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How to Style a Coffee Table: Dissecting the Design

The simple formula to a well-styled and functional vignette
Filed Under > Get The Look

how to style a coffee table,

I have this love affair with coffee tables.  Maybe it all started when I first saw MKR’s in her home; an oversized silver trunk with gorgeous coffee table books, candles, vintage calligraphy brushes and fresh flowers.  Ever since then, my appreciation for a well-styled coffee table has only doubled.  We’ve shared tips on how to style a coffee table here before, but we also believe it’s something that will never grow old…so here’s a short and sweet reminder with inspiration.

The pattern I find with the best coffee tables is that they all include a variety of depth, texture and height.  Stacked coffee table books and flowers are easy ways to add the height, while trays and accents infuse different textures and interest to the styled vignette.

I’m including five key pieces to consider when styling a coffee table.  What would you add to the list?  Do you style and re-style your coffee table often, like I do?!  Cheers, Kat

P.S. A few weeks ago we dissected the design for console tables, too.  Check it out here.  xo 



Wainwright Coffee Table, White

One Kings Lane, $529

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The Surface
A great coffee table allows for room to showcase your personality and favorite objects, along with a coaster or two with your glass of vino!  

Don’t limit yourself to default coffee tables, however.  Think outside the box with vintage trunks, ottomans and poufs too.  

Hand Painted Leopard Tray, Waiting On Martha

Hand Painted Cream Leopard Tray

Waiting on Martha Home,$170

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Trays are quite possibly the most important thing you can have on your coffee table; they corral objects and separate the surface from small objects, creating much-needed depth.  

What’s great too: trays can be added to unconventional surfaces like ottomans and poufs to instantly create a coffee table look and feel. 

The Book of Chic

Amazon, $85

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Coffee table books instantly add personality and interest; they make the space feel like a home, and of course entertainment for the lingering guest.  And the best part?  They’re easily edited and changed whenever it strikes your fancy. 

Stack your favorite books by color, by topic and/or size.  Get creative; don’t take the stacks too seriously and change them around until they’re just right. 

Gold Banana Palm Leaf Large Tray

Waiting on Martha, $58

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Accents are the fun part!  Incorporate items that reflect your travels and passions; the things that make you happy.  You can edit your collection often, keeping the space looking fresh and inviting all year long. 

Some of our favorite accents include anything and everything gold, trinket trays and dishes for matchboxes, candles, vintage calligraphy brushes, crystals and palo santo sticks


28" Cymbidium in Pot, Faux

One Kings Lane, $99

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You can never go wrong with fresh flowers or greenery in a vignette! They serve as a vibrant focal point for the space, and offer added height and texture.

While fresh flowers on a weekly basis can get expensive, another great option is a small plant like a topiary, succulent or cactus that’s easy to care for (see our list of our eight favorite, easy indoor house plants).  Oh, and faux flowers are really quite impressive these days too! 

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

How To Hang a Gallery Wall in 5 Easy Steps

Tips and Tricks for Laying Out and Nailing a Great Gallery Wall
Filed Under > Get The Look

How To Hang A Gallery Wallin 5 Easy Steps, Waiting On Martha

Yesterday I shared a look at my updated gallery wall with Simply Framed, a wall that definitely doesn’t shy from the bold or colorful.  And while gallery walls tend feel very “one-and-done,” I touched upon the process of continually adding to your collection and making room as I’ve always been a believer that a spectacular gallery wall should feel truly collected, and evolve over time. 

I know the process of actually laying out and hanging a great gallery wall can be quite intimidating.  So if you’re feeling hesitant in the time it will take, and putting a bunch of holes in the wall, I’m here to tell you that there are several steps to consider even before that hammer is in your hand.

Below, I’ve broken down a few easy steps, tricks and tips to keep in mind as you’re beginning with your wall.  Yes, it involves some planning and the right tools (I’d recommend this easy, ready-to-use tool kit), and will take some time to get it just right.   But the beauty of an amazing gallery wall, is that it’s ever-changing alongside you.  So don’t be afraid to mix-and-match because there really aren’t any rules.  That’s the beauty of art; you like what you like, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, you’re the one that has to live with it.  So here’s to great gallery walls that reflect your personality, and to ones that never take themselves too seriously!  Good luck!  Truly, MKR



Start with a Hero Piece

Madalyn Print, Haley Mitchell

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Always start with a large hero, or anchor piece where your eye will go first.  While yes, you want your wall to house all different shaped and sized pieces of art if you have a ton of smaller pieces with no large “wow” piece your wall won’t make the impact you want a gallery wall to always make.

Visualize & Plan the Gallery Wall

Scotch Painter's Tape

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The best way to do this is by laying the pieces on the floor. This way, you’ll be able to visualize different setups, making easy adjustments and tweaks as you decide.  You can then reproduce the layout with blue painter’s tape on the wall; it will accurately reflect the sizes of your pieces and how they’ll look placed together.  Try not to hang everything too closely together, you want about 2-3 inches at least between pieces.  Mix up the levels at which you hang, you don’t want it too look like perfect rows, instead try to hang pieces just above or below the other pieces.  And one last tip, once you have everything on the floor the way you’d like take a picture of it with your phone in case you forget exactly what piece went where as you begin to dissect it.

Mix & Match

El Morocco 1955, Garry Winogrand

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You want the gallery wall to have a personality and feel that it’s been collected over time.  By mixing and matching frames, as well as incorporating illustrations, paintings, prints and 3-D objects (like a juju feather hat, skateboard or sconce), you create an eclectic, lived-in feel. 

