With all of our chatter about the new living room rug last week, I started thinking about coffee tables. We’ve never had a coffee table in our living room before. In our old house, the living room was just too small for one. And in this house we’ve always had little kids, so we liked having the open floor space for them to just crawl around or learn to walk or practice their gymnastics as they forward rolled off the couch.
But now that my youngest is getting a little older, and I’m changing up the living room, I’d like to add a coffee table. And one other reason that we’ve never really put anything in our living room is that our kids don’t have a play room, so they have very few large, open spaces in our home. Thus keeping it open for them. But I think we’re getting closer to combining the girls into 1 room and using their other room as a play room.
And here’s the honest to goodness truth. My coffee table will be gorgeously styled for photos, but 99% of the time I’m sure it will be strewn with kids toys, books and papers, kind of like the rest of the surfaces in my house. And yes, I try to pick up and put everything back each night (with the kids help), but just wanting you to know that I don’t have any delusions going into this inspirational post.
I’ve gathered some of my favorite photos of coffee tables and how I would like to use my coffee table someday.
I heard a good formula once that the basis for good coffee table decor is Book + Plant + Interesting Decor Object = Stylish Coffee Table.
I would start with that and then see if I could add some functionality to it as well.
6 Tips for Decorating a Coffee Table
1. Start with a Large Tray: This will make the whole vignette look more cohesive and grounded. I love the look of a woven, natural tray to bring in some texture to the table. Get a large enough tray so that it holds everything you want to put out. This will keep it from looking too cluttered.
2. The Interesting Large Decor Item: This could be a vase or a fun stone, a live-edge wood statue or a fun, vintage corbel. But you should add something to your grouping that is the star of the show and a conversation starter.
3. Plants: Give your space some life (or what looks like life 😉) with a plant. I’m going the faux plant route, because nobody wants dead plants in their house. 😜 I would suggest that if you are going to use a tall leafy decor item, make sure it’s not blocking the view from one person to another.
4. Bowls for corralling smaller items: We have 4 remotes in our living for various TV watching situations, so a bowl for those would be great!
5. Add some Hidden Storage: Whether it’s a closed coffee table or one with baskets on a lower shelf or drawers, using this decorative piece for extra hidden storage is always a good idea.
6. Less is More! Don’t feel like you need to fill up every square inch of the coffee table. Leave some room for people to prop their feet up, or place a cup on the table. And if you’re decorating the coffee table, maybe leave the end table empty so that there is more useful space.
I hope you find those tips helpful! All of these gorgeous photos make me want to get to work on my DIY coffee table this weekend! We’ll see if I can get the kitchen table painted in time, then I’ll start working on the coffee table.
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