How to Style Coffee Tables Like Interior Designers

Round Vs Rectangular Coffee Tables

If you’re starting from scratch and don’t know where to start. Then begin the design process by choosing a rectangular or a round shapes coffee table. They’re both timeless shapes that will complement almost every home design style: traditional, modern, contemporary, boho, farmhouse, etc. However, there are pros and cons of both. Round coffee tables take up less space and are safer for children due to the lack of sharp edges. If you have a small living room or apartment then round coffee tables might be the right choice for you.

Rectangular shapes coffee tables are more common, which means you’ll have more options while you’re shopping (this can be a good or bad thing depending on the shopper LOL). They’re the more popular option due to the variety of sizes, styles, and colors. The rectangular shape is great for controlling foot traffic in a space and can take up a lot of empty space in a large room.

How To Style A Rectangular Coffee Table

Before you style coffee tables. There are a few things you should know! A typical coffee table measures 40 to 60 inches long and 20 to 30 inches wide. We recommend looking for a coffee table that is roughly two-thirds the length of your sofa. This will ensure that it suits your space! When styling a rectangular coffee table it’s important to identify three things: size, dimension, and balance.


The size of the table is important because it will require more decor to balance out the design. According to Studio McGee, the first step to designing a rectangular table is using a serving tray. “Not only do trays bring the perfect focal point or base, but they are great for corralling everything that ends up there, whether that’s a candle and coasters or a stray remote. ” Once you have found the right tray then you can build around (or on) the tray.


If you’re trying to create an interesting landscape, then you need to add dimension. Adding books and decor can help create levels for your table. You can stack books to add height. They’re also great for adding color and patterns. You can even add boxes that can be filled with florals and or living room accessories.


After you added your decor, it’s important to take a step back and edit. Depending on your design style, remove any object you feel throws off the balance of your table. Something as simple as adding a candle or a paperweight can elevate your table decor 

How To Style A Round Coffee Table

A round or oval coffee table is more difficult to style than a square or rectangular coffee table. Similar to rectangular tables, you can start with a circular or square tray and place it in the center of the coffee table. Then you can add levels with decor, florals, candles, or other knick knacks.

Another option is to arrange three pieces into a triangle, also known as the “stylist’s triangle.” To keep it aesthetically intriguing and full of dimension, divide it into three portions. Choose one higher object, one smaller item, and one in the middle for a dynamic look. This will create the illusion of an effortless or natural arrangement.

The easiest way to style a round table or cocktail table is by stacking two large coffee table books and adding a decorative piece on top. Then, add a small to medium-sized plant to balance out the other half of the table. Keep everything centered so there is room around the table for drinks and snacks.