How To Style A Rectangular Coffee Table: 10 Expert Tips

A well-styled coffee table can serve as the focal point of your living room and enhance the overall appearance of your home decor. Styling your coffee table with thoughtfully arranged decorative items can not only showcase your personal taste and style but also bring a sense of cohesion and balance to the space.

Rectangular coffee tables are a popular choice due to their versatility and ability to complement various interior design styles. Their shape makes them especially suitable for larger seating arrangements and provides a sense of symmetry and order within your living room.

In this blog post on How to Style a Rectangular Coffee Table, our aim is to give you practical and creative ideas on how to style your rectangular coffee table. Whether you’re looking for a minimalistic approach or want to create an elaborate display, these tips and suggestions will help you transform your coffee table into an eye-catching centerpiece that reflects your personality and enhances your home’s aesthetic.

Start with a Theme for your Rectangular Coffee Table

When it comes to styling your rectangular coffee table, selecting a theme or style is the first step in creating a visually pleasing and cohesive look. There are many different themes and styles to choose from – let’s explore a few popular ones and how you can pick the right one that complements your existing room decor.

  • Minimalist: Simple, clean lines and a neutral color palette are a perfect match for minimal coffee table decor. Consider using just a few key decorative items like a single vase or a stack of art books to maintain a clutter-free aesthetic.
  • Bohemian: Embrace eclectic patterns, vibrant colors, and a mix of textures. Add elements like woven rugs, potted plants, and travel mementos to create an inviting and layered look.
  • Industrial: Think exposed brick, metal accents, and raw materials. Incorporate pieces like vintage lamps, aged leather, and reclaimed wood to achieve an urban, rustic vibe.
  • Farmhouse: Farmhouse coffee tables are cozy and rustic, usually made of natural wood with a sturdy, simple design. They fit well in comfortable, country-style rooms and are both practical and good-looking.

Select a theme that complements the existing room decor

When choosing how to style a rectangular coffee table, take note of the current elements in your living space. Consider the following factors:

  1. Color scheme: Look at the dominant colors in your room, including wall colors, flooring, and furniture. Your coffee table styling should work harmoniously with these colors.
  2. Patterns and textures: Observe the patterns and textures present in your room, such as rugs, artwork, and pillows. Choose coffee table decorations that either match or complement these patterns and textures.
  3. Furniture and architecture: Your coffee table style should blend seamlessly with the furniture style and architectural design of your living space. For example, if you have modern furniture, a minimalist or industrial theme might be suitable.

Essential Elements of Coffee Table Styling

To style a rectangular coffee table you need to carefully select key elements that harmoniously work together to create an inviting and visually pleasing focal point in your living room. Some essential elements include:

1. Trays

To maintain practicality while keeping a visually pleasing aesthetic, try using a coffee table tray. Trays not only help organize your coffee table items but also add a layer of visual interest.

A stylish tray not only keeps your table organized, but also provides a foundation for the arrangement of other items. It helps in creating designated sections for your decorative pieces and gives your table a polished look. You can choose trays in different shapes and materials to complement your aesthetic.

 A close-up of a corner of a white coffee table featuring a wooden tray with a stack of books, a clear glass, and a white decorative apple, with a grey sofa and a beige patterned throw in the background.
by Pinterest
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2. Books

Artful arrangements of coffee table books add an intellectual touch to your space. Stack them in a visually pleasing way by mixing different sizes, themes, and colors. They offer a great opportunity to showcase your interests and can act as conversation starters with your guests.

 An industrial-style rectangular coffee table with a dark metal frame and wooden shelves, adorned with books and a decorative bowl, on a red oriental rug, with a gray couch and white fluffy pillows in the background.
by Pinterest

3. Candles & Candlesticks

Incorporate candles into your design to create a cozy atmosphere when you style a rectangular coffee table. Candles are a must-have for styling a coffee table, offering both ambiance and elegance. Scented or unscented candles work well, depending on your preference. Group them in varying heights for added visual interest, and consider using candleholders to elevate their appearance further.

