Creating the Perfect Coffee Table Display

in Decorating on by

A simple, cozy, white coffee table display.

When you live in a small apartment, your decorating abilities can be limited because you simply don’t have a lot of room for bookshelves or end tables to put your picture frames and tchotchkes on. Luckily, you can use your coffee table to show off your style and create an elegant, magazine-worthy display. That’s right — it’s more than just a space to pile your junk mail.

If you want to spruce up your coffee table and use to its full decorative potential, you’ll definitely want to check out these tips:

Create a Monochromatic Theme

A surefire way to wow is to create a monochromatic color scheme. Have a white coffee table? Stack some white books next to a vase filled with daisies or hydrangeas for a clean, simple look. Trade out color schemes every few months to keep the look fresh and keep your guests guessing.

Curate with Candles

Candles make everything feel cozier, so why not use a few to dress up your coffee table? A candelabra is a great way to elegantly display a candle collection and set a romantic scene in the evenings after work. You could also place a rectangular tray in the middle of the coffee table and stack some chunky candles of different sizes on top to create an eclectic display. Beware of using too many candles, however. After all, you don’t want to end up with a flaming coffee table every time a breeze blows through the room.

Accent with Poufs

A fun way to add a splash of color to your coffee table is to place a few poufs around it in various shades. You can find these colorful poufs anywhere from big-box stores to Etsy. Not only will these create an interesting display by your coffee table, but they will also create extra seating when you host a get-together with friends or family.

Top It with a Tray

Grouping items together on your coffee table looks nice, but adding in a tray makes it look like a well-placed and strategic vignette. Stack a vase of flowers, a coffee table book, a candle, or a unique tchotchke on top of your tray to create an elegant display. The fun part is that you can find an unlimited variety of trays in the local dollar store, thrift store, antique store, or even raiding through your grandmother’s attic. The possibilities really are endless here.

Get Creative with Stacking

Stacked books and a vase of flowers on a coffee table.

When it comes to creating beautiful coffee table displays, it’s all about getting creative with your stacking. A vase of flowers will always look pretty on top of a coffee table, but place a vase on top of a beautiful stack of books, and you’ll have something really stylish. Don’t be afraid to use unusual items like cake stands, upside-down baskets, or metal buckets to create something really unique and interesting.

Show Off Your Book Collection

The coffee table is a natural place to display your personal library — especially when you don’t have room for a traditional bookcase in your living area. Stacking up your books two or three titles high will create visual interest (especially if you add your favorite trinkets on top of the stacks) and give you a place to store your most beloved novels. A true win-win.

Don’t Forget About the Space Below

Many coffee tables have plenty of space underneath to create storage for magazines, books, baskets, and other items that don’t quite have a home. Take full advantage of this space and use it to store blankets in a beautiful wire basket, stack up your favorite coffee table books, stash your throw pillows, or store your favorite board games for those monthly game nights with your friends.

Work in a Good Sculpture

You don’t have to be a millionaire to appreciate a good sculpture (or be able to afford one). Head to your nearest Home Goods or TJ Maxx to sift through their collection of small sculptures and other decorative items. You never know what kind of treasures you’ll be able to find that will make the coolest, weirdest conversation pieces.

Pack in Plants

Does your living room get some pretty decent light? Place a plant or two in the middle of your coffee table to brighten up your space and give the room a lot of visual interest. Group a few succulents together, plant a few herbs, or plant some peonies and have them grow right there on the table. As an added bonus, having plants in your living room will also detoxify the air and make your house smell amazing.

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