Recipe for a Beautiful Coffee Table - 10 Steps to a Perfectly Decorated Table

Recipe for a Beautiful Coffee Table - 10 Steps to a Perfectly Decorated Table

You know that coffee table that’s just sitting there in front of your sofa?
It’s the perfect place to add some interest to your living room!
But what the heck do you put on it? And how do you arrange it?
I have the recipe for a perfectly accessorized coffee table!
And, by the time you’re done your friends and family will think you hired a professional to style your table!

Ingredients –
1 – 3 Trays
1 – 3 Large Items
3 – 5 Medium Items
Several Books
3 – 5 Small Items
1 – 2 Activities

Choose items that vary in texture, size, color, and shape, maybe some baskets, some glass, some stone. You’ll want a variety to choose from.

Step 1 – Clean off your coffee table

Step 2 – Gather your ingredients
You want to have plenty of each to choose from. You probably won’t use them all, but it’s good to have options when creating the perfect tablescape.

What size tray do I need - Details Full Service Interiors - Massachusetts Interior Design

Step 3 – Decide on the right sized tray for organizing your items.
Trays are great for anchoring your accessories and they also make it easy to remove your display when you need the whole table. Your tray should take up enough of the coffee table to make a statement, but be small enough so that there’s still space around the edges for glasses of wine or whatever you need space for at your house.

Step 4 – Start layering in an odd number of large items.
Spread them out on the display.

What to put on your coffee table - Details Full Service Interiors - Interior Design in Massachusetts

Step 5 – Add in your medium items.
These should be a step down in height from your large items. Be sure to disperse color and texture in the display, keeping same color or texture items away from each other.

Coffee table accessories - What to put on your coffee table - Details Full Service Interiors - Interior Decorator in Monson

Step 6 – Look at the height of your large and medium items.
Do any of them need to be taller so that there isn’t too big of a height difference? If so, this is the perfect place for books. I like to choose books that speak to the homeowner’s personality. I also like to remove the jackets. Removing the paper cover makes the books a little more neutral and less busy. Choose books that go with your color scheme. (I may have a couple of cocktail books)

Add books to your coffee table - Details Full Service Interiors - Monson Interior Design

Step 7 – Fill in the spaces with your smaller items.
Be sure not to make it too cluttered. Just fill in where you really need something. This is a personal preference too.

Add some small items on your coffee table - Details Full Service Interiors - Interior Design in Monson

Step 8 – Add an activity.
It’s great to have some type of activity on your coffee table, like tic tac toe or cards. I have stones with questions on them. They’re great conversation starters and can help with an awkward family moment!

Coffee table cocktail - Table games - Conversation starters - Details Full Service Interiors - Monson Interior Decorator

Step 9 – Look at your coffee table from all 4 sides.
People view all sides of your coffee table so you want to make sure that it looks good from every angle.

Make adjustments to your coffee table - Details Full Service Interiors - MA Interior Design

Step 10 – Make any adjustments.
Be sure you can see every item.
Be sure it doesn’t look too cluttered.
Be sure that the heights of the items step down from large to small without too much difference.
Make sure it’s exactly how YOU like it.

If you don’t have a large coffee table you can still use this recipe but with less items. Choose a smaller tray. For a small round table, choose a round tray and fill in with a large item, a medium item, and a small item. If you have a rectangular table use the small round display and add a stack of books with an activity on top next to the tray. See how the tray anchors the grouping? Easy Peasy!

How to decorate your coffee table - Details Full Service Interiors - Interior Design in MA

Small round glass coffee table - Details Full Service Interiors - Interior Designer in Mass

This recipe works for your coffee table, but it would also work for any flat surface in your home, your dresser, your dining table, your foyer table, any surface that needs a little pick me up.
To see this recipe in action, with even more tips and ideas, head over to our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe while you’re there.


You can pick up a complete, clickable Shopping List for the perfect coffee table here –
Beautiful Coffee Table Full Recipe

Please feel free to let us know what you think below in the Comments.

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