Measure For Proper Coffee Table Length
Coffee tables should measure about two-thirds the length of the sofa. Following this tip will help keep your coffee table in proper proportion to your sofa, resulting in a comfortable feel. Again, like other coffee table rules, this one is flexible, depending on sizes of other furniture in the room and your preferences.
Objects For Decorating Trays On Coffee Tables
- Flowers, plants or greenery
- Personal momento or souvenir
- Seasonal decor
A room that I dont show often! In our family room, we have a vintage wood shop check-out table from a friends store. Years ago I cut the legs down to coffee table size and painted/distressed it with milk paint in blue and white. I love the rustic look paired with the modern leather sectional, old floral oil painting in a barn-wood frame and modern gold swing arm light fixtures. The rug is an indoor/outdoor rug and this room serves as well as a family with 3 dogs. To decorate the wicker coffee table tray I placed a book, a simple water bottle with a cutting from our tropical garden and a favorite candle. A vintage 40s piece of white pottery holds the tv remotes and a conch shell that we retrieved diving on a Caribbean trip sits next to it.
Most likely your tray wont take up all of the real estate on your coffee table and will leave room for other groupings. Use similar principles of layering and remember that less is more in styling.
Some of my favorite coffee tables
To Style Or Not To Style
Nothing like a good ole disclaimer at the beginning of a blog post, right? Well, the thing is, I do want to share with you the fact that I dont always style my coffee tables.
Truth be told, the glass one in my family room pretty much remains vignette-free always. The reason? It has a glass top and sits atop a vibrant, patterned vintage rug that I dont want all covered up–thats why I chose a glass-top table in the first place. That table also has quite a bit of detailing in its bamboo frame and things can get busy-looking real fast in that room. Add to that the fact that the room is small and a lot of living goes on in there. Depending on my youngest daughters obsession of the moment, American Girl dolls might be having a hair salon in there or theres a Lego convention going on. So for my own sanity I need to keep that coffee table surface clear.
This glass-top coffee table remains un-styled in my home since I dont want to cover up the pattern on the rug or take away from the bamboo detailing of the tables frame.
In my living room, I do like to style the coffee table, but sometimes its just one simple arrangement in the center and thats all.
Sometimes, just a single arrangement on a coffee table is enough.
But, when Im up for a good styling session and I want a little more going on on the table and in the room, here is how I like to do it and some inspiring photos for you to get ideas from.
Same table with slightly more styling going on.
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Play With Varying Shapes
Round coffee tables can be a little tricky. Generally, they look their best when items are arranged in a triangular shape: a stack of books, a tray, and a bowl, for example. Too many square or rectangular items can also make a round surface feel a little off. Playing with a variety of geometric shapes, from circles to hexagons, will help the surface feel more dynamic.
The Large Square Tray
Another way to style your square table is to get a beautiful square tray that sits within the frame of the larger table. These trays can get pricey, but I love the idea of having everything on your table contained within the tray. To clear the table for other uses, you can simply remove the whole tray, vignette and all. Plus, if your coffee table is wood, a shiny lacquered tray in an accent color adds a pop to the whole room and can tie in the rest of your rooms design scheme.
If your table is a 40 square, I recommend a 24 square tray. That leaves a good-size border around the tray, but enough room to display things on it.
A 40 square table with a 24 square tray at its center leaves 8 around the perimeter.
My favorite source to date for beautiful, custom and ready-to-ship trays is an Etsy shop, called Love It Up Decor. In addition to square, they sell round and octoganal trays too. I love the ones with a contrast trim around the edge. Simply stunning!
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Qualities To Look For:
This time I chose not only a beautiful coffee table, but one that was WAY more durable.
The white lacquered top completely changed the space and I can spray it down to clean perfect!
If you are putting the coffee table in a room that doesnt get a ton of use, then you can just think through getting one that looks good.
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Shop the Room
Coffee Table Decor Idea #2 Flowers & Natural Elements
I use flowers and natural elements throughout my home because they add life in a way nothing else can so its no surprise that one of my favorite coffee table decor ideas! During the summer when we have a ton of flowers blooming in our yard, I keep small fresh flower bouquets on our coffee table:
You can add even more life and personality by placing your flowers in something unique like this brass swan planter of mine that Im pretty much obsessed with:
If you dont have blooms to clip from your yard, grab a $5 bundle of tulips at the grocery store or for even less maintenance, add a plant. This snake plant that used to be on our living room coffee table is the best seriously unkillable:
And I love I have on the stack of books on the end of our coffee table too its another way of bringing nature into this space.
