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Curating the Perfect Coffee Table: A Guide to Crafting an Aesthetic Centrepiece for Your Home

By Emily Huxtable - 28th March 2024

Model cleaning Adjustable Matte Floral Signet Ring in Gold with jewellery polishing cloth

The coffee table… The heart of the living space. The holder of precious memories shared with family and friends. Helping us out when we’re in need of a break, a place to rest our feet. A space to hold our drinks, and sometimes our dinners. 

Now, coffee tables have a practical allure. They give us the freedom to lounge with ease, for optimal chilling. But, like most things, the aesthetic appeal of a home is equal parts important to its practicality. So, taking these things into account, there are so many ways to create a coffee table that encapsulates your aesthetic whilst being a useful tool to help your home life thrive.

What style do you want to achieve?

The first step is to think about your overall design goal for your home. Are you striving for a warm, cosy environment? If so, consider warm-toned colours and comforting textures. You’ll want to avoid any cold, harsh shades, or clinical feelings - these definitely won’t turn your house into a home! If you’re after a cleaner, more refined look, you might want to lean into painted finishes, with less textural dimension. This means it's, firstly, easier to clean (yay!) as well as giving you the basis for less clutter, as the clutter you do have is more likely to stand out. So, maybe you’ll refine your cleaning habits in the long run too, win-win. 

Here are a few tips and tricks on what works well with different design themes. This is just a rule of thumb, however, so just use it as a guide! Design shouldn’t be strict, so take what you like and make it your own.

Rustic Think natural materials like wood, clay, wicker and ceramic. With fabric furnishings, less leather, and more soft and comfy pieces. Neutral, no-fuss colours let the natural materials do the talking. At its core, rustic design lets texture take centre stage. 

Minimalist Think simplicity. Minimalism strives for clean lines and monochromatic design. Function is placed at the forefront with open-plan living rooms and kitchens. It covers a lot of the basics and often doesn’t strive for many colours. If you imagine a chair in your mind’s eye, and it looks just like that white one from IKEA, you might have minimalism just about right.

Bohemian Think eccentric. Similar to rustic styling, but with a focus on the eclectic, boho design takes influence from different cultures. Using this, lovers of boho design can curate an artistic expression of their favourite patterns, prints and textures to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere that feels a little bit more like them.

Maximalist Think all things colour. Statement styling is what makes maximalism sing. If you are a lover of all things bright and bold, you will adore the maximalist aesthetic. Dress your home in the shades that make you happiest and be unapologetic in your pairings!

Choosing your table

With such a variety of styles available, you might feel overwhelmed. But, don’t stress just yet. There are so many ways to figure out what kind of table would fit your space best. Considering your preferred aesthetic, you can instantly eliminate any textures and colours that don’t fit your vibe. Say you love rustic styling, choosing a wooden table would make a great, easy choice.

If you’re unsure about what you like, have a look at the kinds of textures and materials that are already in your home. Use these as a guide to help you figure out what would fit with what already exists. If you have a lot of furniture with glass accents, maybe pick a coffee table with a mirrored effect, for example.

After you’ve decided what kind of material you’re after, you can figure out the size of table your space allows. Do you have room for a large, statement table? Do you even want it to be a statement? Or, do you have the space for a smaller coffee table? If you opt for a smaller table for space but want it to stand out, you can still achieve a statement table with height, interesting features, as well as the ornaments and decorations you place on and around the table itself.

How to decorate your coffee table

After figuring out the style you want to achieve, and the material and size of table you want, you get to delve deep into decorating - the most fun part of all!

With so many options to choose from, it can become a little overwhelming to begin the next step in your design journey. What pieces do you want on your table? Do you want it to be mainly functional? Aesthetically pleasing? We have a selection of handy tips and tricks that you can use to guide your way into creating the coffee table of your dreams.

Large Rounded Glass Vase with flowers inside

Large Rounded Glass Vase

Ornaments A solid centrepiece will easily add some style to your table. Whether you choose an abstract statue or a quirky focal point that suits your taste, you can easily add some flair to your living space. A fun ornament that matches your design theme is a simple way to achieve some style points. Depending on the size of your chosen ornament, you may not even need to add much else!

