Coffee tables will always be prominent if you have them in your living room; they are there to be seen, to be used, and to be in the middle of the action. Unfortunately, this can lead to your table becoming the receptacle for everything and anything, with everyone who passes it leaving something there or using it as storage for papers, magazines, or even toys. 

To keep your coffee table looking neat and tidy, it’s a good idea to style it in some way. If you do this, people will be much less likely to mistake it for a bin or a handy spot to leave their belongings. Here are some great ways to style a coffee table that will leave it looking great but still allow it to be useful (in all the right ways). 

Keep It Balanced 

The first trick to keep in mind is to make sure your coffee table is balanced. No matter what you put on it, if it is balanced across the surface, it will always look tidy. Three is the important number to bear in mind here; with one larger object in the middle and one smaller object on each side, you can have a stylish coffee table with very little effort. 

As for what you have on your table, you can choose from all kinds of different things. For the item in the middle, you might pick a pile of books, pebbles in a bowl, a vase of flowers, or perhaps a candlestick (or two). To the sides, you can work off your initial idea, having more books, candles, or other plants, or you can choose something entirely different. Keeping coasters on the table, for example, will encourage people to use them rather than leaving their drinks around the room. 

Use A Tray 

Coffee tables can double up as all sorts of things, and it’s not unusual to find that people work from them, use them as footstools, or play family board games around them to name just a few ideas. If this is the case for you, but you also want your table to look neat, tidy, and in keeping with the style of the room when you’re not using it, then you might find yourself in a quandary. What is your best option?

The answer is to use a tray. We’re not talking about a standard dinner tray, but instead a hefty wooden tray that works with the rest of the room and balances nicely on the table. On this tray, you can rest your books, flowers, candles, or anything else. When you need to use the table for other things, the tray can be swiftly and easily moved out of the way, only to be returned later on. 

Don’t Obstruct The View 

Depending on the setup of your living room and where the coffee table will be in relation to the seating, you’ll need to be sure that nothing on the table is going to obstruct anyone’s view. If you have seating on either side of the table and you want to be able to have a conversation with those opposite you, this is going to be difficult with a large ornament or plant in the way. Picking smaller items will be much better. 

However, using items of different heights is a good idea; this can add interest to your design and make it stand out. You just need to ensure everyone can see everyone else (and the TV).