 A wooden coffee table with a lower shelf holding books, topped with a black bowl and two tall brass candlesticks, in front of a beige sofa with a blue pillow, over a patterned yellow rug.
by Pinterest

4. Bowls

Fresh flowers and plants breathe life into your space, and they infuse color and texture to your arrangement. Opt for low, lush arrangements that don’t obstruct conversation.

 A rustic dark wood coffee table with metal accents and a lower shelf, displaying books and a basket of decorative balls, accompanied by matching side tables in a room with beige carpeting.
by Pinterest

5. Plants & Flowers

Adding a plant or flowers to your coffee table can bring life to the space. Choose a plant that will thrive in your living room’s lighting conditions, or opt for a nice bouquet of fresh or artificial flowers. Place them in a vase that suits your overall aesthetic and complements the size and shape of your table.

Consider using succulents, potted plants, or even a small floral arrangement as a focal point when you style a rectangular coffee table. These greenery options work well with various decor styles and are low-maintenance, making them perfect for livening up your space. Mixing in other natural elements like wooden or stone accessories can also complement the plants and give your coffee table a more well-rounded aesthetic.

To add vibrancy to your coffee table, select plants with colorful leaves, flowers, or accessories like planters and pots.

 A mid-century modern wooden coffee table with drawers, styled with a white vase with greenery, a golden vase, and a coffee cup, sitting on a grey textured rug in a living room with a grey sofa.
by Pinterest

6. Vases

Decorating with vases on a coffee table adds a touch of elegance and brings a pop of color or texture to your living space. Vases can also be versatile, allowing you to change their contents seasonally for a fresh look.

 A rectangular coffee table with a white marble top and wooden legs, accessorized with two terracotta vases and a round tray with a candle, in front of a brown leather sofa on a beige rug.
by Pinterest

7. Sculptures

Consider sculptural objects as statement pieces on your table. These items can add a touch of sophistication and give your space a unique personality. Choose pieces that fit your style, and remember to keep the overall balance in mind so that your table doesn’t feel cluttered or devoid of visual interest.

 A modern coffee table with a white top and black metal frame, styled with decorative items including a tray with a plant and books, and a golden spherical sculpture, placed on a muted area rug in front of a grey sofa with patterned cushions.
by Pinterest

Arrangement Strategies

When it comes to interior design, styling a rectangular coffee table like a pro requires a little bit of creativity and the understanding of some basic principles. In this section, you will learn how to style a rectangular coffee table and make it the centerpiece of your living room.

8. Use Various Heights

First, consider the dimensions and shape of your coffee table when you style a rectangular coffee table. Rectangular coffee tables offer more space for displaying items compared to round or square ones. To begin styling, think about the various heights you can use to create visual interest. Varied heights in your design, such as tall, short, and mid-height objects, can bring balance and harmony to the composition.

9. Use Sections

Next, try to work in sections or groupings when you style a rectangular coffee table. If you have an extensive collection of decorative items, avoid cluttering the surface by dividing it into two, three, or even four sections depending on the size of your table. This mental splitting makes it easier to arrange your items in an organized and pleasing manner.

10. Textures, Materials and Colors

Incorporate a variety of textures, materials, and colors when choosing your décor items to style a rectangular coffee table. This approach makes the table more visually appealing. Experiment with personal items like books, candles, vases, sculptures, or even trays, to make the table feel more like an extension of your personality. Remember to maintain balance by selecting items of different sizes and avoiding overcrowding.

Keep the theme or color scheme of your living room consistent with your coffee table styling. This will ensure that your table blends seamlessly with the rest of the room’s décor and creates an overall cohesive look. Styling a rectangular coffee table in this way enhances the aesthetic unity of your space.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to switch things up from time to time. Rotating out decorative elements seasonally, or even occasionally rearranging your table’s pieces adds freshness and keeps things interesting. Styling your rectangular coffee table is a fun and personal way to express your unique interior design flair, so enjoy the process and let your creativity shine.

