What to Put on a Coffee Table

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The coffee table is the focus of any room. The item that ties your furniture together in a tasteful way. While in most cases it is used for placing magazines and remote, with some intention and a few items, you can achieve a stunning look for your tablescape.

Deciding what should and should not go in this art piece can be challenging, and it leaves a lot of people wondering what to put on a coffee table.

The coffee table should be a mixture of five essential display pieces: trays and baskets, coffee table, books, candles, something natural, and something unique. Creating the perfect coffee table display is a simple process that involves pairing these items in different ways that best suit your style.

Creating the perfect coffee table is a proper art form, and most interior designers have equated it with making a vignette. Rightfully so, because it requires an elaborate process, items on the coffee table should have varying heights.

They should vary in texture. And should maintain the color pallet.

For that fabulously decorated coffee table, you might want to watch out for the number of items you place on it. The last thing you need is an overcrowded masterpiece.

You would be surprised how easy it is to style your coffee table, and the items you need for it may be around the house.

Creating that breathtaking coffee table arrangement is like making that meal with essential ingredients, but somehow, everybody makes it different by adding their ingredients.

Here are the essential items you need to make your coffee table pop effortlessly.

Trays and Baskets


Trays and baskets foam a foundation upon which you will build your masterpiece. These items come in different textures and designs.

Trays and baskets corral all your other accessory items so that they can look like an artful collection of treasures.

As much as you can style your space without trays or baskets, doing so will take so much from your design because trays and baskets add so much texture and structure to the plan.

Add Some Natural Elements

Whether you prefer moss balls, a potted plant like orchids, topiaries, or flowering branches, they can all go well on your coffee table. 

These pieces of nature are both fantastic looking and can quickly improve your moods and general health.

If caring for a live plant is too much of a hustle for you, then opt for a faux one or an easy-to-care-for plant.

Coffee Table Books

Coffee table books are just that. They are decorative books you place on your coffee table.

This Book is excellent for filling up dead space on your coffee table and can be used as risers to create a variation of height.

A Unique Object

A unique object can be something quaky you own, a treasured family heirloom, or a ceramic item you collected while traveling.

This sentimental element can add that personal touch to your decor and might even start a few conversations and bring nostalgia.


Candles are a great way to add an ambiance of warmth to your space. Scented candles can significantly add unique aromas to your area, giving a feeling of relaxation and calmness.

Candles can also provide you with an avenue for balancing that height factor. You can use candle holders to introduce height in your corralled decor collection.

Whatever style you are going for, these five items, when artfully paired, can make the ultimate set up making you look like a pro at decor.

If you’re still not sure how you can complement these items on your coffee table and make them work together for you, here are a few suggestions on decor pairing on a coffee table.

What to Consider Before Putting Items on a Coffee Table

Before starting your artistic process of creating that remarkable display on your coffee table, it is good to sit down, plan, and consider a few things.

Decide on a theme

While coffee tables have that signature look of mixed pieces, it is not a bad idea to consider the outcome you would like to achieve. If you want to achieve a polished luxe or a more laid back relaxed finish, you should decide this beforehand.

Decide on Texture

Consider the kinds of textures you have. A monotonous surface can be dull, considering mixing glass and metal with more natural textures such as wood and woven material. The more diverse the mixture, the better.

Remember to stick to your pre-established theme.

Consider the Scales

A good display will have at least one wide or lower piece item, a tall display item, a medium-size display item, and mix up the scales of your display items.

How to Pair Decor Items on a Coffee Table

The coffee table will naturally draw eyes to it, so you want to keep it neat and exciting at all times. Styling the table would require a perfect symmetrical balance with coordinated colors that can tell a harmonic story.

Here are some unique formations for accessory placement on your coffee table.

A Bowl with flowers

Take a bowl that makes a statement, fill it up with water and load your favorite flowers in it. This stand-alone piece is simple yet very breathtaking.

Metal Tray and Accessories

Start by placing a metal tray in the middle of a coffee table and stacking three books on one end of the tray.

Add two small potted plants of varying heights. Finish up the look with your favorite unique item on top of the piled books.

Add Varying Shapes

If you are working with a round coffee table, add items with varying shapes to bring a few dynamics to the look.

An exquisite combination is a hexagonal tray with a flower vase on top of it, a round wooden bowl, and a pile of stacked books.

What to do With a square Coffee Table

Square coffee tables can make it challenging to create that harmonic symmetry that is visually appealing.

A trick to overcoming that is to divide the surface into four equal quadrants. Each section holds a unique display item: A stack of books, a pair of lovely bowls with varying sizes, a tall plant, and a statement piece ceramic item.

Notice how this display features all the chords that make up the perfect coffee table display harmony.

A collection of Antiques

Are you an avid traveler with a sizable collection of antiques that you are dying to show? Then consider displaying them on your coffee table.

You can corral them in a lovely basket or place them directly on the coffee table as per your favorite configuration.

Here the most important thing is repetition, so it would be wise to group similar items.

Large Size Item

When it comes to items on a coffee table, our instinct is to go for small display items. However, breaking up the surface with a comparatively large decor item can do wonders for the esthetics.

When displaying a tray with a feature piece on it, a book stacked with another featured item, then a bowl, break up this monotonous line of small decor items with a huge glass vase with tall branches in it.

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