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  • Amanda Arcone

How to Style a Coffee Table

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

the four-quadrant method

The coffee table is a dynamic piece. Often demoted to a footrest or a place to set a bowl of popcorn, we commonly forget its potential to make our living room stylish and to make space for extra function.

Styling your coffee table is easy and a great Saturday morning project. In today's post, we'll show you how to style your coffee table, so it is guest-ready at all times while still functioning as a place for "all the things." It doesn't take a lot of time or stuff. You likely have everything you need on hand to get this little mini-makeover accomplished in under 30 minutes, if not quicker. Let's get going, shall we?

Start with a clean slate; remove everything from your current coffee table, and give it a good wipe-down on the surface and legs with a damp cloth or duster. If your table is glass-topped, polish it accordingly to get it shiny and ready.

Next, choose your aesthetic. This doesn't have to match precisely back to your room decor. Think a little out of the box on this one. This is an easy place and project to get a little bit more creative than you are usually comfortable with.

Do you want to convey vintage warmth, modern vibes, or something else? Pick your aesthetic and stick to it. Don't select any elements that stray from this.

Now that you have an aesthetic picked pull together all your elements. The best-stylized tables include a variety of colors, patterns, and textures, so be sure to choose at least one item for each of the following categories:

  • Books or magazines

  • Candles

  • Plants or flowers

  • Organizer tray

  • Metallic decor

  • Cup coasters

Now that your selections are all picked out, you're ready to organize and style. I suggest you start by dividing your table into three or four quadrants. In one, place the tray and fill it with metallic pieces, the TV remote, cordless phone charger, etc. This is an easy way for you to keep the necessities of life nearby and orderly.

In the second quadrant, place your books or magazines (not both) in a neat stack. In the third quadrant, place any floral bouquet or potted greenery you have selected. In the fourth quadrant, if you have allotted that much space, make room for a coffee cup by adding decorative coasters in preparation.

This is a simple and fun way to brighten up an often-overlooked area in your living room or den.

I hope you'll try this little project and subscribe to the newsletter and blog for regular tips and tricks to update the interiors of your home.

If you're looking for more than just a little help with your table, reach out and tell me about your next project, I'd love to help. You can reach me via email at



"The essence of interior design will always be about people and how they live. It is about the realities of what makes for an attractive, civilized, meaningful environment, not about fashion or what's in or what's out. This is not an easy job."

– Albert Hadley

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