Thursday, February 7, 2013

Anatomy of a Coffee Table


As a follow up  to my Cheap Chic Coffee Table post I thought you all might enjoy a little styling help from the pros. Like a bookcase a coffee table is one of the main display areas of your living room.  It should be functional, say a bit about who you are, and most of all be balanced and decorative.   Be sure to vary heights and textures. This task is one that I always find daunting in my own home;  finding the balance between form and function, using too much or too little.


Here are some items that tend to be my go to items

  1. Some sort of natural element (fresh flowers, a plant, some other earthy element)
  2. Candlelight ( to add ambiance and possibly fresh scent to the room )
  3. Books (arrange them in neat stacks paying attention to the colors of the room)
  4. Decorative accents (that personalize the space)
  5. Tray( to organize the above items if needed)

This lovely coffee table has all  of the elements and is beautifully styled 

Table Top


This particular room has a lot going on.  I like the simple styling on the table that does not compete with the fabulous gallery wall.

I love the oversized bouquet,  the empty bowl (it’s form is beautiful on it’s own), and the play of textures.

Weathered and white

 Annie Kelley created a beautiful grouping here.  It is balanced and reflects the colors of the room,but doesn’t look too overdone.


  Love this one with the oversized bouquet of hydrangeas and the splash of color from the cherries…simple but wonderful!

Brabourne Farm: Coffee Tablescapes


 This is my coffee table in my family room. As you can see it is square and chunky. I find a square coffee table to be difficult, especially in this room. My room has high ceilings with some fairly large architectural details so I have found that I like something oversized in the center to bring it in balance with the rest of the room




I find the splash of orange so refreshing in this vignette.  Imagine this without the orange.  It wouldn’t be nearly as pleasing to the eye.


Coffee table styling

 Oh my goodness this room and coffee table are pure heaven.  Love how the coffee table surface echos the reclaimed beams, love the Peter Dunham fabric….

mysweetsavannah: ~pinterest stalker~


Barbara Colvin’s coffee table at the TRAD Home Showhouse in Napa had a wonderful mix of textures. 

Barbara Colvin  Traditional Home Napa Showhouse

Love the beachy vibe of this coffee table

greige: interior design ideas and inspiration for the transitional home by christina fluegge: greige on the lake

Do you have a favorite? Do you enjoy styling your own coffee table or is it a task you find daunting as well?

For some expert advice Phoebe Howard has some great tips here

House Beautiful has some great examples and helpful tips here

 For all the sources of these lovely coffee tables and more styling ideas go to my Pinterest Board here


  1. Very nice post and your family room looks wonderful!

    Cindy Jorgensen

  2. Clearly, I will need you to visit your central coast house so that you can drop by and help me figure out a coffee table for our new home (moving in April.) I never feel like I've accessorized it well. Love the pics you're showing, esp the books and flowers.

  3. p.s. Anne Kelly's is my absolute favorite. Love everything about it.

  4. Excellent post...I was going to do one very similar to this on styling coffee tables....great minds think alike!

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  6. Cindy, So much to love here. I like all your examples and also how you tell what elements make them work.. I always find it's hard to get these kind of surfaces looking right without being too staged. My favorites are the top (I have this photo pinned!) and also the Peter Dunham room. You've inspired me now to go fiddle with all my tables.

    I just noticed I'm on your blogroll..Thank you so much. I'm honored to be on your beautiful blog!

    Have a great weekend!



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