.

These simple steps work for either a rectangular or square table as well as a round table except for one.

And that's the way you divide your surface into areas. So let's start.

STEP ONE Form a grid on the coffee table surface. If it's square or rectangular then that will be easy. It will depend on the size of your table how many you have but the aim is not to have too many. Space in any display is great. It gives the items space to breathe.

If you have a round table, divide it into triangles, like pieces of a pie.

STEP TWO Decide on your theme and colour palette. This should be cohesive with your room style. If the room is minimalist, keep things simple. A monochromatic palette would work best. Conversely if the room is a little bohemian with a riot of colours and textures, then you've a world of excitement to select from. Think of the shapes of furniture in the room. Are there predominately straight lines and geometric shapes? Or are there more organic, soft pieces? Which ever you have, continue that style when you're making your object edit.

STEP THREE Choose a hero piece. This will be the centre of attention and the object that will provide a link to all the others that you'll place on the table. It could be a vase, a bowl or a decorative box.

STEP FOUR Start to curate the rest of the pieces.

I always include a vase as it's another way to keep the table updated with the change-out of fresh flowers each week, or foliage by the season.

Select a range of heights for your display objects

Trays are wonderful for pulling together a smaller collection of special pieces. I've used snuff boxes, shells, feathered balls

Books! Not only because they look great but because they help add height wherever it's needed on the table. Make sure the covers are of a consistent colour palette. And check if they look better without the dustcovers.

Candles, especially fragranced, create a mood in the room and can easily link to the season. Light citrus for spring and summer, woody and musky for winter. The Glasshouse candles are my favourite and are well-priced

If you've found a great box for the table use it for those messy remotes and matches for the candles. A perfect way to hide those necessary but unattractive items.

Mix your textures. Think beyond just shiny or rough. Think of how your eye perceives an item's texture.

Sneak in a surprise object! But be sure it sits within your initial concept of the theme and colour palette

STEP FIVE Stand back and look at your work. Walk around the table and analyse it from each view.

Remember your coffee table isn't a static object, keep it up to date and love the extra dimension it gives to your room.


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