How to Style Your Coffee Table 3 Easy Ways

Design Advice


Are you coffee table styling challenged?  Don’t know what to put on it or where?  I feel ya!  I used to be the same way, until I came up with three formulas to use when styling my coffee table, and I am here today to share them with you!

Grab a pen and paper…there is a quiz afterwards.  Just kidding!  No quiz, and these formulas are so easy you won’t have to take notes, unless you just want to!

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3 easy ways to style your coffee table.


4 Square

As you can see, my coffee table has an inlay that is already divided into 4 squares for me, making this way to style my coffee table as easy as buttering bread.  If your coffee table isn’t like mine, no worries!  You can do it mentally or, if you need the lines there for you put down some masking tape.

I always choose one tall item like my crock full of flowers and then a medium size item like my candle holder (that is really a cake stand) and a short item like my stainless steel star cake pan with the decorative orbs (there is just something about saying balls that I just can’t do, so they are orbs, haha!)

If you don’t have a tray (which takes up 2 squares) then I would place some hardback books in that fourth square or maybe some magazines if you are like me and still get them in the mail.


3 easy ways to style your coffee table

3 easy ways to style your coffee table


Ducks in a Row

The second way of styling is by dividing your coffee table into thirds.  Again, you can do this mentally or add masking tape if you need it.

Always put your tallest item in the middle, then the other two items to either side.  I like to keep it as simple as possible so it doesn’t look too cluttered.

3 easy ways to style your coffee table

3 easy ways to style your coffee table


This style is really easy!  Just center everything in the middle of the coffee table.  When styling this way, I use the rule of 3 (only 3 decor items in a grouping) Yes, that is a rule in the design world, it just makes your vignettes have better visual appeal.

3 easy ways to style your coffee table


The items you use to style your coffee table should be items you love or that tell a story.  Yellow is my favorite color, I bought that little rocking bird from West Elm years ago, and those orbs add great texture contrasting with the stainless steel vintage star jello mold they are in (that was a Goodwill score btw)

Now that you have your coffee table styled,  head over and get my tips for STYLING BUILT INS LIKE A BOSS.

Until next time,

P.S  Hey friend, are you having trouble deciding what your design style is?  Take my design style quiz today and find out!


3 easy ways to style your coffee table
Styling your coffee table 3 easy ways


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  • Reply
    July 13, 2017 at 10:26 am

    I love this! Personally, I’m a ducks in a row person because I like everything to be nice and evenly spread out. If I were to do the centerpiece option, I would just put one item so the others don’t get lost underneath the big flowers or something. But I also really like the idea of the tray table! I might put THAT in the middle and then the two other pieces on either side, ducks in a row style, so you can have everything you want on the table and it would still sort of follow the rule of three.

    • Reply
      July 13, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      I think if our coffee table wasn’t so wide, I would do the ducks in a row more, but that’s the great thing about can change it up whenever you want! I also have a carpenters box that sit on this coffee table that takes up almost the whole thing and it is amazing 🙂 The tray is awesome because then you can add items to the tray 😉

  • Reply
    July 13, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing this post. We’re finally putting our coffee table back in the middle of the room (19 month old toddler inthe house) and I’m debating how I want to set it up. I suck at anything decor related so this was a huge huge help!

    • Reply
      July 13, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      I am so glad this helped you! We have a toddler and a preschooler in our house right now and so far so good…they haven’t even paid any attention to it, yet 😉

  • Reply
    Amy White
    July 14, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Love this! People like me who are designed challenge needs little helpful hints like this to bring a piece together. Your coffee table look significantly better than mine.

    • Reply
      July 14, 2017 at 6:32 pm

      I bet your coffee table doesn’t look bad at all!! I am glad this was helpful 🙂

  • Reply
    Carol ("Mimi")
    July 15, 2017 at 10:13 am

    I love these ideas! I’m constantly changing up the vignettes on my coffee table for every season. I love posts like yours that break down the design principles behind the display.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

    • Reply
      July 16, 2017 at 9:13 am

      Thank you Carol! I am so glad you found this post useful 🙂

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