Theres also no shame in going faux! I recently bought in raspberry and two of that make the prettiest little arrangement:
And after moving my snake plant upstairs, Ive been using three of these faux eucalyptus branches in on our living room ottoman:
You can use other natural elements to add life too a bowl of pinecones, feathers, or elements from the sea such as driftwood, shells, and coral are just a few ideas. The best thing about natural elements is that there are so many outside your door that you can find and use for free!
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How Big Should A Coffee Table Tray Be
There are benefits to having a big or a small coffee table tray. Both will provide you with some usefulness depending on how you want to use it. If your goal is use it to help serve guests and others when they come over to visit, then consider how heavy the tray is and how well you would be able to move it and walk around with it. Trays that are used for this purpose will often be on the smaller size.
Coffee table trays can sometimes be left out on the table to hold books, flowers, and other items to decorate the table. If this is the case, then you may want to go with one that is a little bit bigger, based on the size of your table. Going for one that is 22 by 22 inches is a good start, but consider how big the tray can be and still fit on your table.
Tips To Style A Round Coffee Table
Earlier this week, Bridget shared her gorgeous new rectangular coffee table in her family room. Obviously, Im obsessed with the look since I have the taller version of this table as our dining room table!
Because Bridgets table is so large, she has been having trouble styling it just right. You want it to function for your everyday life, but you also want it to look nice. The struggle is real. When we were making a gameplan for her to style her new table, we realized that weve never really chatted about styling coffee tables here on the blog. And there are so many tips to share!
First, its important to style based on the size and shape of your coffee table. I have a round coffee table in our family room because the rest of the furniture in our living room has straight lines. We have a sectional with straight lines, a huge straight dining room table, and a large rectangular rug taking up a large portion of the room. Not to mention built-ins that are full of square and rectangular boxes. So many straight lines!
Thats why I knew a round coffee table was the way to go. It has helped soften the room and make things a lot less harsh in here. But what do you put on top of your table? Lets dive into some of my tips
How to Style a Round Coffee Table
Above All ElseKeep it Functional
Start with a Tray
Add your Favorite Books
Sneak in Secret Storage
Display Pretty Coasters
Bring in Life
Other Table Ideas
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Wood Tray A Popular Choice In Decorative Trays
One of the most popular is the wood tray. Wooden trays are versatile and go well with any color palette.
Need help styling your tray? Check out my post How to Style A Decorative Tray
When you shop, dont overthink it. There is no right tray or wrong tray.
Ive broken all the rules. My favorite tray is rectangular, wood, and iron it sits on my rectangle table made of wood and I LOVE it! Told you I was a rule breaker.
Minute Decorating Ideas For Decorating Trays On Coffee Tables
- Choose personal conversation pieces that tell a story about you.
- Vary heights, colors and textures to create visual interest.
- Start with your tallest object, such as a vase of flowers, garden clippings or a plant.
- Add linear elements next, such as a book or a box. Those ugly remote controls are great to hide in boxes!
- Layer some architectural pieces on top of your flat object for interest.
- Odd numbers of objects appear organic and casual, while even numbers of objects can look staged.
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How To Use A Coffee Table Tray
There are different tasks that you can use the coffee table tray for, which makes it a versatile piece to add to your home and a lot of fun to utilize as well.
First, it is often used as a way to serve something in the living room. Whether you are ready to have some guests over and would like to serve snacks or a drink while they are there, or it is time for a nice movie night with the family, a coffee table tray is a great way to do this.
Some families may have this as a way to hold decorations in one place. They will be able to have it to hold their books, pens, notebooks, newspapers and more. Then, when someone comes over, they can easily pick it up and keep it out of the way.
It can also hold a variety of decorations to keep the coffee table as a kind of centerpiece to the whole room too.
Add One Quirky Or Interesting Element To Style A Table
I love this part of decorating a coffee table! Because I LOVE to embellish things. I really think I can make almost anything pretty!
Make sure you have one fun, interesting, quirky thing that is special to you! These are things you love and maybe even collect.
I LOVE small boxes. Im not sure why, but I cant resist them. I recently got this little box at Pier 1 on my last visit. I could not source it online, so look in your local store.
A stack of books is the perfect place to display your quirkiness!
