How to Style a Coffee Table Coastal Style

If you want to add interest and charm to your coastal-style living room, learning to style a coffee table is a must!

Your coffee table not only is the centerpiece of your living room, but it also presents an excellent opportunity to showcase your personal coastal style, interests and add sophistication to the space.

By styling your coffee table with coastal elements, you’ll create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere that will transport you to the seaside every time you sip your morning coffee.

All you need is a little creativity, attention to detail, and some guiding rules.

So, in this comprehensive post, we’ll dive into some practical tips and inspiring ideas on how to style a coffee table to make it an eye-catching and functional element of your Coastal Chic home decor.


Rules to Style Your Coastal Coffee Table

1. Choose a Coastal Coffee Table

If you don’t already have a coastal-style coffee table here are some suggestions:

2. Get Your Decor Accessories and Stick to the Coastal Style:

Start by gathering some decorative items that fit the coastal style and its color scheme and that you’d really like to display. If you have any items that do not fit in the style, store them away, no matter how much you love them.

Types of Decorative Items for your Coastal Coffee Table

So…what type of items should you gather?

Coastal Decor Items

For a perfect coastal coffee table display add some beach-inspired items such as scented candles, glass jars with candles, filled with sand and shells.

Add Personal Touches

Make your coffee table reflect your personality and interests by adding personal touches. This not only adds a sentimental touch but also makes the space feel more inviting and cozy.

Display a few of your favorite books, magazines, or coffee table reads that spark conversation.

Showcase small mementos from your travels, family photos in stylish frames, books, or unique collectibles that tell a story.

These personal items will add a layer of authenticity and make your coffee table feel uniquely yours.
Get creative and use your imagination!

Add Greenery and Natural Elements

Bringing a touch of nature to your coffee table can infuse freshness and life into the space.

Consider incorporating a small potted plant, a vase with fresh white flowers, or even a collection of succulents. Greenery not only adds color but also helps purify the air in your living room.

Just make sure to choose low-maintenance plants that thrive in indoor conditions and are easy to care for.

Don’t forget functional items

It’s easy to get caught up in how the coffee table looks and forget about its practical uses.

While your coastal coffee table should be visually appealing, it should also serve a functional purpose.

Think about the items you’ll need while lounging on the couch or entertaining guests and make sure they’re easily accessible on the table.

If you’re using your coastal coffee table for entertaining, consider adding coasters to protect the surface from spills and stains. Look for ones that fit the coastal chic. Wood, ceramic, or rattan, or gold and silver for a chic coastal look, all are good options.

Additionally, storage options are a great way to keep clutter off of the table while still having necessary items within reach. Woven baskets or decorative boxes can hold remote controls, magazines, and other small items that tend to accumulate on a living room surface.

Incorporating functional elements into your coastal coffee table design not only makes it more practical but can also enhance its overall aesthetic appeal.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different storage options until you find what works best for you – just remember to keep functionality in mind while doing so!

What should be placed on a coffee table?

Now that you know what type of items you can use, here’s a list of some decor elements you can display on your coffee table for a coastal look and some suggestions from Amazon below:

Coastal Decor to Style a Coastal Coffee Table with photo album, shells, glass vases, rope coasters and a white box
  • A Tray (see below): A decorative tray can serve as a base for organizing smaller items and add a stylish touch.
  • Books: Select a couple of visually appealing coffee table books related to your interests.
    A better idea? Why not a coastal-style photo album (image above) with your beach and summer photos? Not only will add a personal touch to your living room, it will also inspire interesting conversations.
  • Candles: Beach scented or decorative white, blue, sand or peach color candles can add a warm and cozy ambiance to the space. Choose your favorite beach scent (coconut, sea breeze, tropical…)
  • Art or Photo Frames: You can also showcase your favorite artwork or family photos in attractive frames.
  • Decorative Bowls or Jars: Use glass jars (5) to display small trinkets, seashells, or potpourri.
  • Coasters: Practical and stylish coasters (6) can protect the table surface while adding to the overall decor.
  • Flowers or Greenery: Fresh flowers or faux plants to bring a touch of nature and color to the arrangement.

Remember, the key is to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics, ensuring your coffee table reflects your personal style and preferences and says coastal without screaming. Keep it as minimal as possible, especially if you have a small living room.

2. Arranging the accessories

Now that you’ve gathered your accessories, it’s time to display them in a balanced way, so that your coffee table doesn’t look cluttered or bland and empty.

