The coffee table is often the focal point of a living room and can be one of the trickiest pieces to decorate. Too much, and the table seems cluttered; too sparse, and it feels lifeless. To help you bring just the right style to your table, designers of Gary Riggs Home have come up with a few tips and ideas.

Consider the Scheme

The style of your coffee table should conform to the rest of the room’s décor and color palette. Be conscious of the dominant colors of every item you place on the table and whether it helps to enhance the room or detracts from it.

Liven It Up

Decorate with living accents such as houseplants, succulents or even herbs to create a fresh tablescape. A small vase with a monochromatic arrangement of flowers is another way to add an organic element to a coffee table. Today’s artificial florals are so realistic that they can be used when cut flowers are unavailable. Hydrangeas, peonies and orchids are always in style.

Go Tray Chic

Trays are one of the most versatile accessories for a coffee table. Place a book, coasters, candles, flowers, artwork or even a cocktail glass or two on it. The hard surface also makes trays perfect for styling an upholstered table or one with uneven surfaces, like a restored steamer trunk. Not only do trays add a layer of visual interest, but they can also be functional. A decorated tray can be easily moved to open up space on the coffee table for another purpose.

Vary Scale & Height

Just as you would with a shelf or mantel, a coffee table should be decorated with items of assorted height and scale. So for example, avoid arranging items of a similar size and height all together on the table. Instead, use different elements set along varied lines and angles to give the table interest and flow. Candles, sculptures, glass vessels and stacked books or magazines are perfect for achieving this look.

Make It Functional

Small decorative boxes, baskets and bowls not only add beauty to a coffee table, but also are functional, allowing you store small items like the TV remote, matches and coasters.

Add Your Personality

Have at least one element on your coffee table that is expresses your personality, such as a beautiful coffee table book related to your interests. A souvenir from a past vacation, such as a large seashell, is a wonderful way to keep a memory alive and can be an excellent conversation stimulator.

Underneath It All

The bottom of a coffee table—whether it’s a shelf or the floor—is usually a more utilitarian place for storage. However, what you place underneath can still be seen, so consider using decorative baskets or boxes that can store items like pens, throws and other items. These elements will look good from the outside but because it’s under the coffee table, guests won’t see what’s inside.

Mix It Up

The wonderful thing about styling a coffee table is that you are not committed to a long-term decorating scheme. You can change it up as often as you wish. For example, in the winter you can style it with polished silver and a mirrored tray, and then when spring blooms, replace the wintry accessories with large nature photography books and a vase of pink peonies on a bamboo tray.

For more ideas on not only styling your coffee table but also decorating your home or office, give the expert interior consultants at Gary Riggs Home a call. They are happy to help with all of your interior and exterior designing needs.