Love them or hate them, coffee tables are hard to live without. They occupy center stage in the living space and therefore cannot be ignored. Take a little time to dress them well and they will add to the ambience of your room. Whatever you put on your coffee table, remember that first and foremost, it is there for a practical purpose. You and your guests need somewhere to put tea and wine. And I bought mine specifically to put my feet on! To achieve a nice balance, I style half the table and always keep the half nearest the sofa clear.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
You want to add interest not clutter. I prefer a few larger pieces to lots of smaller ones.
TRAYS ARE STILL TOPS
Trays break up the surface and add layers. If you have a collection to display, use a tray to tie the look together and make it easier to clean.
Try arranging different shaped treasures together that are unified by a similar color, like natural earth hues or shades of the sea.
If your living room is fairly neutral, the coffee table is a great place to add a pop of color. Nothing is permanent so you can go really bold. Perfect for colorphobics.
Books are always great to flip through when you have a few spare minutes, but don’t over do it. Right now I have just one out: Mandela: An Authorized Portrait. Not only is it a fascinating book, but the gold, sepia and white also look great against my light colored table.
REMOVE THE REMOTES
Electronics kill a good design. If your remotes must sit on the coffee table, conceal them in a pretty box.
Coasters are crucial unless you are relaxed about water rings. The neatest sets come with their own containers. Choose a pattern that complements not only your décor but also the other items on your coffee table.
CAN’T GO WRONG WITH CANDLES
In my book, candles belong everywhere and are perfect on a coffee table. I love my large cream candle inside a glass container. It sits on a silver tray surrounded at the moment by red glass pebbles. In summer I will change these to natural stones or I might try a succulent garden.
PLANTS ARE PERFECT
Plants and flowers add natural beauty. If your table is likely to be bumped by over zealous children or friends, beware of tall beauties like orchids that could easily fall over. Tulips nodding their drooping heads are always a winner. Succulents are water wise and come in so many interesting shapes and shades. You can create a long low centerpiece or arrange several different plants in a taller pedestal urn to add elevation.
TALL IS UNSTABLE
I don’t put anything on the table that might crash as I drag it into the feet up position. Movie time!