The coffee table is a functional piece of furniture: often used as a dumping ground for remote controls, and bearing the brunt of coffee mug rings.
But styled correctly, the coffee table can become a stylish focal point for your seating area, tying a design scheme together and bringing the finishing touch to your room.
Styling a coffee table (or indeed any area in your home) can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be.
There are a few key ingredients to creating a decent vignette, but beyond that, it's about experimenting. Even the most experienced stylists experiment with different combinations of items until they are happy with the look they achieve. A coffee table is the perfect, low-risk place to practise a bit of styling.
INGREDIENT NUMBER ONE: A RUNNER
Image from www.ABeachCottage.com
A good table display (in fact any display) is made up of layers. Start with a foundation layer and then add in other items. This is what makes the decor look 'dressed'.
Use a table runner to set the foundation for your vignette. This grounds the display, connecting your decor with the table it is sitting on.
Any piece of fabric which matches your decor can be used as a runner. Position the fabric along the middle of the table and leave enough hanging down either side, about half-way towards the floor.
INGREDIENT NUMBER TWO: A TRAY
Corral all of your accessories together on a tray. This has two purposes: firstly it makes all of your decor look intentional, and secondly it means that if you need more usable space on the coffee table, it is easy to just remove the tray and place it elsewhere, without having to disturb your decor.
A tray is also a useful place to hide more unsightly objects such as remote controls. Use a small decorative box on your tray, to stow away anything you don't want on show.
Ideally the shape of your tray should match the shape of the table. Round trays for round tables and rectangular trays for rectangular tables. Match either the room's colour scheme, or the wood or metallic finishes in your room for maximum cohesion.
INGREDIENT NUMBER THREE: BOOKS
A small stack of books gives a horizontal element to layer on the tray, or next to it. The trick with coffee table books is to use hardback books only. Paperbacks just don't have the same luxe appeal. Be sure to take off the slip covers as these can look tatty. Stack two or three of them as a vignette in their own right, or use them as a plinth to raise up a smaller decorative object.
Choosing books in your room's colour scheme creates cohesion. Charity shops are a great place to pick up books in the right colour, and you can often get a handful of books for just a few pounds. Be sure to check the colour of the book underneath the slip cover before buying.
INGREDIENT NUMBER FOUR: HEIGHT
Bring height into the display by using taller elements, such as candlesticks, finials, ornaments or tall foliage with a few garden stems.
For maximum effect, bring together a tall item at the peak of your display, include smaller items on the tray and then bridge the gap with some medium height items so that there is a variety of heights across the vignette.
INGREDIENT NUMBER FIVE: DIMENSION
Coffee tables are usually situated in the middle of a seating area and hence the vignette can be seen from all sides. It therefore needs to have dimension from every angle.
A decorative object is an easy way to bring in this 3D aspect. Include objects which are spherical, or look the same from all sides. Decorative globes, hexagonal glass terrariums or candles work well.
Styling different areas of your home also doesn't have to be expensive. You can use items you already have, repurposed from another room. Simply grabbing a few stems from the garden can freshen up your table too.
Main Image Source: via www.Ideal Home.co.uk, with permission