5 Coffee Table Decor Ideas

Posted by Nicholas Crusie on

So you’ve got your new place, or maybe you’ve just done a ton of renovating. The living room furniture is finally to your liking - and you have a marvelous coffee table you can’t get enough of. Or maybe your coffee table is functional but super boring. 

You’re going to need some decor. The slightest additions can either make or break the feng shui of your coffee table, and therefore your living room. Good thing we have a great list of ideas at the ready for you!

First, Find Your Style

The first thing we suggest you do is to identify your style. There are infinite choices to be made when it comes to the aesthetics of interior design—perhaps you enjoy a rustic look, a modern style, or an avant-garde space. 

Let’s break down some of these genres, shall we?


A rustic design includes a lot of natural-looking objects, usually made out of wood. Some people prefer their rustic rooms to have a little bit of wear-and-tear to the vibe. This makes for a homier, broken-in feeling.


Based on the name, you can probably assume what a modern-styled room looks like. The use of different metal pieces adds a futuristic tone to the space, and shapes are also a big part of a modern design. Sleek squares and sharp corners are popular for this look.


The French term “avant-garde” is an adjective used for things that are new, different, unusual, non-traditional, or experimental. 

Spaces that have an avant-garde style tend to have mismatching items, a variety of colors, and don’t adhere to many traditional styling rules. These rooms pair old and new, warm and cool, square and squiggly, and so on. 

So now that we’ve got your creative cogs turning, let’s get back to the coffee table decor.

Reading Material

Everyone knows that a good coffee table book or two adds quite a bit of pop and curiosity. Try pairing one of your favorite celebrity’s autobiographies with an informative and visual-heavy novel on nature or animals. 

There really are no rules for coffee table books - although we suggest you choose literature that you actually enjoy so that your living room can represent you and not some bland furniture store display. 

Adding personalized items to your coffee table will make you feel more at home and will spark the interests of your friends and family when they visit. 

Of course, if you’re going to use these books primarily as decor, we recommend that you read them in full before you keep them there year-round, never to be read.

Some of the most popular coffee table books right now are:

  • The Obama Portraits by Taína Caragol, Dorothy Moss, Richard Powell, and Kim Sajet 


  • The Very Embarrassing Book of Dad Jokes by Ian Allen


  • Andy Warhol: The Impossible Collection by Eric C. Shiner

  • Women: The National Geographic Image Collection by Susan Goldberg

  • Colorstrology: What Your Birthday Color Says about You by Michele Bernhardt

  • The Book of Tapas, New Edition by Simone and Ines Ortega

  • Supreme by James Jebbia

  • Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired by Artists by Julia Sherman

A Great Bowl

When decorating your coffee table, the surface can become cluttered faster than you’d think. A clever way to incorporate some little doodads without making a mess is by putting them in a nice bowl.

Of course, the size, shape, and color of the bowl are up to you. There are plenty of large, fashionable bowls that are used as statement pieces, as well as tiny bowls used for holding tiny trinkets. 

Once you have the bowl of your dreams, what should you keep in it? Here are some ideas:

Seashells, Rocks, or Marbles

All three of these ideas will add some character to any coffee table. If you’re someone who enjoys a nautical theme and you tend to bring home shells from the beach, your collection will be admired by all of your guests when it’s in a nice big bowl!

Whether you favor a store-bought pile of uniform pebbles or a bunch of hand-picked stones from your latest hiking trip, rocks are a great asset to any coffee table bowl. A nod at the outdoors inside your living room will keep things looking adventurous and fresh.

Marbles come in all sorts of rounded shapes and beautiful colors. You can tie in some of the existing colors of your living room by getting a specific color, or you can mix and match several colors to create a rainbow effect in the coffee table bowl.

Spare Change

If you don’t like the idea of spending money on coffee table decor, how about using money as coffee table decor? A bowl of spare change is a fun and functional way to keep your loose coins organized and accessible. 

Rather than breaking the bank on decor, we can guarantee you will actually be saving money with this decoration!

Wrapped Snacks and Treats

This type of coffee table decor is certainly a crowd favorite. Wrapped non-perishable treats are great for you and your guests to enjoy while watching TV and spending quality time together. 

Some great snacks to put in your coffee table bowls are peppermints, chocolates, packages of assorted nuts, lollipops, and taffies. 

By the way, if the coffee table bowl doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can always invest in a candy dish. These sleek glass jars will keep your treats sealed tight and your sweet-toothed family members curious!

A Functional Coaster

One of the most functional coffee table decor pieces a person can have is a useful coaster. That’s right; we’re talking half device holder and half coaster. 

With the PUK, you will always have something to hold your beverage - and if you’re holding onto your beverage but want to video chat with someone on your phone, you can prop up your phone instead, using the flip side!

With a non-slip bottom, this drink and device holder from CordaRoy’s isn’t going anywhere. You can even charge your phone as you use the PUK because there’s enough room to hold your devices in both portrait orientation and landscape orientation. 

Who benefits most from this great coaster? That’s hard to say. Between FaceTiming with family, attending virtual conference calls for work, and even propping up your phone to make a TikTok video, just about everyone can put it to use.

We’ve saved the best detail for last - this coaster/device holder is washable! Don’t worry about anything getting wet or sticky because the PUK is easily cleanable and stays good as new after being washed!

A Few Lovely Candles

Who doesn’t love a fresh-smelling room? One of the easiest pieces of coffee table decor is a nice candle. Even when candles aren’t burning, they can tie a room together with their classy packaging and fancy scent names. 

Find your family’s favorite scent, and go get yourself a candle or two! Candles are known to reduce stress and calm people down at the end of a long day. 

If you aren’t too keen on burning candles in the house (maybe you have small children or pets that you worry might get into trouble), you can always purchase a couple of fake candles. 

There are plenty of attractive sets of fake candles to purchase, and a lot of them give off a pretty authentic visual, too. All in all, you know what you like best - so go for it!

Add A Bit of Nature

Using plants as interior decor is becoming a more popular design tactic every day. Bringing greenery into a space can surprisingly do a lot for your well-being!

For a coffee table topper, you’re going to want to consider smaller sized plants. We recommend some succulents or flowers - but if you truly don’t have the time to take care of these low-maintenance plants, there are countless faux plants to be bought. 

Many plants, both real and fake, can be purchased in sets online - and they’re usually offered in little decorative pots. Use this to your advantage and choose pots that either match your existing decor or add a new pop of color to the space. 

In Conclusion

Redecorating a room can be quite a hassle. Even those of us who adore interior design shows and online shopping can find it stressful to put an entire space together.

Your living room is somewhere that you and your family will most likely be spending a lot of time. Don’t delay putting together your dream room just because it seems like a daunting project! 

The good thing is, deciding what decor sits on top of your coffee table is something that can easily be budget-friendly. It’s really up to you how bougie or minimalistic this table will be. 

For example, if you’re someone who likes to put your feet up on the coffee table, don’t go crazy at the store. Overcrowding your coffee table will only create clutter, so make your space work for your needs. We hope these decor ideas help!


HGTV Design Styles Defined | HGTV 

The Basic Principles of Feng Shui | The Spruce

Avant-garde – Art Term | Tate  

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