WAITING ON MARTHA
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How To Style Your Coffee Table

January 9, 2014

Restoration Hardware trunk  ||  Ivory Bone dominos  ||  Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry Cookbook  ||  Dogs  ||  Ginger Jar pitcher used as a vase (vintage, similar here)  ||  Dana Gibson planter  ||  Faux python tray  ||  Japanese calligraphy brushes (found, similar here)  ||  Lizard magnifying glass (also available in alligator)  ||  A Passion for Blue and White  ||  Allegra Hicks An Eye for Design  ||  Coral and pearl catchall (sold out, similar choices HERE)  ||  Studio Ten 25 agate box c/o

When styling a coffee table I’ve found there’s a formula that tends to always work no matter the size or shape of your table.  It’s really quite simple…Books + Flowers + Trays + Depth.  

Books.  I adore books.  You’ll find them stacked all around my house, on really any surface that allows.  Not only do they reveal something a tad personal about the owner, but they add depth (part of my tried and true formula).  Plus they make the perfect landing for something smaller such as a decorative magnifying glass, a vase of flowers, a candle, a catchall, really anything.

Flowers and depth.  I’ll keep these two simple.  Flowers add life to any space.  While I know fresh flowers on a weekly basis can be expensive might I suggest a small plant instead?  For our house we have a little Jade plant that adds the perfect touch of green plus it’s beyond easy to take care of.  As for depth, every space I design always has to have depth, or rather different height levels.  You can easily achieve this look by stacking books as discussed above.

Trays.  Trays are the perfect way to corral items so they don’t look messy.  On my table a faux python tray houses my collection of Japanese calligraphy brushes which also adds pops of color (a necessity to any table).  Another way to utilize a tray would be a collection of numerous small items that may get lost placed alone on a table.  Items such as candles, matches, coasters, or any other small and decorative trinkets.

Lastly, and most importantly, remember this space  like every space in your home should be personal.  Think of it as a collection of items displayed in a beautiful way.  A collection and reflection of you.  So what’s on your coffee table?  truly, MKR

Photos via Jamie Hopper Photography

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  • I love how you styled this! Can’t get enough of that little planter and the magnifying glass is the cutest touch. Some of the little knicknacks we accumulate from grandparents, parents, etc. would find their perfect place on a table like this!

  • This is perfection! And so beautiful/comforting. I don’t have a coffee table in my house (I share it with four other girls) but I can use the flowers/book/tray strategy to decorate the vanity I have in my bedroom! Thanks for the tips :)

  • I ADORE YOUR STYLING! AND THOSE CALLIGRAPHY BRUSHES! I WANT TO COLLECT THEM NOW! WHERE ARE THEY FROM? YOUR LINKS ON THEM ISN’T WORKING.

  • This is probably don’t give enough attention. It always seemed like something from my mother’s generation, but I now see what a difference it can make. Thanks for sharing these tips. I will definitely have to try them with my own coffee table.

  • I style all my coffee tables the same way! Foolproof, indeed!
    Love those bone dominos!
    Happy Friday.

  • Love to hear that Tiffany! TGIF doll! xo

  • I’d love to see a pic if you give it a whirl. xo

  • Sara thank you so much! You are seriously so sweet. The calligraphy brushes are a found item/vintage. You can find them usually at any antique store or decor store. Let me see what else I can find out. xo

  • Audrey you can absolutely use this strategy for your vanity table! xo

  • Thank you Monica!! I’m obsessed with that magnifying glass. xo

  • I recently posted tips about styling a coffee table too! I think having a well styled coffee table can really pull together a living room. Your tips are perfect!

  • Love these tips! I have to admit, my coffee table could use a little beautification :)

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