Secrets of coffee table styling from the experts

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Emma Blomfield coffee table
Styling by Emma Blomfield, photography by Lisa Zhu

We love a well styled coffee table but it can be hard to achieve — often looking too cluttered, same-same or just blah.

That’s why we’ve invited top Australian stylists to share their secrets of coffee table styling!

Jason Grant coffee table styling
Styling by Mr Jason Grant, photography by Lauren Bamford

Mr Jason Grant says a coffee table is a great place to begin styling at home and is the perfect canvas to show off a few of your favourite or latest items.

Start with a base, books or a tray are great for this as they lay the foundation and can contain arrangements.

“There’s no need to overcrowd the space and of course a central focus like flowers or an object is always great. Your coffee can be a work in progress — add and subtract as you feel the need and keep things moving,” he explains.

Coffee table Shay
Styling by Shay Paine

Our favourite from the last series of The Block, Shay Paine, seriously wowed us with her styling eye and she recommends using your coffee table to reflect your personality or your family.

Choose a coffee table book the references something you are interested in or place you have travelled to. Layer items on trays and create different heights with your styling pieces. Most of all, always have something green or natural to bring life to the room, fresh flowers or maybe an indoor plant.

How to style a coffee table
Styling by Julia Green, photography by Annette O’Brien for The Style School

The oh-so-talented Julia Green of Greenhouse Interiors says it’s important to consider the shape and size of a coffee table.

For a standard round table, I would use a trio of objects. The odd number of objects works well against the play of a perfectly symmetrical shape. Within that trio would be some foliage, books and one unexpected object.

“On my own coffee table at the moment, I have a beautiful piece of vintage lilac glass that is handblown and sculptural. Always allow enough room for your tea or coffee to sit, as over cluttered tables become booby traps and according to my husband, ‘counterproductive!’,” she says.

“If I am styling a rectangular table, I like a bit of symmetry. In my view there is nothing better than generously laden piles and stacks of coffee table books. They alone can look beautiful.”

Emma Blomfield coffee table
Styling by Emma Blomfield, photography by Lisa Zhu

Co-founder of The Decorating School, Emma Blomfield, says variety is key.

Vary the shapes and sizes of the objects you’re placing on the coffee table so ensure you have some round objects as well as rectangular. In order to keep it neat and organised, try arranging your items on a large tray, this is a great way to show off your styling skills!

Have these styling tips inspired you? Show us your coffee table by tagging us @stylecuratorau when you share them online!

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Gina is the Editor of STYLE CURATOR, an award winning Australian blog about the pursuit of a stylish home. She is passionate about sharing her love of design, architecture, decorating and homewares. Having recently finished the build of her dream home, she's now tackling the never ending job of styling it. When she's not blogging or working with interior styling clients, you'll find her running after her 1 year-old son Patrick or getting her hands messy in a creative project.

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