how to: accessorize a coffee table

At one point the only accessory we had on our coffee table was a bumper pad around it to keep little ones safe from bumping their head on the glass. Coffee tables are a multi-purpose piece of furniture offering a surface for beverages, feet and at the same time a display for special books, ornaments and occasionally flowers. I was recently called in to work my magic with the finishing touches in several areas of a clients home. I snapped some quick shots (not styled to perfection) but with them wanted to offer some tips when selecting and placing accessories on your coffee table.

We started with a clean slate of a massive coffee table, 66″ square to be exact. Many accessories are required to not only fill, but play around with in order to achieve the best look. We wanted to keep a good amount of open space on the perimeter of the table because of wandering hands from the little ones in the family. There’s no need to keep your table bare when kids are present. Wise choices and careful selections will keep everyone in the house happy.

Because it’s a dark table, I started with lighter accessories on the bottom, layering white and coloured items together. I mixed shapes and textures, colour and pattern in a subtle and cohesive way. Notice the five white items (tray, box, large vessel, striped vase and shell), all different, yet work in harmony together. Boxes and canisters add ‘secret’ storage, while trays are both functional and beautiful.

Depending on the size of your table, books are a great source of conversation and a subtle way to share your family’s interests. Vases, also a functional and beautiful item, should look nice with and without flowers. Empty, clear glass vases are not the ideal accessory for your table. Choose ceramic, porcelain or coloured glass so the beauty of them stands alone.

Coffee table accessories will change often according to season, holidays and your stage of life so don’t take it too seriously and have fun with it!

Nyla Free Designs is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs also offers an online design service through Design in a Box.

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Comments 3

  1. You’re right, it’s always best to buy more than you think you will need. Love the white resin tray and the stacked mirrored circular ones. And the shot of green on the decorative box really adds so much texture and pizzaz. Nice transformation!

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  2. Wow…that is a massive table! Love how you have pulled everything together…looks beautiful! Lot’s of interesting items pieces…

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  3. That is such a striking table. You picked some really lovely pieces. My eyes were instantly drawn to the beautiful “chain link” trays! Love it.

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