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Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Style a Coffee Table ▬ ⑤ Easy Tips

I bought my coffee table from Craigslist and painted it, which you can read all about here.  Then it was time to style it!  I styled my coffee table based on my design instinct.  Then I started thinking about how to give my readers helpful tips - what elements make a well-styled coffee table?  I found this blog, the Everygirl, and I was so impressed - the author concisely lists the elements I chose for my coffee table and the advice I would give others.

Including these five items makes styling a coffee table an easy task:
  1. Natural elements to add color and bring the outdoors in (especially you, city dwellers)
  2. Candlelight to add ambiance and possibly fresh scent to the room
  3. Books to entertain visitors
  4. Decorative accents to spark conversation among guests and add interest
  5. Tray to organize the previously stated items
I begin with the tray.  You might be thinking - why do I need a tray? 
It adds structure and texture.  It collects the smaller elements.

Add books.  In addition to entertaining guests, I use books to add color, height and age to the room.  I went to this antique store and searched for books that, when the dust jacket was removed, would fit into my color palette.  The topics are extremely eclectic - and I love that!  And besides having a great old patina, these 4 books cost me $6.00!


Add a natural element.  Sometimes this takes trial and error.  My first thought for my coffee table was to use hydrangeas in a low bowl.  I didn't love it.  Then I wanted to use small purple-ish artichokes (which are on-trend and the right color) but as soon as I tried out this grass - I loved it and knew it was right for my space.  Flowers, branches, fruit, sea shells, pinecones - anything from nature!

Add candlelight.  This is an easy one.  This adds a glow to the room, ambience and can add your favorite scent to the room. 
Add decorative accents.  These are the pieces that allow you to showcase your personality.  These are pieces that serve no purpose other than to add visual interest. 

A great example of this is a small lion I have by my bedside table.  I (sometimes) have curly blond hair and when I was in highschool, I used to wake up with a big mane of curls around my head and my sisters called me a lion.  Then they changed it to Lyon (Lyndi+lion=Lyon) so it's always been a nickname.  Also, one of my favorite books is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  As you probably know, the story is an allegory and Aslan, the lion, is a representation of Jesus.  When I found the lion, it was a green, hard plastic, antique lion.  I spray-painted it glossy white and now it is a decorative accent - with so much meaning - it reminds me of myself, my childhood and my faith.
It can also be something totally random - my brother-in-law gave my sister Laura a decorative llama for Christmas (kind of as a joke) and we all loved it - it was soft and adorable.  We named it Harriet Vanger and it became one of her favorite decorative items.


A few examples:


As the Everygirl mentions, you can't rush this process.  I don't yet have a decorative accent piece, but I tried a few things around my house as examples.


One other tip the Everygirl blog didn't mention - add coasters - when styling, we don't want to forget to be practical - that is what a coffee table is used for!  I think these agate coasters from West Elm are gorgeous - practical and decorative.

Styled coffee table:
If you found any of these tips helpful, post pictures of your styled coffee table -
I would LOVE to see them!

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