So here are some rules to consider:

Use the Tray for small items

To keep smaller items from getting lost among larger decorative pieces on your coastal coffee table, consider using trays. These can also add texture and visual interest when mixed with other materials.

Trays are versatile and practical accessories that can elevate the look of your coffee table. They create a designated space for smaller items and help keep things organized.

Choose one that complements your decor, like this white one or this in rattan, and place it at the center of your table.

Arrange items such as candles, coasters, bowls, and even a flower jar within the tray. This creates a neat and cohesive display.

Coastal Trays to Style a Coffee Table

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Kate and Laurel – White wood Coastal style tray
  2. DECRAFTS – Round Rattan Tray
  3. Carah & Cossh – Coastal Farmhouse tray
  4. LotFancy – Rectangular Coastal Rustic Tray
  5. FREELOVE – Coastal Chic or Hamptons gold tray

Look for Balance and Proportion:

Achieving balance and proportion is crucial when styling a coffee table.

Start by selecting a focal point, which could be a decorative item, a stunning vase, or a captivating art piece. This focal point will serve as the anchor for your arrangement.

To maintain balance, distribute the visual weight of objects evenly across the table.

Consider the size and shape of the table, and avoid overcrowding the surface.

Coffee Table Decor Layout Ideas

Square Coffee Tables

If you have a square coffee table, you can divide it in four zones. Each zone will have a decorative group of objects. These groups can be squares, or three areas with squares and a fourth zone with a round vase or tray, or a mix of round and square groups. Alternatively, you can divide it in five zones with a jar or vase in the center. Or you can simply put a large square tray in the middle (a good option if you have an ottoman) with all the decor elements in it.

Rectangular Coffee Table Layout

If instead you have a small rectangular coffee table, one option is to divide it in three zones and fill each area with a group of rectangular objects (stack of books, box, a tray) or two zones with with rectangular shapes and another with a round object to create dynamic. Or, once again, keep it super simple and only place a rectangular tray in the middle with the decor elements in it.

Round Coffee Table Arrangements

And, if you have a round coffee table, you can use the same layout as for a square table if it’s large enough, or divide it in three slices and mix round and square groups of decor elements. Alternatively, just add a large round tray in the center with the decor items.

Layering and Heights: Create Triangles

To add depth and dimension to your coffee table, embrace the power of layering and varying heights.

Play with different elements such as books, trays, candles, and decorative objects. For example, place a tall vase or candlestick on the coffee table, and lower items like books or decorative objects.

Stack books and place a decorative item or a small plant on top. Use trays to corral smaller objects and create a sense of organization.

One surefire way to do this is by creating triangles with objects: Tall, medium, short. A vase, a picture frame, a bowl. A tall vase (Tall), a stack of books (short) with a pair of decorative balls on top (medium).

Varying the heights of objects will add visual interest and prevent your arrangement from looking flat.

Play with Textures and Materials

To add visual interest and tactile appeal, experiment with different textures and materials.

Mix and match elements like wood, glass, metal, and ceramics to create a balanced and eclectic look.

Consider using a woven basket as a centerpiece on top of the coffee table or adding glass jars filled with seashells for a touch of elegance and texture, silvered or golden coasters, or trays to add some luxury.

Combining various textures and materials will add depth and create a sensory experience.

Follow the “rule of three”

The rule of three is a design principle that suggests that grouping items in sets of three creates a more visually appealing and balanced arrangement.

When decorating a coffee table, consider selecting three key elements to create a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing display. For example, you could place a stack of books on one end, a decorative tray with candles or a small vase of flowers in the center, and a sculptural object or a small plant on the opposite end.

By following the rule of three, you’ll achieve a visually balanced composition that adds interest and harmony to your coffee table arrangement.

Once again, Keep Functionality in Mind

When styling your coffee table, remember that it’s not just about aesthetics but also about functionality. Ensure that the items you choose don’t obstruct the functionality of the table.

Leave space for people to place their drinks or rest their feet comfortably.

Putting it All together

Styling a coastal coffee table can be a fun and creative way to add a touch of the seaside to your home decor. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can create a beautiful and functional coffee table that reflects your personal coastal style in your living room.

Remember to select the right items, achieve balance and proportion, play with textures, layers and heights, and add personal touches to make it uniquely yours. With a little creativity and attention to detail, your coffee table will become a conversation starter and a reflection of your personal style. So go ahead, get inspired, and give your coffee table the attention it deserves!

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