 

Vases & flowers If you’re striving for a more rustic, carefree look, you might want to just add a decorative vase to your coffee table and complete it with a sprig of dried grasses or even a dried flower bouquet reminiscent of your existing colourway. Vases can be the centrepiece of your table or they can be a secondary addition - it all depends on the look you want to achieve. You could go for a large statement vase that speaks for itself like our Large Ceramic Indented Flower Vase and with its bold design, this vase can simply be left alone. If you choose a vase like our Slim Glass Flower Vase you can let your flowers take centre stage. If you're after the rustic feel, our English Countryside Bouquet makes the perfect pick.

 

Books or Magazines What better way to take a break than with a gorgeous, coffee table book? Giving yourself obligatory browsing time, the coffee table book is a great conversation starter between friends, a port of call, and a prized possession. Pick a subject that interests you most and select a few books to do with that topic. Hardback books tend to be the favoured choice for the coffee table as they’re durable and sturdy. They also look that touch more attractive. If you love to look on the bright side of life, this little Happiness for Everyday Book is guaranteed to bring some light into your life. And it looks pretty too! If you love quirky illustrations and want something your friends can dive straight into, The Little Frog’s Guide to Self Care would make a great choice. Complete with an array of stylish footwear and meaningful sentiments, this book is the perfect way to take a break.

Plants A little greenery never hurts anyone, and whilst dried flowers are a great alternative to fresh flowers, you can always add to your coffee table with a touch of nature. Fresh flowers need constant changing and can become a pain for those who lead a busy lifestyle. If your life doesn’t leave you enough time, a houseplant might make a great choice. A little less maintenance than fresh flowers, if you choose an easily pleased plant buddy, you can just make sure to top up its water and it’ll stay bright and beautiful for time to come. All whilst making your coffee table a little more vibrant.

Happiness For Every Day Book on top of wooden coffee table

Happiness For Every Day Book

The Candle Brand Burn + Bloom Peony & Rose Candle with other candles on top of wooden counter

The Candle Brand Burn + Bloom Peony & Rose Candle

Candles After cleaning, many people have built in the ritualistic habit of lighting a candle. Welcoming good energy into the home and alongside it, a gorgeous scent and atmospheric lighting. Candles are a wonderful way to add something special to your coffee table. Choose your favourite brand and scent and use it as a haven to return to after a long day. You can use a large, oversized candle or a selection of mini candles, depending on what fits your space best. If you’re looking for an eclectic statement, place this gorgeous pillar candle on top of your favourite candle holder for a showstopping decoration. If you prefer a more rustic aesthetic, The Candle Brand creates simple candles like this one in dark, glass votives that bring a warm, farmhouse feel to any home.

Practical Bits To take your coffee table styling to the next level, introducing some fun but functional additions is the final step. Think coasters, trays, under-the-table storage. You can choose coasters in whatever style you like, you could use stone coasters, wicker coasters or simple ceramic coasters for a practical but stylistic addition. If you tend to collect an assortment of different trinkets, you could make use of a tray. By picking a tray that suits your style, you can keep things in one place whilst adding a sleek design element. Pop your remote on the tray, along with candles or other trinkets to keep everything situated.

What not to put on your coffee table

Avoid unnecessary clutter It’s easy for life to get ahead of us and we can begin to lose ourselves in the chaos. If you’re prone to messiness, you can make use of functional design choices to help reduce the amount of clutter. Using baskets and trays in similar colours and designs, you can make sure you stay on top of your chaos whilst nodding to your chosen design.

Switch up the sizes Having a range of different-sized pieces on your coffee table is a great way to engage the eye and bring some excitement to your arrangement. Try to avoid decorating your table with lots of smaller items as this could create a slightly cluttered look without you realising! If you break it up by having a larger statement piece as the focal point, you have more freedom to do what you want with the rest.

Play with height Your coffee table is your own! You can run free with how you want to adorn it. A great way to have some fun is to experiment with different heights. Move away from one-dimensional design and stack your books, use tall vases and interesting ornaments to create your perfect, cohesive look. If you’re unsure of how it looks, the good thing about coffee table curation is you can switch it up whenever you like.

Explore some more home accessories to help spruce up your coffee table here.

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