What Should You Display On A Coffee Table?

What Should You Display On A Coffee Table

As we work on decorating the outside, this inside becomes wasted space. By using the coffee table for display, you add layers of visual interest across the room. But what do you use to create this display?

A coffee table display should be simple yet personal. The coffee table book is a classic choice, but don’t be wary of trying something different. Here are some ideas to get you started:

A Coffee Table Book

Big and heavy, the coffee table book makes for light reading. Often packed full of pictures, a coffee table book is to be picked up and flicked through. Try stacking several, to add height to the table. A brightly colored cover and interesting spines aids the overall design.

A Vase Of Flowers

Every house needs some plant life, and a vase of flowers always looks good on a coffee table. Start with a vase you love, and celebrate the season with fresh blooms. Small displays look good in a busy space, but a vibrant display adds life to a pared back room.

If flowers aren’t your style, look for something a little greener. Succulents are hardy plants, and very fashionable. 


One large bowl in the center of a coffee table could be all a display needs. Fill it with ripe fruit, or try something different - pine cones, balls of wall, shells etc. 

Small bowls of different sizes can also create a display. Mix and match for a farmhouse look, or use a set for an elegant finish.

A Runner

A patterned runner draws the eye without cluttering up the table. Bright colors or geometric designs keep the style contemporary.

Candles Or Lanterns

If in doubt, add a candle. These are classics of the coffee table display, and work with almost any type of decoration. Group candles together, or let one stand on its own.

Lanterns and candelabras are another twist that can bring life to a coffee table.

Whatever Catches Your Eye

Coffee tables are a great place to display that quirky and unusual object that you love. Whether it’s an elegant magnifying glass, an abstract sculpture, or that strange piece of porcelain you picked up on holiday. 

Just Your Coffee

What looks better on a coffee table than a warm mug of coffee? The coffee table doesn’t need to be a design feature, because it has a very important purpose - holding your drink. Leave your table simple, and let the rest of the room do the talking.

Create a coffee table display by choosing a focal point, and building a design around it. Don’t be afraid to move and change, but always look for a balanced design. And don’t forget the most important rule - always leave room for your coffee.

How Do I Keep My Coffee Table Tidy?

We all know the moment - you have a steaming hot cup of coffee in one hand, a piled high plate in the other hand, and you’re looking forward to a good sit down.

Only, when you get to the coffee table, the entire surface is covered in clutter. Then it’s either risk spilling your coffee with a bad balancing act, or return to the kitchen and start again.

Keeping the coffee table tidy is a tricky task, because it seems to naturally attract clutter. You start off leaving a hair tie on the corner, and end up with an uncontrollable mess. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some tips for a tidy coffee table:

Clear Everything Out

Begin by clearing away everything. Mess gathers mess, and you might be surprised by just how much of it can go straight in the trash. Anything that doesn’t need to be on the table should stay off the table.

Once the surface is clear, give the table a wipe and a polish.

Use A Tray

If you’re a person who seems to naturally attract clutter, a tray is a simple storage solution. Keep everything you need on the tray, and it can then be easily lifted off for cleaning. Anything that won’t fit in the tray shouldn’t be on the table.

Use Attractive Storage Units To Create A Display

Coffee table displays can look beautiful, but they have a habit of disguising mess. Instead of cluttering the surface with display items, use bowls and trays for decoration and storage. 

To craft an attractive display, carefully consider levels. Rather than using similar sized bowls, use height and width to add visual interest. 

Keep this display tidy by assigning each item a use. That way, you won’t end up dropping everything into the same bowl.

Add A Runner

Instead of using books and vases for a coffee table display, use a simple runner instead. This will add interest, without taking up space. But be careful! The pattern of a busy runner will only contribute to the untidy look if it’s covered in clutter.

Create A Focal Point

A coffee table display often means multiple objects, arranged across the table. And while this may look lovely, it isn’t always feasible for a busy household. A perfectly designed display quickly becomes clutter when new objects are added. 

To avoid this, use a single item to create a focal point for the table. This could be a large vase of flowers, a teeming fruit bowl, or anything else that draws the eye. 

Add Other Storage Units

If you have space under the coffee table, don’t leave it empty. Instead, add storage baskets and boxes to hold any mess. If there’s room, place smaller coffee tables around the seating area. It stops everything from gathering in a single place.

A tidy coffee table is difficult, but achievable. Make room for storage elsewhere, and avoid busy displays. With some attention, you should have a mess free surface.