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3 Designer Tips to Making Your Coffee Table the Envy of the Room

Coffee tables or, as some folks refer to them, cocktail tables, were designed with the sole purpose of being a functional piece of furniture. A place to rest a drink, book or food while entertaining in the living room, this low table has gained new responsibilities as of late in the design of a room with its status elevated to the heart of the living room, the focal point of the floor plan and the perfectly placed ensemble that makes someone smile when they enter the room.


Think of the table as the place to bring your collection together. Now, we don’t necessarily mean drag out everything you love and fill the table with it. Rather, curate a collection of your favourites. Books, vases and special objects can be layered together by colour, theme or aesthetic. This is often the opportunity to bring an accent colour in the room to life, or the springboard to inject the accent colour to the accessories.

Tip: Add a tray beneath the curated items to give them a collected feel and also for the ease of moving them out of the way when you need to make way for the cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.


When accessory shopping for your table or placing your fabulous finds, choose items of different heights. This is a great time to take that tall vase you never knew where to put on display. Think outside the box and use unexpected items such as a vintage pair of glasses, a magnifying glass or an old clock. Bring your character or the character of the room alive with personal touches.

Tip: Use books beneath twin vases or obelisks to make them appear different heights.


Use a material that you wouldn’t normally think of an accessory. Concrete formed into a disk, ball or obelisk gives a very natural texture. Perhaps wood gathered together in a stand, carved into a form of art or left natural to age like driftwood. Flowers are a beautifully natural choice for adding life to the coffee table (ad they smell lovely, too!).

Tip: Select white flowers for your vase instead of coloured flowers. Although ideal for a pop of colour, flowers with colour are often seasonal. You don’t want to be paying double for your pop of colour when they are no longer in season.