Your Coffee Table Needs Help. Here’s How an ED Editor Styles Hers

Laurel Benedum
Photo credit: Brian Potter

From ELLE Decor

Your coffee table may not be the largest piece of furniture in your living room, but it does function as the focal point of the space. Whether you’re sitting and chatting with friends or family, relaxing by yourself with a glass of wine, or just kicking back and watching Netflix, every activity tends to center around the coffee table—or the trunk or ottoman—and switching up the decor on its surface can have a big style impact for the entire room. The best part: It does not take a lot of effort. So if you’re looking for a little refresh in your living room, here are some easy styling tips to help you decorate your own coffee table like a pro.

Anchor It with a Tray

Photo credit: Brian Potter

A decorative tray is key. Not only does it keep accessories contained to avoid a cluttered look, but you can also cart away objets when you need more surface area for cocktails or dinner and a movie on the sofa. A tray is also an easy way to mix in a new texture—for instance, if you have a wooden table, try a rattan or fabric tray.

Bring in Books

Photo credit: Brian Potter

Of course, coffee table books are beautiful to flip through, but they also serve as artistic pieces when they’re closed. Choose books on subjects that are meaningful to you, whether they feature the work of an interior designer you love or photographs of your favorite foreign city. These are a great conversation starter and add instant personality to the table.

Add Color with a Vase of Fresh Flowers

Photo credit: Brian Potter

Introduce a Signature Scent

Photo credit: Brian Potter

I love being greeted by a familiar scent when I pop by the Gramercy Park Hotel for drinks—they created a custom candle that burns throughout the common areas—so I tend to pick one scent at home and stick to it, and I always get compliments on the candle I have burning. I’m looking forward to something light and beachy soon.

Don’t Forget the Coasters

Leaving coasters out on display is a friendly reminder to guests to take one when setting down their drinks. I love the kind that come with a holder to keep them contained when they’re not being used.

Layer with Vessels

Photo credit: Brian Potter

Whether it’s a decorative bowl or a small canister, a vessel or two will add dimension and some height variation. I love a lidded box or a pretty ceramic bowl; I filled mine with some faux moss spheres to add a bit of greenery to the table. (My bowl is no longer available, but you can get an equally chic planter in the same print.)






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