Welcome to our last segment of Pro Tip Tuesday! Don’t worry, I will still be sharing Tuesday posts, but September will bring on a new theme and new inspiration. Be sure to give my blog a follow so that you don’t miss it!
In today’s post, I am sharing tips on styling one of the most challenging pieces of furniture; the round coffee table. For me, the biggest challenge lies in finding the happy balance of styled, yet livable. If I fill it with too many accessories, my husband will complain there is no place to put his feet. If I leave it empty, it simply looks like a mis-placed and lonely piece of furniture.
So where do you begin? Much like the pro tips from my “How to Style Open Shelves” post, start with a blank slate. Clear off the clutter then take a pass through your home and search for items to use in your styling. The best part about coffee tables is their smaller space– it doesn’t require nearly as many items as open bookshelves do!
In searching for a source of inspiration to get me started, I came across this article from another blogger, Michelle Got Married, and I love her approach to styling coffee tables. Take a look at her 4 part breakdown for the perfectly styled coffee table– I followed it as my guideline when starting both tables I am about to share with you.
Let’s start with a look at our living room with no coffee table. Originally I planned to leave the space open, as it is the main traffic area between the dining room and kitchen. However, we lounge in this room much more than we expected, and so a coffee table made sense for a place to rest feet, or drinks and magazines.
During one of my digs through the Ikea scratch and dent department I came across this cute wooden table for $30. It didn’t have anything wrong with it, so I am not sure how it ended up on sale, but I was thrilled with my find!
This room is slowly developing a boho vibe and the wooden table was a perfect fit to growing that theme. However, when you look at the empty table in the room it appears to just float in space with no purpose or impact.
It is not a very big table so I wanted to keep the styling very simple. While I wanted it to look stylish, I also wanted it to function. No point in filling up a table with so much stuff that you can’t put your feet up or find a place to rest your drink!
To add texture and a starting layer, I placed this fabric and wood serving tray slightly off center. Why off center? The 3 main styling pieces used are all round so by placing one off center it adds visual interest, and also allows more of the table surface to be highlighted. I love the “x” pattern used to weave the table slats together, and that detail would be lost if I centered the tray over the top.
I made the tray for around $15 out of an extra wood round and some scrap fabric I had lying around. The colors and pattern in the tray tie in nicely to the colors and pattern of the rug already in the room.
Greenery and plants are my first go to accessory when styling any room! If you aren’t convinced you can keep plants alive, take a look at faux plants or using dried branches. Adding natural elements to your decor will liven up and freshen your space. The clay pot I found at a thrift shop and the plant thrives in the partial sun/partial shady spot. The small raccoon is a fun touch- he was a gift from my husband’s aunt. It is made of ash from the Mt. Saint Helen’s volcanic eruption. I have an obsession with animal statues and decor, but it’s even better when they have a unique backstory like this little guy!
While it is not a round coffee table, I want to share a close up of the side table in the room. Remember the Rule of 3’s we talked about when styling open shelves? That rule applies to table decor as well! In this case my lamp and Shiva statue are the anchors. Keeping a stylish marble coaster out as my third item ensures guests have a place to rest their drink.
After styling my living room table, it was time to move on to the den. We just finished constructing this table and I had been struggling with ideas on how to style it. (You can learn how to make your own here!)
Since the den is our rustic, mountain and camping themed room, I gathered a few items and accessories to match that theme. With fall approaching (I’m not ready!) the cotton and pinecone centerpiece made more sense than florals or greenery.
The vintage cooler was a prop used from my previous job in visual merchandising for an outdoor store. The trout decanter is my husband’s favorite $5 find from an antique shop. The collection of Hemingway novels adds height, and the mountain scape on the cover is a perfect fit with the decor. Lastly, the wooden block with nails in the shape of mountains is an antique stamp block. I just picked it up last week and I think it is such a cool, unique item to use in our home decor.
When styling this coffee table, function again was a priority, as this is the room we watch tv in, and are always wanting to put our feet up. I chose to style on the diagonal, which allows plenty of usable room on either side.
Below is another look at how the table and decor tie in to the rest of the room.
Below are side by side photos of the “before & after” which allows you to really see the difference in a room just by styling your coffee table. It took me about an hour to do both tables, and I was happy to find a place for some of my vintage treasures there were hiding in the basement!
Both rooms still have a few details to finish, but I am happy to mark coffee tables of the “to-do” list. So what do you think? Would love to hear your feedback in the comments below!