Seasonal and Holiday Styling

Seasonal and holiday decorations can bring a fresh vibe to your coffee table. Your table can be a focal point for these changes, reflecting the spirit of each season.

  • Spring: To style a rectangular coffee table, refresh it with a small vase of fresh flowers, pastel-colored candles, or a bowl of colorful fruits. Add some light-colored decorative books to bring a sense of renewal.
  • Summer: Style a rectangular coffee table with coastal touches such as seashells, driftwood, or a nautical-themed centerpiece. Bright colors and tropical accents can also evoke a fresh summer feeling.
  • Autumn: Incorporate elements like mini pumpkins, autumn leaves, or an earth-toned table runner. You can use warm-colored candles or add a rustic wooden tray to complete the fall vibe.
  • Winter: Create a cozy atmosphere with twinkling fairy lights, a soft throw blanket, or a small decorative tree. You might add some silver or gold accents for a festive touch.

Quick tips for seasonal changes

You don’t have to overhaul your coffee table completely to achieve a cohesive seasonal look. Here are some subtle yet effective ideas:

  • Switch out accents: Swapping smaller decorative items is an easy way to transition between seasons on your coffee table. For instance, change the color of your candles or replace a decorative bowl with a seasonal alternative to style a rectangular coffee table.
  • Use versatile pieces: Invest in items that can be easily modified for different occasions. For example, you could use a versatile tray that can be styled with various decorative pieces throughout the year.
  • Play with textures: Introduce different textural elements, such as a cozy knit blanket in winter or a light linen throw in summer. These small changes can instantly give your coffee table a fresh feel for the season.

Bonus Tip: The Rule of Three in Coffee Table Decor

When styling your rectangular coffee table, consider implementing the Rule of Three, a popular design principle that can help bring balance and visual interest to your space. This rule suggests that using odd numbers, especially the number three, creates a sense of harmony and pleasantry in your decorative arrangements.

To start, select three visually pleasing objects to style a rectangular coffee table. These could be decorative accents such as candles, vases, or small sculptures. While it’s helpful to have each item vary in size, shape, or texture, make sure they all complement your overall room aesthetic. In addition to fostering attractiveness, this rule of three principle also allows your eye to move comfortably across the display, making it feel organized and cohesive.

By dividing your coffee table surface into three distinct sections or groupings, you can create structure and balance while still maintaining an effortless, friendly vibe. When arranging these groupings to style a rectangular coffee table, keep in mind the general layout of your living space to ensure a smooth flow of conversation and interaction. You may opt for one larger centerpiece in the middle with two smaller groupings on either side or arrange them in a triangular pattern to add variety.

FAQ – How to Style a Rectangular Coffee Table

How do you style a rectangular coffee table?

Styling a rectangular coffee table involves balancing function and aesthetics. Incorporate elements of varying heights and textures, such as stacks of books, decorative bowls, and small potted plants. Use a tray for organization, add personal touches like photo frames, and ensure enough space for daily use.

What shape tray do you put on a rectangle coffee table?

For a rectangular coffee table, a contrasting shaped tray, like round or oval, is ideal. This creates visual interest and softens the angular lines of the table. The tray can be a focal point, holding decorative items or functioning as a catch-all for remotes and coasters.

Should I do a circle or rectangle coffee table?

The choice between a circle or rectangle coffee table depends on your space and needs. Circular tables are great for promoting easy movement and a relaxed atmosphere, especially in smaller spaces. Rectangular tables suit larger, more structured rooms and align well with straight-lined furniture.

What are the benefits of a rectangle coffee table?

Rectangular coffee tables offer several benefits. They provide ample surface area for daily use and entertaining. Their linear shape fits naturally with most sofas and seating arrangements, creating a cohesive look. They also offer versatility in styling and are ideal for long, narrow rooms.

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Wadim Urbanowitsch

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