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The 10 Items You Need To Create An Instagram-Ready Coffee Table

A coffee table as a standalone piece of furniture is rather boring, yet, styling this little table in front of your sofa can create a world of difference to your room and essentially make or break your seating area. I find myself swapping out items and styling my coffee table on a regular basis and one of my favorite things to do is photograph the different variations of the vignettes I create.

I know, I live a thrilling life.

coffee table vignette

When it comes to decorating a coffee table, I always remember to keep the rule of three in mind. This decorating guideline of “3” says that items arranged in odd numbers are more memorable and visually appealing than even-numbered groupings. Three seems to be *the* magic number, but 5, 7, or 9 also work well.

glam coffee table

The more surface area your coffee table has, the more fun you can have with styling. I previously had a single tier coffee table but could only do so much with it and just got bored after a while, so I purchased a two-tiered coffee table so I could decorate with more shit. #hoardergoals

Today I’m breaking down the mandatory accessories I use when styling my coffee table:



1. An object of height

object of height

Adding objects of different heights, shapes, and sizes creates a visually pleasing vignette. Remember, decorating is only about pleasing the human eyeballs.

2. Books 

coffee table books

My criteria for incorporating books:

x Use at least 3-5. If you have a larger/2-tiered coffee table, you’ll most likely be able to fit more than one stack

x Books with a spine that’s between 1″ – 2″

x Hard or thick covers. I personally don’t like the look of thin paperbacks for decor

x Books that don’t vary too greatly in size when stacked

3. An Accessorized Tray 

(see this post for my tips to styling trays)

decorative tray

If you really think about the idea of trays, they’re like mini tables on larger tables. Or in this case, a mini table on a medium table on a large table (I call this tray stacking). Inception.

4. Candles

diptyque candle

Look – if you were hypothetically allowed only one single item to include on your coffee table, it should be a candle. Why? Because candles set the mood of your space and without one, your seating area is shit. I’m only half joking.

5. Flowers or Greenery


If you can consistently incorporate real flowers or greenery, god bless.

6. A Decorative Box

decorative box

Boxes are great to break up the space between trays and books or if it’s a small enough box, you can stack on the books.

7. Matches

decorative matches

 I love the look of black/white tipped matches and I’ve been able to find them at my local Home Goods. I actually never use them, they’re for visual purposes only. Like the sofa with the plastic wrap on it in the room that no one is allowed to go in, which all Italian grandmothers have.

8. Something that highlights your personality 


Just like your home is a reflection of who you are, so are the accessories you use to style with. Choose something that either means something to you or brings out your personality. I personally use (one too many) skulls but, to each their own.

9. Agate/Crystals


I’m not into crystals from like, an “energy” perspective, but I was obsessed with collecting beautiful rocks as a kid and am a sucker for a good agate rock.

10. Coasters

agate coaster

agate coaster

You can use coasters under a candle to add an additional layer to the coffee table vignettes. It’s the little things in life.

Looking for some of these coffee table accessories? Here’s a roundup of my favorite items to style with:

If you liked this post, I plan on writing another that’s similar to this one but for styling SHELVES!

Have a fantastic week! <3

alisa bovino

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  1. Yes! Def need a similar post on styling shelves like you mentioned at the end. Both floating shelves (where tonplace them, how to style them) and also a bookcase post too. This was great!!

  2. I am so happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.


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