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Styling Coffee Table Tops

Whilst looking for some refreshing inspiration to decorate a client’s newly renovated home, I thought it only kind to share my findings and provide some helpful tips to style your own coffee table tops. There are many facets within the design process and my favourite one of all is layering. No one item stands alone within a room. Each pieces forms part of a whole to work seamlessly together to create a well-designed, harmonious space. This is either done by choosing a specific design style (minimalism, country, modern, boho etc) or a specific colour scheme. This concept is then applied throughout the space by the way in which you add decorative pieces and ornamentation to the room from scatter cushions to art work and coffee table styling.

A coffee table often forms part of the focal point within a room due to its central position within the seating arrangement. So why not take this opportunity to wow your guests and show off your intrinsic style by creating a table top that is dressed to impress. When it comes to the decorating part people often get stuck on what to display and how to display it to achieve a look of impeccable taste. Below are some helpful hints to assist you.

Layer upon Layer

As mentioned earlier design is about layering, from your large built-in pieces to your small decorative items. By doing this you will create interest and provide a sense of depth which will intrigue and surprise your guests. Select items that complement each other when grouped together. This should work hand in hand with your overall design style. Play with a selection of items like a stack of books with a decorative ornament on top and a vase. Trays are a great way to group your items to make them look organised and neat. I believe in the rule of three, that things when grouped in three’s are more affective.

Design Style

This is a very important and a helpful guiding point in your selection which will either make or break your display. You need to look at the overall design of the room and ensure your selection compliments this. This will ensure that your composition is in keeping with the space and looks natural in that it doesn’t look at all out of place.


When looking at your space it is important to remember it has three dimensional qualities which comprise of horizontal and vertical axes. Therefore I would suggest you use a combination of items that are of varying heights and sizes. Stacking of books and the use of trays will provide horizontal lines whilst vases and candles will provide more vertical lines. The combination will achieve maximum affect. Remember that when using books these should be chosen for visual quality and of interest, not your novel that you read at night. Stack these with a pyramid scheme to add to the layering affect.

Natural Elements and Ornamentation

Introduce some sort of greenery into your display which will bring your composition to life and connect you with the outside world. This can be done by introducing flowers in a vase, succulents in a pot or even natural ornaments such as shells or coral. Try to ensure that the arrangement is not too high that it blocks peoples view to one another.

#coffeetable #styling #interiordesigncapetown #interiordecor #interiordecorcapetown #interiordesign #tabletop #vase #book #arrangement #inspiration #layering

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