It’s a shockingly beautiful Sunday in Chicago and I can’t wait to go out and enjoy the weather and soak up all the Vitamin D before it’s gone again. But before I do, I thought it was about time to finally share with you one of my favorite things – coffee table decor! If you’ve read my bio you know that I couldn’t shut up about how much I love posting about coffee table decor and you’re probably thinking, that’s funny because you have yet to really post about it, LIAR.
Listen, I hear you, I see you, you’re right.
In trying to resist posting solely about coffee table design, I’ve given you next to nothing! Ugh! So unfair, so here we go beauts, let’s do this.
First things first, (I’m the realest – jk had to guys), before you go about setting up your own coffee table decor you have to take a few things into account. Number one, do you have a coffee table? If the answer is yes, move on to step two. If not, time to get yourself a coffee table, even if you don’t drink coffee! In considering which table to pick, take into account the color scheme of your house or room and even more importantly, the shape of the table. I currently have a circular table because it fits my small space well but that limits the decor on top. If you’d like more of a variety and have the space, consider a rectangular table. It allows you to greater express yourself with a wider area. Or if you’re somewhere in between, try a square table! It gives you the structured shape with sharp corners but still allows the room to feel bigger, which you might not get with larger rectangular tables.
Second, know your aesthetic going into decorating. I find that when I’m decorating my coffee table, I have to see most of the items together to know what will really look well. If you go into shopping picking up a few things here and there without seeing their combination, it can look haphazard when put into place. I recommend keeping an up-to-date photo of the items you have and/or your current coffee table set up on your phone. This always helps me and that way when you’re out and stumble upon something you know will be perfect you can have that visual confirmation on hand. This tactic especially helps those of you who struggle with visualizing a design before it’s actually in place. In line with aesthetic, keep a color scheme in mind. For mine, see below, I wanted to keep it light and neutral for a clean, but sweet look. You can never go wrong with classics people. I previously had more of a black/white theme for my coffee table books but I recently changed it to this more palatable scheme that brought a lighter, less harsh note to my place. Don’t forget to keep the bigger picture in mind – I have pops of color in other parts of my apartment so I wanted to make sure I kept my table more clean so that my place didn’t start becoming the set of Saved By the Bell, ya feel?
Finally, once you’ve decided on your aesthetic and the theme, it’s time to pick out key pieces! I have a few staples that are always, always on my table.
1. Coffee Table books, obvious, no? But be careful not to go too crazy. Stacking too many looks off, and too little looks like an afterthought. Remember that age-old saying, don’t judge a book by it’s cover? First of all, whatever we all totally still do, myself included! But they were on to something…just not in the way you think. When looking at hardcovers, be sure to take off the cover to see what the book looks like underneath, often times you’ll find a beautiful book under a more bland cover, like Glamorous Rooms by Jan Showers which has a gorgeous, but not overpowering, cheetah print on underneath the cover.
2. Candles. Classic white candles will never look wrong, trust me. They are an amaaaaaazing filler for any area in your home, especially coffee tables. They add a touch of class anywhere they’re placed, in my humble opinion. More importantly, they add height and width wherever you need them. Mine show below are from Crate and Barrel, which offers a great variety of shapes/sizes.
3. Mags on mags on mags. Some people choose to go magazine or books, but not both. Those people have not lived. I have tried both, just having books and just having magazines. It just always felt like something was missing! And better yet, thanks to the magazine world always trying to catch our eye, they always provide an abundance of color just where you need it. You can have it all babes…at least when it comes to the books and magazine world.
Ok so now you’ve got your coffee table, your books, your candles, AND your magazines. What now? Well, this is where it really gets fun. As you know, I always prefer flowers. In the words of Claude Monet –
I must have flowers, always and always.
Preach. While I currently have the purple beauties, I usually lean toward white roses when it comes to my coffee table. I know this might seem strange for some of you who equate roses with romance but white roses add luxury and class without being too overpowering when it comes to decor. And besides, you deserve roses, dammit! Treat yoself. If flowers aren’t your thing, try adding a plant to add life (literally) to your table. Even fake ones will do, like my boxwood picture below.
I also like to add little trinkets here and there that add texture and dimension but also hold meaning. For example, I repurposed this soap dish in the shape of a hand as a jewelry holder below. It holds a bracelet I got with family a few years ago when exploring Italy! Sentiment + Chic = Perfection. Need I say more? I also added these match sticks from Anthropologie as a cute touch of gold (the lid), and functionality when I want to light my candles.
So there you have it, my must-haves! Be sure to check out my coffee table book recommendations below as well as some small items to add in to make your table the coffee talk of the town.
On My Table: Dior, Schuman, Doré
My Suggestions: Atwood, Ford, Seal, Kaur
Table Toppers: Bicycle, Hand Dish, Mirror Tray