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a simple coffee table styling formula + 4 different looks

Post contains affiliate links.

If you've ever struggled with coffee table styling and can't quite figure out how to strike a balance between beautifully styled but not too over-the-top, this post is for you.

We have a super simple formula that you can use - no matter your design style - to create beautiful coffee table without a lot of fuss. PLUS to prove that you can do this no matter what your decor style of choice is, we have a roundup of four different ready-to-go looks using the exact same formula.

coffee table styling start with a large anchor piece


  1. Anchor - Start with a large anchor piece. We like a large vase with branches or a live plant. Make the container large and interesting. We usually go for texture over a bold pattern.

  2. Something Flat - Next add in something horizontal. A stack of books or a low bowl (or both) work really well.

  3. Organic shape - Then layer on a decorative object with an interesting shape, like a wooden chain or beads.

  4. Decorative Object(s) - Finally, some coasters, a candle, box, or interesting object in a smaller scale.


coffee table styling add in something horizontal

Here's why it works.

The anchor is the focal point of the whole shebang that draws your eye in.

coffee table styling add something with organic shape

The organic shaped object moves your eye around from the anchor (plant/vase) to the flat thing (books, bowl). That eye movement = INTEREST.

coffee table styling add an interesting item

Then the smaller objects round it out to help it feel styled but not overdone. I don't love my coffee tables overstuffed so that there's no room to put a drink or put your feet up. Effortless style (with only a little bit of effort).

BONUS TIP: It’s important to keep scale and color in mind. You don’t want all of your objects to be too similar in size or shape. Think Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear.

Here are a few combos in 4 different styles to try at home!





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