A How-To on Styling the Perfect Coffee Table

Last week, we discussed how to find the perfect sized coffee table for your space needs. Now, we’re going to dive into how to style your coffee table! No matter the size, or if you are using a round table, ottoman, or nesting table, this short guide has got you covered. The design elements for styling will be similar for every option of coffee table we discussed in our previous post. However, they will look different depending on the style and shape of your table. Without further ado, let’s get into the essentials of styling your table, ottoman, and nesting table!

General style & design elements for tables: 

  • To start, you need a base to style! This could be your coffee table itself. However, you can choose a decorative base to place onto your table such as a tray or a piece of glass. Using a different base other than your table’s surface gives it a chic flair and a sophisticated look. Besides decor purposes, this can give you a sturdy foundation to place the other style elements we will discuss further below.
  • Once you have your base, it’s time for some decorative pieces. This is the fun part! You can use small vases, your favorite books, and figurines/trinkets. Furthermore, if you want to style your coffee table in a more meaningful manner, you can add a personal piece. This can be something from a trip or mementos from friends and family. Overall, your table should show your personality; add what you think reflects you!
  • Your table should have some height. Displayed objects that are the same height are boring to the eye. Varying heights are bound to capture you and your guest’s attention. To give your table a boost, you can add a tall candle (especially a wonderful smelling one!), a long vase, or books. Choose books that represent your interests and that are a similar color scheme to your overall decor style. This ties everything into a cohesive unit. If you want to add some life, a plant or even some fresh flowers will do! These contribute an organic and lively feel to your table.

 Now that we’ve discussed some general style and design elements, let’s implement them on ottomans and nesting tables- two unique coffee table options that are not your average coffee tables. 


An ottoman is usually used as extra seating or storage. However, they can also be coffee tables! When styling ottomans, it’s imperative to be creative and resourceful. Use what you already have at home and think outside the box! Below, we are using a mirror we already have as a base. The oval shape of this mirror gives the ottoman a glamorous look; think art deco and vintage vanity inspiration. Of course, this all depends on your personal style. However, because this ottoman already has a luxe look, we are adding to its essence to give it a style boost. For height, we are using candles, books, and a lovely orchid. Moreover, we have placed a heart-shaped trinket to add to the glam inspiration we are going for. When you have guests over, don’t be afraid to switch things up! Move some things around; add some decorative plates and even some glass bottles to wine and dine your friends.

Nesting Tables 

When it comes to nesting tables, they are all about elevating your creativity and personal style. The stacked table aspect allows you to personalize each level. With the nesting table below, we are going for a contemporary and bohemian ambiance. For height, we used books and a vase on the largest table. We also placed a small woven box which can be used for candy or other small trinkets. On the middle level, greenery brings light and life to an otherwise stationary set up. The figurine on the smallest table is personal piece that is also seasonal. You can, of course, change up the elements you use every season. In short, use the nesting table as a way to express yourself!

Using things you already have and your own creativity, styling your coffee table is a fun DIY project! Whether you have a run-of-the-mill table, an ottoman, or nesting table, remember to follow these rules:

  • Lay a base (like a tray or mirror).
  • Add trinkets, books, and various personal items that have meaning for you.
  • Make sure to have some height. You can achieve this with candles, stacking books, and plants.
  • Get creative when it comes to ottomans and nesting tables-they are distinct pieces that need to be defined.

Make sure to infuse your own personal style into your coffee table using the elements discussed above. Lastly, enjoy your coffee table and don’t be afraid to show it off!

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