Senior design editor Jennifer Koper shows us how to give your coffee table a makeover from home.
We’ve all been spending a lot more time at home than usual, and it’s likely you’re getting pretty sick of the same surroundings day in and day out. I know I am! Every room is getting used more than normal, but one of the most hardworking spaces today is our living room (aside from the kitchen of course!). Some living rooms are doubling, tripling and even quadrupling as our office, gym, TV binge-watching, puzzle-doing, homeschooling space. I’ve got some fun styling tricks to give your coffee table a boost using what your already have at home.
For The Modern Minimalist Or Fuss-Free Family
If your coffee table is a workhorse or is always cluttered with the next project or activity, simplicity is key for styling the table. Clear it off and keep it clean with one grouping of sculptural pieces that you can find around the house. A couple of oversized serving bowls from the kitchen pantry and an interesting vase make for a modern and simple display. You’ll still have plenty of space on the table for all of your activities, and you can place remotes in the bowls to keep them neatly stowed away. Try to pair the scale of your pieces to the scale of the table appropriately, and of course, you can always go for just one large piece rather than a grouping for the ultimate minimalist look.
For The Chic Collector
A succulent bowl is an excellent way to have something green on your table without the maintenance of fresh flowers. It’ll work best if there is a window nearby, but if not, you can always get away with moving it to a window every now and then for a quick dose of sunshine. Tired of stacks of books? Crack one open to your favorite page and use that as decor. A paper weight or large magnifying glass can help weigh down the pages if needed.
A glass or shadow box is the perfect place for displaying momentous that you want to keep protected. Open your closet or vanity, and bring out a vintage bracelet or your grandmother’s special earrings you never wear, and enjoy them in a different way. Pair with a photo for an extra special moment.
For The Nature Enthusiast
Get inspired by the outdoors and bring in new finds, like a piece of driftwood or pretty rocks found by the shore. Check out your linen closet for a table runner to repurpose. Try one on the coffee table, or use a piece of fabric, like this gauzy cotton one I stained with tea, and loosely folded over a few times (rather than stitched) for a breezy, beachy feel. If you’re eager to have a little more happening on your coffee table, but still have some free space, then a double grouping is perfect; a large tray can hold smaller decorative pieces and can be easily moved to another surface if you need more room. Necessities can be stored out of sight in a lidded basket. Pair the tray up with a vase full of fresh flowers or yard cuttings.
Art isn’t just for walls! Instead of a decorative object, try putting a small framed piece of art flat on top of a stack of books. Since we’re often looking at the coffee table from above, it’s a great way to add another decorative touch to your books, especially if you’re tired of looking at the cover. This pressed flower art can also be DIY-ed for a fun project.
For The Maximalist
A trip to your linen closet can transform your coffee table completely! Although unconventional, a tablecloth can add a huge hit of color and pattern, and can either be left bare for all of your activities or loaded up for a truly maximalist look. I made this tablecloth out of leftover fabric and used hemming tape to finish the edges. This look can feel daunting to accomplish, but if you start in the middle with a centerpiece that has some height, and work your way around it, adding various stacks in different heights (think: books, boxes or trays), you’ll get there in no time. Arrange your stacks in a radial pattern around the centerpiece, and fill in the gaps with smaller sculptural objects. The beauty is that your table will look very different depending on the angle.
A maximalist arrangement can still be functional and have pockets of space left open to set down a drink or snacks. Decorative boxes can stash remotes and other coffee table essentials out of sight but on hand. If you have a large, wagging-tail dog or a partner that needs unobstructed views of the television (like I do), swap the tall candlesticks for shorter versions or votives, and choose a smaller branch or floral arrangement.