Emma Sleep

Secrets of coffee table styling from the experts

We love a well styled coffee table but it can be hard to achieve ā€” 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! These guys are experts in making spaces look effortlessly fabulous so keep scrolling for ideas on how you can add interest to your coffee table.

Related article: The tips and tricks to styling your coffee table with ease
Related article: Room-by-room guide to using crystals: What crystals to use and where in your home

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 table can be a work in progress ā€” add and subtract as you feel the need and keep things moving,” he explains.

Coffee table Shay
Styling by Shay Paine

One of our favourites from 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.

Shop coffee table styling essentials

Small white vase
Small white vase
Clear quartz cluster
Clear quartz cluster
Hammered brass bowl
Hammered brass bowl
Marble tray
Marble tray
Steel candle holder
Steel candle holder
Small white vase
Small white vase
Clear quartz cluster
Clear quartz cluster
Hammered brass bowl
Hammered brass bowl
Marble tray
Marble tray
Steel candle holder
Steel candle holder
Small white vase
Small white vase
Clear quartz cluster
Clear quartz cluster
Hammered brass bowl
Hammered brass bowl
Marble tray
Marble tray
Steel candle holder
Steel candle holder
Scented candle coffee table styling
Styling by Gina Beschorner

Style Curator Editor and Interior Stylist, Gina Beschorner, loves mixing up coffee table looks and shares all her tips to style your coffee table with ease here.

Contrast is the name of the game. High and low elements, slimmer pieces (like a candle stick) and wider (such as stack of books), hard objects (like the metal bell above) with soft (such as a woven basket). A stack of books or tray is also an easy way to create a base that you can place items on top of for a confident and layered look.

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 also 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 of coffee table books coupled with a few items of decor.”

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

Finally, 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. To keep it neat and organised, try arranging your items on a large tray. This is also 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!

Check out more styling tips

This article was first published in May 2016 and has been updated with new information and images.

Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

Iā€™m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.

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