When it comes to decorating your living room, the coffee table is a crucial element that often goes overlooked. It serves as a central gathering spot and provides a platform for showcasing your personal style. In this guide, we’ll provide you with tips and tricks on how to create a stunning coffee table setup that perfectly balances form and function. Whether you’re a design enthusiast or someone who simply wants an outdoor coffee table, we’ve got you covered. We’ll cover everything from selecting the right table to arranging decorative items that reflect your personality and taste. So, let’s dive in!

Set Up a Coffee Table

Choosing the Right Coffee Table

Choosing the perfect coffee table is an essential step before starting your decoration project. It’s the centerpiece of your layout, and its selection is vital to creating a cohesive and functional space. Think of it as the foundation of an outfit, the base that sets the tone for the rest of the pieces to follow. Your coffee table should complement your style and also serve a practical purpose in your living area.

  1. Size Matters: The first thing to consider is the size of your living room. Your coffee table should fit comfortably within the space, leaving enough room for people to walk around it. You don’t want it to dominate the room or feel lost in it. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 18 inches between the coffee table and the edge of your sofa.
  2. Shape and Style: Coffee tables come in various shapes – round, square, rectangular, and even unconventional shapes like oval or hexagonal. The shape you choose should complement the overall style of your room. For a more classic and traditional look, go for a rectangular or square table. Round tables often work well in smaller spaces, while unconventional shapes can add a touch of uniqueness to your decor.
  3. Material Matters: Coffee tables come in a wide range of materials – wood, glass, metal, and acrylic. Your choice of material should match your lifestyle and design aesthetic. Wood tables are warm and timeless, while glass can make a small space more open. Metal and acrylic tables are more contemporary and add an edgy vibe to your room.
  4. Storage or No Storage: Do you need storage space on your coffee table? Some tables come with drawers, shelves, or hidden compartments, which can be handy for stashing away remote controls, magazines, or board games. If you tend to clutter your living room, a coffee table with storage might be a lifesaver.

Arranging Accessories

Now that you’ve picked the perfect coffee table, it’s time to dress it up! Here’s Expormim, where the fun begins – arranging accessories that reflect your personality and style.

  1. Start with a Base: Begin by laying down a solid foundation. This could be a tray, a decorative plate, or even a stack of coffee table books. The base helps create a cohesive look and keeps your accessories from feeling scattered.
  2. Books, Magazines, and More: Coffee table books are not just for decoration; they can be a conversation starter and a reflection of your interests. Choose books with beautiful covers or those that align with your passions, whether it’s art, travel, or cooking. Stack them or lay them out, but make sure they’re easily accessible for guests to flip through. You can also add a magazine or two for a touch of current reading material.
  3. Greenery: A little bit of greenery can breathe life into your coffee table. Consider adding a small potted plant, succulent, or a vase of fresh flowers. Not only do plants add a pop of color, but they also purify the air and create a calming atmosphere.
  4. Candles: Candles are not just for romantic dinners. They can add warmth and ambiance to your living room. Opt for scented candles to make your space feel cozy or choose decorative candleholders that match your decor. Just remember to light them responsibly and never leave them unattended.
  5. Personal Touch: Your coffee table is a canvas for your personal style. Add personal touches like family photos in stylish frames, small decorative sculptures, or sentimental items that mean a lot to you. These items make your coffee table uniquely yours and tell a story to anyone who visits.
  6. Trays and Bowls: Utilize trays and bowls to corral smaller items like coasters, remote controls, and knick-knacks. Not only does this keep your table organized, but it also adds a layer of visual interest.
  7. Coasters: Speaking of coasters, they’re a must-have to protect your coffee table from unsightly water rings. Choose coasters that match your decor or go for quirky, eye-catching ones that spark conversation.
  8. Balance and Symmetry: Achieving balance and symmetry in your coffee table setup is key to making it look pleasing to the eye. Arrange items in a way that feels balanced – you can do this by placing larger items on opposite corners or by creating a symmetrical arrangement with pairs of items.
  9. Colors and Textures: Pay attention to your living room’s color scheme and textures. Your coffee table accessories should complement these elements. If your room is filled with earthy tones, incorporate accessories that follow the same palette. Mixing textures like wood, glass, and metal can also add depth and interest to your setup.

Maintaining Your Coffee Table Setup

Setting up your coffee table is just the beginning. To keep it looking fresh and inviting, you’ll need to do a bit of maintenance. Here are some tips to help you maintain your coffee table setup:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Dust and spills are the enemies of a well-kept coffee table. Dust your table regularly with a soft cloth or microfiber duster. For spills, wipe them up immediately to prevent stains.
  2. Rotate Accessories: Change up your coffee table accessories seasonally or whenever you feel like giving your space a new look. This keeps things interesting and prevents your setup from feeling stagnant.
  3. Refresh Greenery: If you have plants on your coffee table, make sure to water and care for them regularly. Replace wilted flowers or dried-up plants promptly to maintain that fresh look.
  4. Consider the Season: Adjust your coffee table decor to match the season or special occasions. For example, you can add holiday-themed decor during the festive season or incorporate beachy elements in the summer.
  5. Declutter: Coffee tables can easily become cluttered with remote controls, old magazines, and random items. Take a few minutes each day to declutter and put things back in their designated spots.
  6. Protect the Surface: Use coasters consistently to prevent water rings and scratches. Consider using a protective cover when needed if you have a glass or delicate surface.


Setting up a coffee table isn’t just about arranging a few items on a table; it’s about creating a focal point that reflects your style and enhances your living room’s overall look and feel. Remember, your coffee table is like the cherry on top of your decor sundae, bringing everything together harmoniously and visually appealingly.

So, go ahead, have fun with it! Choose a coffee table that speaks to you, arrange accessories that tell your story, and don’t forget to maintain your setup for that “wow” factor every time you walk into your living room. With a little creativity and attention to detail, you’ll have a functional coffee table setup and a conversation starter.


  1. Do I need to spend a fortune on a coffee table to make it look good?

Not at all! While there are high-end coffee tables available, you can find stylish and budget-friendly options that suit your taste. The key is to choose a table that matches your decor and personal style.

  1. Can I use my coffee table for more than just decoration?

Absolutely! Your coffee table can serve as a functional piece of furniture too. Look for tables with storage options or ones that can double as a workspace for remote work or hobbies.

  1. What if I have a small living room? How can I make the most of a small coffee table setup?

In a small living room, it’s essential to maximize space. Choose a compact coffee table that doesn’t overwhelm the room, and opt for multifunctional accessories like a small tray that can hold your essentials.

  1. I’m not a fan of plants. Are there alternatives to adding greenery to my coffee table?

Of course! If you’re not into plants, you can consider faux plants or decorative items like a beautiful bowl of decorative balls or a unique sculpture to add visual interest without the greenery.

  1. What’s the secret to achieving a balanced coffee table setup?

Balance can be achieved by arranging items in a way that feels visually equal. This could mean placing larger items on opposite corners or creating symmetry with pairs of items. Experiment with different arrangements until you find the one that feels just right for your space.