Easy coffee table styling with one piece

Easy coffee table styling with one piece

I recently had a photoshoot for my own Airbnb in Brunswick West and realised I like styling coffee tables with one stand out item. Many people, including my clients like to create vignettes with their pieces. Or like to style a collection of items on their coffee table but there is aesthetic value in one singular piece and it’s easier. Here are my tips for easy coffee table styling with one piece.

What’s your interior style strategy

The cornerstone of every space is a clear interior design or interior style strategy. What is an interior style strategy? It’s being crystal clear on what your interior style goal is and what your colour scheme is? Styling your coffee table is not simply about placing objects on the coffee table.

It’s about placing the right objects in cohesion. Objects that fit with your interior style and colour scheme. Objects that work with the entire space. From a colour, texture, and a shape perspective.

Basically your coffee table is not an island. It’s part of a whole and putting three random pieces on it because you heard that collections work best in odd numbers is not enough.

But because collections work best in odd numbers, consider styling with one piece only. This could be as simple as using a tray and ornament or book and ornament.

Foundations of coffee table styling using one piece

When styling a coffee table it’s importnat to have a base. This could be a tray or book. I’ve also used a placemat as the foundation of my coffee table styling.

The ‘home’ of your one piece needs to be the same shape as your coffee table. So if you have rectangular coffee table, choose a rectangular tray or book.

Styling your coffee table with one piece means you don’t have to worry about balancing different shapes, widths and heights. It also means that your favourite piece is highlighted, noticed and probably asked about.

Examples of coffee table styling using one piece

If a client asks for it I will style their coffee table with numerous pieces for a photoshoot. If not, I generally use the system above. That is a foundation piece and then an interesting ornament or vase with suitable flowers.

In the example below the foundation piece was a gold round tray. The accent colour of this client’s colour scheme. The foundation piece was round to work with the shape of the round coffee table. Having the same shape for your foundation piece as your coffee table is ideal but it also needs to be a good size, and in proportion to the coffee table.

A foundation piece that is too small or too big will defeat the purpose and or hide the coffee table, which should remain the focal piece.

In the example below you can see I’ve used a book and an ornament. The book is the same shape as the coffee table and in proportion to the size of the coffee table. The ornament is also in proportion to the book itself.

I think the reason why I lean towards minimal coffee table stying is because I like to showcase a beautiful piece. And feel that too many pieces will clutter and overshadow the one gorgeous item.

Interior design and interior styling is a skill and talent, that takes years of experience to perfect. For my clients, styling the coffee table is the last thing I do and often takes a long time to curate and find the right pieces. To get styling right in your home just keep it simple. Good luck.


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