5 Tips for Styling a Kickass Coffee Table

5 tips for styling a coffee table that looks awesome AND has room for your coffee (!) from interior designer Lesley Myrick

You know you’ve seen those beautifully styled coffee tables in magazines: the ones with stacks of books, and a tray, and some flowers, and a few cool knickknacks, and some more books, but absolutely NOWHERE TO PUT YOUR DAMN COFFEE CUP, right?

A coffee table is the focal point of a living room (or of the seating area, at least). And it should have cool stuff on it that’s worth looking at. But when fashion takes over function, that’s when I draw the line. It IS possible to have a well-styled coffee table that looks great and leaves room to put your feet up! Coming your way: 5 tips for styling a kickass coffee table.

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here – interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create some pretty rad interiors with an offbeat edge.

I have some clients that want me to just handle it all and make it happen, and I’m thrilled to do that! But I know there are people out there who just want a few tips and tricks to be able to make design magic on their own in their own home.

So I’m going to share with you today a few tips on how to style a coffee table.

Coffee tables are the focal point of a living room. And that’s actually my first tip, is your coffee table is already the focal point – make sure IT has a focal point.

Make sure that there is something on there that’s going to command attention

and draw your eye in whether it’s a beautiful stack of books, or a vase, or a fruit bowl, there’s gotta be something there that has some impact and that “wow” moment.

Tip number two for styling a coffee table is to use trays to corral smaller items.

I love what trays do visually when they’re on a table. They take a lot of seemingly random things, pull ’em all together, and make them feel super intentional. A tray is also an awesome opportunity to introduce some texture. I love hammered metal trays, or wood, or a mix of both. Those are all going to add richness and texture and depth to your coffee table arrangement.

Tip number three when styling a coffee table is to play with height.

Not everything needs to be low and flat. I love the idea of introducing a potted plant, or maybe a vase or a small-scale sculpture. If everything’s too flat it’s a snore. Playing with levels and dimensions is really going to create something interesting and beautiful, and it’s going to make it worthy of being the focal point in your room.

Tip number four when styling a coffee table is to introduce natural elements.

Whether it’s wood, or metal, or maybe some greenery, every room can benefit from something a little bit earthy and organic and a coffee table is no exception.

And the last tip I have for styling your coffee table is to keep it usable!

It’s there to put your coffee on. I think those beautifully styled “designer coffee tables” loaded with books and things and trays and whatever – they can be really beautiful but when there’s no room to even put your coffee cup I feel like they’ve missed the mark.

Don’t forget that this thing is functional. That it’s supposed to serve a purpose in your room. And I would much rather see a minimally styled coffee table with a beautiful bowl and a stack of books over an over-styled, overdone one any day.

Keep it simple, play with levels,

play with materials, have fun, and explore styling your coffee table. You really can’t mess it up too bad.