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Styling a Large Coffee Table

As you know, I bought my dream coffee table earlier this month.  I love it in our den and feel it was meant for the space.  It is more significant than our other one, which it needed to be.  We have a large room, and I feel the former table was just too small for our vintage sofa and the size of the room.  This one is perfect.  I also love the raffia texture and color; it is a great neutral for all the colors I have added. 

But ... then it becomes, how do you style something this large?  Well, I can help you with that predicament. In the past, coffee tables were meant to hold a drink (hence coffee) and some remotes for your TV and stereo, but recently, they have become a focal point for design and display.  I consider the table another vignette and a great space to style and show off some fun pieces. I remember our first coffee table (square with glass inserts) had nothing on it.  It was waiting for the opportunity to be seen and remembered when we set a drink down.  That poor table was undervalued, for sure. 😉

The new table is a great size at 48 inches long and 34 1/4 inches wide. My first thought was books! Coffee table books and design books are your best friend when styling anything. They give interest, add height, and are perfect for picking up and flipping through.  I have built quite a collection and pulled several of my favorites for the table.  We have many Florida and Palm Beach books; these are the first ones I pulled.  When styling a space, you get to choose the vibe you wish to create, and I wanted a Florida, bright, happy vibe. When I find myself stuck in decorating, I tend to look at the same books repeatedly, so these are the ones I pulled from the bookcases for the table.  Now they will be super easy to read when I need them. 

Next, I add a floral. You can use a bowl with orchids, a large vase with weekly flowers, or even a great fern in a pot. A floral gives you height and great interest and will fill space when needed. I also always add a tray, whether large or small, to hold items and add layers and interest. I added a round brass bamboo tray for this large rectangle table, which gives so much to the raffia base. I like to add a circle to squares and rectangles to give them some dimension.  If you have a lot of square furniture, you must break it into different shapes. Add a circle side table, garden stools, round trays, or lamps.  You will instantly see a difference. 

My tray holds the flowers, a candle (this one is the best), some matches, and a sterling tray for the matchbox. I love tiny elements and layers. I found some great options similar to the tray I own and have added them at the end of the post. 

I have seen many people style their tables with design elements, like a piece of small art.  This isn't me, and it is ok if it is you. I try to use only things we love and collect.  I love a bowl of something, maybe matchbooks or shells we collected on vacation.  I try to use what I own and not add something that isn't mine.  I am not dissing this; I am just sharing I don't do it. I have many collections, and I need spaces to show them off.  

And remember to add some coasters; you need a space to set your coffee, and  I tend to set mine in the space I left open for this occasion. It isn't a coffee table without space for your coffee or cocktail. 😉

I have pulled together some great design books for you.  I have some great resources for building or adding to your collection.  Goodwill always has books, and you can often find some great ones, and  I only buy what I will read.  Estate sales are fantastic for books; you can score if you and the homeowner have the same taste. And lastly, discount bookstores are an excellent resource.  You can find some fantastic books for pennies on the dollar. We have a used bookstore that I check pretty often, and I have found some great ones. When using books, I stack them.  You can add four or so and really create some fun interest.  You can show off some smaller books on top of others, giving you extra space. 

Most of all, fill it with things you love.  You will look at this space every time you sit in your living room, and you want it to bring you joy.  As with any space in your home, it must serve a function and make you smile.  And this is a great space to really add things that you love. 


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