I paired my little inlaid box with a finial that I call the egg. Ive had this little decor do-dad for a couple decades and it still finds its way into my vignettes!
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Coffee Table Trays: Decorative Ways To Style And Organize Your Coffee Table Tray
Try out these Coffee Table Tray Decor Ideas to Spruce Up your Living Room
A coffee table tray is simply a nice tray that you can use to serve yourself or others when they are in the living room. They allow you to have a nice addition to the table, without having to run back and forth to the kitchen all the time to grab what you need. These can come in a variety of materials and can even be left on the table to help with decorating without the mess. But how big should the coffee table tray be?
Coffee table trays come in a wide variety of sizes to suit your needs. Going with a smaller tray compared to your table will help make sure that it is going to fit there and not fall off. A good size for most coffee tables will be 22 by 22 inches. For some longer coffee tables, you may be able to put two of these on the table.
Lets take a closer look at the importance of a coffee table tray and explore some of the different types that you can use and how you can utilize them in your home.
Round Coffee Table Trays
You can also go with a round coffee table tray. These are a bit harder to find because they do not fit on the table as much, so fewer homeowners want to go with this type of tray. It is often easier to find a smaller one compared to a larger one, so you will need to consider that.
You may want to work with a rectangle coffee table tray to start until you can find a round one.
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Coffee Table Decor Idea #4 Book Toppers
Along with some stacked coffee table books, I always add a book topper or two. These can be just about anything from the large gold wishbone I used on my fabric covered book above to a decorative magnifying glass like one of or a small piece of coral like ):
Wood bead garlands or sea glass bead necklaces like are other favorite toppers:
Here are a few other ideas for fun book toppers :
How To Style A Coffee Table
The Square & Round Edition
While were all preoccupied with COVID-19 news, lets distract ourselves by cozying up our nest at home, shall we? Especially since we may all be spending a lot more time at home in light of all the social distancing talk going on these days. And while Im thinking of it, although were talking coffee table styling today on the blog, it cant hurt to have your tried-and-true box of Sorry, Monopoly, Scrabble, or jigsaw puzzles at the ready in case were stuck home with the kiddos out of school for an extended period of time. Ummm.Is anyone else out there shuddering at the thought??
So for now, lets talk coffee tables and how to make them pretty. Thats a much more pleasant topic to think about.
Last week, we put together some of our favorite vintage coffee tables for sale on Chairish right now, focusing mainly on square and circular styles. If you missed that post, you can find it here to get some inspiration.
And, before we dive in to tips for styling round and square coffee tables, you may want to go back and read our guide for styling bookshelves and built-ins here. Youll see many similarities in that post to the tips we give here for styling coffee tables.
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An Easy Guide To Understanding Coffee Tables Plus 32 Budget Friendly Options Under $300
Coffee tables come in so many shapes and finishes its hard to know what to choose.
Do you have a hard time narrowing down the wide variety of choices?
Here Ill teach you the basics for how to select the perfect shaped coffee table and decide if round, square, or rectangular is right for your room.
Plus do it on a $300 or under budget! Have fun shopping for your new coffee table.
Furniture Arrangement By Shape
- Oval or rectangular coffee tables are best in smaller rooms or in rooms with 2 identical sofas facing each other
- Square or round coffee tables work well with sectional sofas or large furniture groupings
Lets look at some layouts get an idea of how the furniture can be arranged with the various shapes of coffee tables.
My main reason in showing you these layouts is to show you scale and the distance between furniture.
Two Sofas and a Rectangular Coffee Table
Having a rectangular table that is a little larger is perfect for this furniture layout with sofas directly across from each other and a chair at the end.
Everyone in the room has access to using the coffee table, so they can prop up their feet or set down a drink.
Sectional Sofa, Two Chairs, and a Round Coffee Table
Many people have sectional sofas and get confused by what shape table will look best.
The best approach with a sectional sofa is to focus on tucking the coffee table into the L shaped area.
Both a round or square table fit nicely in that space, if you have a shorter sectional like I show above.
If the sofa part of the sectional has 3 cushions and is longer, then an oversized rectangular coffee table may be best.
Deep Sofa, Two Deep Chairs, and a Large Square Coffee Table
In this layout, both the sofa and chairs are really deep at 44 inches.
Oversized furniture in larger rooms coffee tables have to be dealt with differently.
An oversized square coffee table looks amazing in a space like this!
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