Eye Candy Alert: 10 Perfectly Styled Coffee Tables From Instagram

Stuck on how to to style your coffee table? Try on these ideas for inspiration.

Styling your coffee table is one of those things that seems super easy…until you try it. Finding the perfect balance of objects, plants and storage (for things like remote controls) really is an art.

But the good news is, there are many different ways to create a perfectly styled coffee table depending on your space, design style and storage needs. I decided to hit up Instagram to find some examples of swoon-worthy coffee tables that will inspire you with your own. Here are 10 of my favorites:

Stick With Odd Numbers

A good rule of thumb is to always stick with an odd number of items. In this example, the decor is pretty simple with only three pieces on the table. But the odd number of items creates a lack of symmetry, which is more interesting for the eye. Even on larger coffee tables, with different groupings/set-ups, remember to stick with an odd number of items (three usually work very well!).

Use Groupings

Depending on the size of your table, you can create several groupings on the table (as in this example). Try grouping objects such as candles, plants, small decor items or even books.

Focus on One Main Color

If you’re feeling like your coffee table is getting a bit crazy with all of the decor you have on top, try tying everything together by simply using one main color. Even on a coffee table like the one pictured, it still feels pulled together and unified by the color pink.

Use Objects of Varying Heights

Another great trick is to use items of varying heights. In this example, they're using a stack of books to give some additional height to the candle/lantern piece. Additionally, the greenery and flowers are in two different sized vessels, creating even more variety.

Create One Central Grouping

Grouping all your decor in the center of your coffee table is another good method to try. In this example, this technique works perfectly on the outdoor coffee table with all of the plants, candles and decor pulled together in a tight middle grouping. This would also work great if you want to stick with one type of decor: i.e. using all plants and gathering them in the middle of your table.

Don't Be Afraid to Get Quirky

Do you need a bowl of lemons in the middle of your coffee table? Definitely not. But they look pretty. Don't be afraid to get a little quirky if you want to add some interest or color to your setup. This might mean showing off a collection of vintage matches, adding a bowl of fruit or even a kitschy object; these will all help add some personality to your table.

Use a Variety of Different Types of Objects

While this styling trick is a bit more challenging, once you master it, you’ll be ready to take on any coffee table. In this example, the table features books, candles, flowers and a few different types of small pieces of decor. This approach often requires experimentation, so don’t be afraid to try out a few different setups, then add/remove things as needed.

Focus on the Area Underneath the Table

Concentrate on the area below the coffee table and leave the surface clear. This example uses larger table books as a focal point and sticks to a simple black palette. Even if you don’t have a bottom "shelf," like the one pictured, you can create one with stacks of books and go for the same effect.

Use a Tray

One of the most tried and true coffee table styling tricks is to use a large tray to gather all of your decor and accessories. A tray is a perfect choice if you're looking for an easy way to pull things together. The great thing about trays as well, is that they come in so many different sizes, styles and shapes, and you can make them work for any space or setup.

Don't Be Afraid to Keep Things Super Simple

There’s no hard and fast rule that you need to load up your coffee table and cover every surface with objects and decor. Here’s a great example of a simple coffee table with just one book and one piece of pottery. The space is accessorized with some great pillows and art, so the simple coffee table really works perfectly with this setup.

Fun, Practical Ways to Use Your Coffee Table

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Host an Adult Game Night

Keep the conversation casual and intimate by hosting game night at the coffee table. Lay out an assortment of cards and games, and serve snacks in simple bowls. For an artisanal touch, serve beer in craft glassware and keep growlers within arm's reach to make self-serving simple.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Provide Comfy Seating

Since games can last for several hours, make sure guests are seated comfortably by adding indoor-outdoor floor cushions around the table. Pick up more than you'll actually need so guests can stack them for an extra boost of height.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Host a Sushi Dinner Party

Entertain your guests in true Japanese fashion by hosting a sushi party at your coffee table while seated on the floor. If you go the take-out route, remove food from containers and boxes, then plate all the sushi on ceramic dinnerware. Skip floral arrangements in favor of potted grasses.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Go for Minimalist Settings

To add true Japanese flair to your sushi party, skip round plates and instead lay your culinary creations on square ones. For chargers and placemats, choose organic materials like seagrass.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Skip Florals in Favor of Elephants

In many Asian cultures, elephants are associated with strength and wisdom. Add a touch of positivity and prosperity to your sushi party by incorporating elephant accessories.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Display a Collection

If you've got a collection of objects that don't fit on your bookshelves, consider displaying them front and center on your coffee table. Here, an assortment of vintage brass objects adds luster and graphic shape to the seating area while also showcasing one-of-a-kind finds.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Properly Edit Your Collection

The trick to successfully showcasing a collection is mixing. Stick with objects that vary in shape, height and width but have similar colors or finishes.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Host a Casual Indoor Picnic

Put any concerns of fickle weather to rest by hosting a summer picnic at your coffee table. Stick with a summery palette and add a touch of grass green to the center of the table with potted grasses or ferns. Light fare, such as salads, sodas and sandwiches, are the perfect fit and will keep your guests feeling casual and relaxed.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Serve Classic Sandwich Baskets

For a classic picnic look, serve sandwiches in woven baskets lined with cloth napkins in classic patterns, such as gingham or stripes.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Design With Summery Fabrics

Add large floor pillows made from summery fabrics, such as nautical stripes, sea life motifs or classic Americana prints, for extra comfort.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Give Your Table Some High Design

If you're looking to add a designer touch to your coffee table, add stacks of glossy art and design books. The trick to doing this effectively is to stack books at different heights, and alternate between vertical and horizontal orientation.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Top With Sculptural Objects

Once you've added books to the table, use them as risers for showcasing decorative objects. This will help break up the linearity of the books and add personality.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Host a Kids' Birthday Party

Skip the grown-up table and host your child's birthday party at the coffee table. Delineate the space with colorful balloons tied to the table legs, then add high-energy hues to the table with vibrant bowls, plates and cups.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Get Down and Artsy

If you're looking for a spot to express your creative side as a family, your coffee table may be the perfect place. Protect the surface of the table with a tablecloth or a large flat-weave rug by placing a drop cloth or roll of kraft paper beneath it. Lay out painting or crafting supplies with a cohesive color scheme among bowls.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Host a Wine and Cheese Party

Wine and cheese parties are all about enjoying the finer things in life over good conversation. Turn your coffee table into a wine pairing station by laying out cheeses, breads and wineglasses for guests to serve and sample as a group.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

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