A coffee table can go from blah to brilliant with a few artfully arranged accessories. Some people take the “more is more” approach and curate a layered tablescape while others prefer a more edited look. The former route can look beautiful but sometimes the function of the table gets forgotten and the accessories overtake every inch of space. You have to leave room to set a few drinks down, right? So, my accessorizing philosophy pivots around the principle of balancing form and function. Here are a few that I think are well-styled:

Design by Elizabeth Bauer, image via Lonny Magazine, photo by Patrick Cline

Design by Pam Voth and Tim Barrall, image via Lonny Magazine, photo by Patrick Cline

Design by Mary McDonald

Design by Lonny, image via Lonny Magazine, photo by Patrick Cline

So, if you’re in the mood to dress up your coffee table, here are a few items that are perfect for display (and use):

  1. Books: Are interesting and pretty…and great conversation starters too!
  2. Candy Dishes: Take those cute bowls and compotes out of the cupboard and fill them with beautiful candy for guests to enjoy…and maybe for you too :)
  3. Games: Nice-looking chess or backgammon sets are perfect for the coffee table and might even get more use if they are out and ready for play. I keep a lucite box of dominoes out on ours and I love the look!
  4. Knick Knacks and Collections: All of the special things you’ve collected over the year could be used on the coffee table, but, be sure to edit so that your table doesn’t end up looking cluttered.
  5. Candles: Choose a candle that is beautifully packaged to showcase on the table or get some sort of candle holder like a hurricane vase or pillar if the candle itself isn’t very stylish.
  6. Trays: A tray can be vital to the success of your accessorizing. Trays can keep groups of items from looking busy and disjointed…they bring everything together and make it easy to move everything when the table needs to be cleared.
  7. Vases + Flowers: Flowers and the vessels that hold them can make any space better. When using them on your coffee table, just keep scale in mind. More often than not, a bud vase or two will do the trick!

In my home, the accessories on my coffee tables are constantly rearranged. I use all of the above items and will sub in new things from time to time. Here are how things are looking these days…

What is on your coffee table? When it comes to coffee table decor, are you a maximalist, a minimalist, or somewhere in the middle like I am?

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