Four years ago, I moved in with my boyfriend. His family were very kind to give us a beautiful glass-topped coffee table for our living room. Although we’ve moved house three times since then (yes, really!) I’ve always topped it with the same five objects. Two large books about scarf prints, which I won in a competition, two hand-me-down plates that sort of coordinate with the room’s colour scheme and a dish containing potpourri and pine cones. It’s not very inspiring, is it?
I looked at my coffee table the other day and realised that I like NOTHING on it, especially as my tastes have changed over the last few years (with my new found love of eclectic style). The books and plates were fine to fill the space, but they’re not items I love or that bring me joy (yes, I’ve been reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” by Marie Kondo, as recommended by Amy from Homey Oh My blog).
Never mind happiness and joy, the objects on my coffee table have seen better days. The books are starting to look grubby now, and we only ever stash remove controls, pens and spare change on the plates. For somebody who LOVES interior design and eclectic style, my coffee table really does let me down. Look at it, it’s dire:
So, I’ve embarked upon learning as much as I can about coffee table styling. I’ve set myself a challenge to accessorise my coffee table with objects I love. But where to start?
I’ve found plenty of inspiration from around the web – coffee table styling is a thing! There are some great resources out there. So, I’m sharing what I’ve learned so far. I hope this will help you if you’re planning to restyle your coffee table too.
First, watch this video from the fantastic One Kings Lane , it’s only one minute long but it gives you a good place to start:
So, to recap:
- Get a tray to ‘corral’ everything in one place
- Trays are horizontal, so break up the plane with a pretty shaped vessel
- Add a box for storing away remote controls and other clutter
- Bridge the horizontal and vertical objects with something sculptural
- Add books you’re interested in
Boom – that’s your coffee table styling cheat sheet right there!
So, next, I decided to get a little inspiration from Pinterest. I always head to Pinterest for inspiration, and there are plenty of boards dedicated to coffee table styling, including this one created by yours truly.
During my, ahem, extensive Pinterest research, I stumbled across this article by Alaina and Danielle from TheEveryGirl.com. I thought I’d share their tips too – they suggest styling a coffee table with these five different items:
- Something from nature – As you might have noticed, in my potpourri dish, I have several pine cones of varying sizes, which I found while walking my dogs. I love them for autumn/winter months, but will probably switch to some lovely blooms for the spring/summer months.
- Candlelight – Candles are pretty cheap and basic ‘church’ style candles can be purchased from places like The Range and Wilkos for pocket change. If you’re looking for something unique and exotic, Anthroplogie is the place to go (see image, right). The Every Girl suggests using candles to create ambience.
- Books – A good coffee table books can be a talking point. Do you know how many times people have asked me why I have books of scarves on my table? Loads. Then we get into a conversation about a period of my life when I entered loads of competitions and won some impressive swag (I won a silk top with those books from Oasis, a holiday, a pair of Hunter wellies, a hamper of pedigree dog treats and much much more during those two years!)
- Decorative accents – Simply choose anything that ‘speaks’ to you, which will add interest to your coffee table. A jagged rock like in the video above, or a hand painted globe for example. I’ll be on the lookout for ornaments and accents that capture my interest as I shop over the next few weeks.
- And finally, a tray – So that pretty much decides it for me – two seperate sources say I need a tray. So I need one! I agree – I think a tray draws a “border” or “frame” around your items. It adds cohesiveness to your table display.
I guess I need to pick a theme for my coffee table restyle now. I am somewhat limited because we rent (so no repainting the grey-brown walls) and I cannot afford to change the furniture. However, I can ditch the orange accessories and perhaps tone down the statement chair with a throw?
I like to window-shop online, A LOT. Here’s some quirky and interesting coffee table accessories I’ve found on my virtual travels:
My own coffee table restyle:
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll make a concerted effort to gather wonderful objects for my coffee table overhaul. I’m going to be on the lookout for accessories that capture my heart and bring me joy. I’ll post an update on the blog so you can see my progress.