How to Style Your Coffee Table 3 Easy Ways

Are you coffee table styling challenged?  Don’t know what to put on it or where?  I feel ya!  I used to be the same way.  Depending on the size of your coffee table, you can use any or all of these 3 formulas to style your coffee table like a pro.

Grab a pen and paper…there is a quiz afterwards.  Just kidding!  No quiz, and these formulas are so easy you won’t have to take notes, unless you just want to!

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Conquer your coffee table styling with the 3 easy ways to make a gorgeous coffee table display.

Style Your Coffee Table Using The “4 Square” Formula

As you can see, my coffee table has an inlay that is already divided into 4 squares for me, making this way to style my coffee table as easy as buttering bread.  If your coffee table isn’t like mine, no worries!  You can do it mentally or, if you need the lines there for you put down some masking tape.

I always choose items of varying heights to place on the coffee table.  That provides visual interest and allows the eye to roam freely across the vignette.  I like to use a tray that will take up two of the four squares on the table.  It is a great way to showcase decor, like the great wooden vases I purchased recently from Magnolia Market.

The tray also serves as a great way to corral remotes or extra coasters because this is still real life.  I then add an item of similar height and visual weight like the white pumpkin  and pair it with another smaller pumpkin and one other item in the remaining two areas on the table.

If you don’t have a tray (which takes up 2 squares) then I would place some hardback books in that fourth square or maybe some magazines if you are like me and still get them in the mail.

Dividing your table into 4 sections allows you to style your coffee table using the 4 square method.

Style Your Coffee Table Using The “Ducks in a Row” Formula

The second way of styling is by dividing your coffee table into thirds.  Again, you can do this mentally or add masking tape if you need it.

Typically you should put your tallest item in the middle, then the other two items to either side.  However that does not have to be the hard and fast rule.  In this example I put the items with equal visual weight on each side and then a stack of books in the middle.  It is your home, your way.  Experiment and style your coffee table to suit you.

Dividing your table into thirds and placing your decor in a straight line across those sections will style your coffee table using the ducks in a row method.

Style Your Coffee Table Using The “Centerpiece” Formula

This style is really easy!  Just center everything in the middle of the coffee table.  The size of your table with determine how many items you place in the middle.  A smaller table will only need a small grouping, just make sure to use an uneven number of items, 1 big item or 3 of varying heights like the wooden vases I have here.

Placing your decor items in the middle of the table is how you style your coffee table using the centerpiece method.

Styling your coffee table doesn’t have to be hard.  Choose one of the three formulas I have given you…4 Square, Ducks in a Row, or Centerpiece and style your coffee table like a pro.  Also remember, your decor should tell your story, so be sure to only have items you truly love in your home and on your coffee table.

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White Faux Pumpkins

Set 6 Carved Wood Acorns

Wood Vases

Artificial Eucalyptus Leaf


Now that you have your coffee table styled, head over and get my tips for STYLING BUILT INS LIKE A BOSS.

Until next time,



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3 easy ways to style your coffee table
Styling your coffee table 3 easy ways



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  1. I love this! Personally, I’m a ducks in a row person because I like everything to be nice and evenly spread out. If I were to do the centerpiece option, I would just put one item so the others don’t get lost underneath the big flowers or something. But I also really like the idea of the tray table! I might put THAT in the middle and then the two other pieces on either side, ducks in a row style, so you can have everything you want on the table and it would still sort of follow the rule of three.

    1. I think if our coffee table wasn’t so wide, I would do the ducks in a row more, but that’s the great thing about can change it up whenever you want! I also have a carpenters box that sit on this coffee table that takes up almost the whole thing and it is amazing 🙂 The tray is awesome because then you can add items to the tray 😉

  2. Thanks for sharing this post. We’re finally putting our coffee table back in the middle of the room (19 month old toddler inthe house) and I’m debating how I want to set it up. I suck at anything decor related so this was a huge huge help!

    1. I am so glad this helped you! We have a toddler and a preschooler in our house right now and so far so good…they haven’t even paid any attention to it, yet 😉

  3. Love this! People like me who are designed challenge needs little helpful hints like this to bring a piece together. Your coffee table look significantly better than mine.

  4. I love these ideas! I’m constantly changing up the vignettes on my coffee table for every season. I love posts like yours that break down the design principles behind the display.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

  5. My coffee table has a size 14 tennis shoes and candy wrappers. I call it, teen spirit. LOL, I do love to make the one in the den look nice. I need to spruce it pup withthis tips!

    1. LOL! You gotta love having teens in the house! Don’t sweat the small stuff, he won’t be there forever.

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