Have the Right Tools Handy

Simply Framed

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Save yourself some sanity and gather all of the tools you’ll need to see the project from start to finish.  That includes: a hammer, nails, level, tape measurer, pencil & eraser, blue painter’s tape, a small notebook (which is helpful for writing down the measurements of the art) and a screwdriver.

Simply Framed is genius and sells a ready-to-use tool kit (only $39), which contains everything you’ll need to do the job right, all in a durable carryall that won’t take up too much room in, if you’re anything like me, is an already overstuffed garage or closet.  

Have Fun With It

Worry Beads, Fredericks and Mae

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Remember that there is no specific formula for laying out a beautiful gallery wall. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Know that your gallery wall can always move, evolve and grow! 

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha | This post is in collaboration with Simply Framed, a brand we love and adore.  All opinions are 100% our own. 

The 12 Best Vessels & Vases for Your Home

Our Favorite Pretty Pieces to Hold All of The Pretty Blooms
Filed Under > Get The Look

The best flower vases and vessels for your home via @waitingonmartha

One thing I’ve learned among other things from years on the WOM team is the beauty of amazing vases and vessels around the home.  I used to think a flower vase only ever meant a pretty glass bowl, but I’ve found that a whole world of options are out there.  Think antique pitchers, ginger jars, cache pots, deep planters and so much more. 

When building on your collection of the best flower vases and vessels, consider a variety of options to house flowers, foliage, greenery and herbs of all sizes.  I only recently have filled my need for more low-and-wide vases for the bunches of tulips I pick up at Whole Foods.  I only had tall, narrow options and that just wouldn’t do!. 

Check out a few of the best flower vases and vessels below.  We included a wide variety of styles and vibes that look just as pretty on your coffee table as they do on your bookshelf vignette.  And if getting fresh blooms isn’t in the cards this week and every week, these vases of faux peonies seen here, here and here are always, always a beautiful option too.  Cheers, Kat

14" Decorative Vase, Silver

One Kings Lane

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I’ve always loved the idea of pitchers as vases for flowers, especially when they have an antique feel to them.  (They’re also easy to find at an affordable price when found at vintage stores and estate sales!)  This decorative silver pitcher is a lovely option for a small bunch of wildflowers. 

10" Inverted Lambert Vase, White

One Kings Lane

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A slightly tapered vase like this is a must; it fits your taller flowers while centrally containing them.  You can never go wrong with a touch of gold, either.  This gorgeous white vase has a tasteful accent of shine. 

Black & Gold Bud Vase

Waiting On Martha Home

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A bud vase is an easy, and must have for any nightstand, bathroom and/or kitchen counter, and desk.  Of course I’m partial to our handmade black and gold or white and gold Honeycomb Studio vases which look beyond sweet with one simple stem also make the perfect gift!

Blue Willow Pitcher

One Kings Lane

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Here’s another beautiful pitcher that works as a simple vase in a second.  The blue and white chinoiserie details are timeless with a bunch of flowers like tulips, hyacinths and peonies. 

Kupio Handpainted Vase Set

Waiting On Martha Home

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These handpainted vases are anything but fussy; the imperfect lines and brush strokes lend a casual, minimalist vibe with a nod to the handmade.  The set works beautifully as accent pieces in vignettes on bookshelves, coffee tables and dressers. 

Vintage Hungarian Storage Jar, Large


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Stunning in its simplicity, this large glass jar is a conversation starter…for what’s inside!  The reclaimed glass gives off a rustic feel, and allows a multitude of possibilities to grow inside.  I’m a huge fan of filling jars like these with succulents and moss,  but I also love to see tall branches and feathers inside them. 

Novus Bowl, Copper/White

One Kings Lane

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A roundup of vases and vessels would be incomplete without a sweet copper and white bowl like this one.  I’d fill this vessel with a succulent, and if/when I fail to keep it alive (it’s happened before, somehow), I’d use it as a catchall in my bathroom or on my nightstand.  Win-win!

Copper Geo Terrarium

World Market

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World Market wows us with great on-trend copper geo terrariums at a killer price. These guys look great on a bookshelf, coffee table, and just about everywhere.  Here’s a quick kit to get you started with your terrarium inside. 

Turned Wood Vessel


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This gorgeous recycled wood planter is another gorgeous option to showcase succulents and greenery at home.  The natural, rustic finish lends a vintage feel to the piece, and the 8.5″ diameter easily houses a lot of your favorite greens. 

Luxe Moderne Octagonal Trophy Bowl

Waiting on Martha Home

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This sweet little trophy bowl is incredibly versatile; corralling jewelry and necessities but also giving little flowers the perfect home. Check out the rest of our trophy bowls HERE

Blue & White Canton Collection Bud Vases

Waiting on Martha Home

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I’m a huge, huge fan of anything and everything blue and white, so I’m of course obsessed with blue and white bud vases.  This trio has been a bestseller in our shoppe for years, and is still one of my favorite ways to display sweet little blooms. 

Handpainted Bamboo Cachepot

Waiting On Martha Home

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I love a low maintenance pop of greenery so I’ve recently become obsessed with round topiary balls placed in a cachepot such as this handpainted bamboo one.  Available in numerous colors this cachepot would also be great for a small house plant or a major arrangement.

Photography, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha

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