Styling a coffee table sounds simple enough, especially when you compare it to the interior design process as a whole. But it's exactly simple tasks like this that pose headaches about how to achieve that fine balance between form and function.
Follow these 3 simple steps to create your very own tablescape:
1. Dressing up a table always starts with books. In the 1950s, David Brower, executive director of the Sierra Club, hit upon the idea of creating books which specifically feature beautiful artwork and photography in an oversized format and designed to be left out on a coffee table to inspire conversation or alleviate boredom for guests. Since then, hardcover coffee table books have become a staple in tablescaping. Stack a few art books or seasonal books on one side of the table so that that they act as a pedestal.
2. Plants or flowers come in next. Put these organic elements into a glass bottle or vase next to the books for a subtle bit of texture and sparkle.
3. Lastly, bring in those accessories to complement the whole setup. The pedestal you created in step 1 will allow you to prop up some decorative objects (but not too much!). If space allows, fill up part of the empty surface with a tray that contrasts with the material or tone of the coffee table on the other side, ensuring a nice visual break. This tray can act as an appropriate-sized frame or holder for smaller, decorative items.
Voilà: a coffee table decorated up in an instant! A point to keep in mind during the midst of the process is to place nothing too dinky if you have a huge table and nothing too towering if you have a small table. Proportion rules. Big time.