25 coffee table styling ideas to bring your living room to life

Dress up a coffee table with candles, greenery or quirky accessories to make a centrepiece style-statement

West Elm Marble Coffee Table, John Lewis & Partners

Much more than a handy surface for your snacks on movie night, coffee tables can be a focal point of colour and personality in your living room. Coffee tables come in a wide range of styles, from luxe travertine tables to minimalist wood and sleek glass. But the style opportunities don’t end there. Once you have chosen your coffee table, the next step is to decide how to show it off to the best ability! From candles to carefully stacked coffee table books, we break down all the essentials for making your coffee table the new talking point of your room.


For more home styling inspiration, be sure to check out our blue living room ideas and grey living room decor, or glam up your living room with some stylish accessories. Now, here are 25 ideas to help you transform a coffee table from cluttered chaos to chic centrepiece…

Coffee table styling ideas

Tray chic

Sartre Marble Coffee Table, Gold/Green, £350, John Lewis & Partners + Swoon
Sartre Marble Coffee Table, Gold/Green, £350, John Lewis & Partners + Swoon

Not just for carrying drinks, trays also work as a permanent – and stylish – coffee table fixture. If you’ve got bijou bits and bobs, such as mini-plants, ornaments, candles and books, a tray is an easy way to group these small-scale accent pieces together to create an attractive vignette.

Choose a decorative tray so it brings something to the table (so to speak!) along with the curated items you choose to place on it.

Plant life

Stanley Coffee Table, Smoked Rippled Glass and Brass, £299, MADE.COM
Stanley Coffee Table, Smoked Rippled Glass and Brass, £299, MADE.COM

We’ll take any chance to add more greenery to our home, and the coffee table is no exception! For petite tables, go for smaller plants and succulents to make sure you’ll still have room for drinks and other essentials – if you’ve got the space, though, why not experiment with larger plants?

The key is to balance the size and height with other elements, pairing an imposing plant with medium-scale ornaments and other daintier pieces so they harmonise together.

Shine a light

Iggy Green & Gold Metal Coffee Table, £145, Oliver Bonas
Iggy Green & Gold Metal Coffee Table, £145, Oliver Bonas

Whether your style is modern minimalist or colourful and eclectic, there’s a table lamp for you (and your coffee table!). Open bulb lights, like the one above from Oliver Bonas, are everywhere at the moment and work well with a coffee table thanks to their dinky size and stylish ceramic finishes. You could also try a wireless lamp like this stylish pink portable light from Nordic Nest which means you won’t have to worry about trailing cables.

Candles are also a coffee-table must-have. Candles in classic white, grey or even black will be sleek and striking with Scandi-style natural wood furniture in a minimalist scheme, while mix-and-match hues and candleholders will add a sense of fun and an injection of colour.

Try grouping different-sized candles together in threes to add depth and interest, placing one large statement candle in a glass hurricane, or displaying smaller candles in cute holders on top of a stack of books.

Looking for the perfect fragrance? Click here to explore the best candles for every season.

Finishing touches

Vases from an assorment at Oliver Bonas
Ceramic vases, from an assortment at Oliver Bonas

Bookcases and shelving aren’t the only options for ornaments and trinkets – coffee tables are a prime spot for showing off everything from your latest bargain high-street buys to curios collected on your travels too – although you might not want to put anything too precious in such a high-traffic zone!


Play around with coffee table books, bowls, jugs, vases, bottles, figurines, lanterns and more in different scales, heights, prints and colours to find a visually pleasing combo.

Coffee table styling must-haves