Architectural Digest has four ways to style a coffee table.
When you finally settle on your living room layout, it’s time to add a personal touch to the focal point of your space: the coffee table. Sure, the sofa gets all the credit as the most crucial part of a living room, but really, the coffee table is where your design skills can shine. Before you get too excited, it also must be functional, serving as a base for entertaining guests who will likely gather around the communal table in the living room. And it must also reflect your design style, displaying books, mementos, and other decor items that tie together the larger furnishings in the room. This much action on one modestly sized surface requires some thought and consideration, so we turned to designer Max Zinser to craft four perfectly styled coffee table ideas that you can re-create in your own aesthetic.
Make It a Collected Surface
The key to these coffee table ideas is beginning with the basics. Start with a stack or two of books that show off your interests, whether it’s art or design or fashion. Then scatter small accents, such as ceramics, candles, and travel souvenirs, on the remaining surface. Add a short flower arrangement to keep focus on the table.
Products Shown: 1. Cubisme Bowl by L'Objet, $95; l-objet.com. 2. Wooden Coffee Table After Maxime Old, $6,500; victoria-rojas.com. 3. Yata Rug in Linen by Ben Soleimani for RH Restoration Hardware, from $1,295; rh.com.
Make It Party-Ready
Make your guests feel at home by setting they might need everything right at hand. Place a carafe of water and glasses on an elegant tray and snacks in accent bowls. Since it’s a party, have games handy, just in case the mood strikes. A slim flower arrangement leaves room to play or reach for another handful of nibbles.
Products Shown: 1. Silver-Plated Brass Tray by Ralph Lauren Home, $295; ralphlaurenhome.com. 2. Rupi Bowl by Jaimal Odedra, $1,200; maisongerard.com.
Make It the Focal Point
The coffee table is the center of the living room, so make it the center of attention as well. Draw focus to the table with a statement centerpiece and include eye-catching books to complement the item. Make a floral arrangement from a grid of bud vases and finish off the look with a few interesting objects.
Products Shown: 1. Teeny Small Bud Vases by Crate and Barrel, $4.95 each; crateandbarrel.com.
Make It a Tea Party
There’s something about the idea of a tea party that feels so relaxing and refined. Display a charming tea set atop a bold surface. We love mixing a traditional tea service with modern, handmade mugs. For visual interest, splay an art book open to a striking page. All you need now is a fresh pot of tea and some sweets.
Products Shown: 1. Antique Danish Tea Set, $2,350; eskandar.com. 2. Wooden Coffee Table After Maxime Old, $6,500; victoria-rojas.com. 3. Yata Rug in Linen by Ben Soleimani for RH Restoration Hardware, from $1,295; rh.com.
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4 Ways to Style a Coffee Table | Architectural Digest