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16 Different Coffee Table Accessories to Dress Up Your Living Room

A wooden table and a succulent.

Accessorizing a coffee table is a most enjoyable and creative task.  However, placing decorative ornaments in a beautiful display will need some structured thoughts.  The décor and color palette of the room should also be considered to create a stunning and eye-pleasing statement.  So what should you choose for your coffee table accessories?

Choose elements with different textures, heights, and colors.  Use the rule of placing three or groups of three pieces on a table to avoid clutter.  Select books, vases, flowers, potted plants, scented candles, personal memorabilia, and decorative ornaments to accessorize a coffee table.

There are many beautiful and decorative ornaments to accessorize a coffee table, but how do you choose?  How do you place the items on the coffee table, and how do you group the items together so that they will look appealing?  This article will address some of these questions, so read on!

A Coffee Table Anchors The Room

Coffee table and a chair with a cloth.

A coffee table is an anchor to the surrounding furniture in a living room. Coffee tables came into fashion in the late 1800s, and these first tables were relatively high.  They were later shortened to the modern low version of the coffee table.

There are many uses for a coffee table, from a handy spot to place the tea tray to storage drawers and display personal showpieces. Coffee tables come in various sizes, shapes, and materials and can be accessorized in multiple styles.

Below are some accessory ideas and how to style them on a coffee table.

Use The Rule Of Three

Round glass table and a wooden tray.

The rule of three teaches that pieces of decorative items look better when displayed in a group of three.  A group of three accessories will make one visual element. If your coffee table is long and wide, or you like a full display with lots of pieces, group the items together.  Use more than one visual element but still keep the rule of three.

Choose Different Textures, Heights, And Colors

Adding different heights to your decorative displays will ensure the various items are eye-catching. When all items are on the same level, it tends to be boring, and nothing gets noticed.

Contrasting textures make the arrangement so much more interesting. Place glass on a wooden table, pair a silk runner with a rattan basket, or a heavy pewter tray with dainty wine glasses are some ideas of contrasting textures. 

When choosing ornaments, use colors that match the room’s décor and other furniture. Or use complementary colors for a bold statement and pop of color.

A Runner Adds Charm

A coffee with teaspoon and placemat.

Dress a wooden coffee table with a runner to add some color and texture while still showing off some of the beauty of the wood. Runners are made from many different fabrics, such as linens, cotton, silk, organza, and jute. The runners have various edgings from tassels, lace, triangular, and tapering edges.

There is no rule to the length of the runner. It can hang well over the edges, be as long as the coffee table, or just placed in the center like a table mat. Keep accessories minimal such as placing plants or candles in the center of the table.

Add Some Height

Make a bold statement by adding some height to your coffee table accessories.  Place a vase of flowers on top of a stack of books on one side of the table.  Place a bowl or ornament of a lower height next to the vase.  Or you could place a set of three ceramic bottles or jars at different heights on the table. 

Classically Centered

A round table and fresh fruits in a living room.

A single stunning centerpiece looks exceptionally pleasing to the eye when placed on a round coffee table.  A large round candle dome will look amazing, or you could simply add an exquisite ornamental vase or figurine.  Whatever you place in the center should be eye-catching and classically beautiful.

Play With Color

If the rest of the room is in neutral shades, add a complimentary color to the décor by placing colorful ornaments on the coffee table.  Beautiful ceramics and glass in bright reds, oranges, lime greens, ice blues, and yellows will liven up any coffee table.  Choose two or three matching shades, or you could opt for different hues of the same color.

A large, round ceramic bowl in a deep midnight blue, filled with an assortment of ceramic eggs in shades of orange, yellow, and green, will be an attractive way to bring some color to the décor.

Showcase Your Foliage

Beautiful plants in equally beautiful pots make a stunning show on wooden, glass, or marble coffee tables.  Choose plants with gorgeous foliage or flowers such as Anthuriums, long-stemmed Orchids, bowls of cacti and succulents, Peace lily, or a timeless bonsai.

There is a vast selection of ceramic, wooden, wicker baskets, terracotta, and glass pots to showcase your beautiful greenery.  You could place the plant on its own on a pretty runner on the coffee table, or you can add some books and other ornaments.

Go Rustic

Rustic room and a table with wheels.

Weathered and reclaimed accessories on rustic trunk coffee tables seem to fit well together.  Add a selection of weathered decorative wooden boxes on top of a jute runner.  Include a small posy of twigs and berries in a copper pot with old leather-bound books for a vintage look. 

Or you could use a crate to house a lovely green fern in an old copper jug, a weathered copper kettle, and your TV remote.

Dress Up A Modern Ottoman

Ottomans are modern and versatile and are used as a coffee table, cushioned seat, or footstool.  They come in different materials such as leather, fabric, wood, or all-weather wicker. 

Dress up an ottoman with a tray adorned with decorative items, as it will be easy to move the tray when an extra seat is required.  Place a few books next to the tray.   Lay a warm throw over the edge for a cozy and inviting look.

Organize A Tray

A coffee table and a different kinds of vase.

Placing items in a tray does create an organized look as it grounds the items and brings them all together.  It is also a handy storage space for your remotes.   And it is easy to remove the tray when the coffee table is being used for snacks and drinks.  You can choose trays made from wicker, wood, bronze, marble, mirror, or glass.

Grouping items with different heights and textures will look exciting and eye-pleasing.  Adding a plant or vase with flowers is a great way to add height to the display.  Adding layers such as a stack of books with some ornaments on top always looks lovely.

Add Some Literature

Hard-covered books, classical novels, crafts, décor, hobbies, or personal favorites are always associated with a coffee table.  If possible, choose books with jacket colors that match or look attractive. 

Stack the books from large to small, and you can have two stacks on a table.  Place vases, coasters, or other ornaments on top of the books for some height to the table arrangement.

Display Your Collections

Coffee table and a jar with lavender.

A collection of items is a lovely way to put a personal touch on your coffee table accessories.  A collection of glass or ceramic bottles of complementary colors would make a beautiful display. 

Place the bottles in a long row along the length of the table or group them on one side.  Place long-stemmed flowers in a few bottles to add some texture from nature to the display.

Hand-Painted Ceramics

Beautifully painted ceramic jars with lids, jugs, vases, and bowls of all sizes and shapes make a lovely show on a glass coffee table.  Group the ceramic items and add some greenery in a jug for a fresh look. 

Mix colorful ceramics in solid colors and floral patterns in matching or the same colors.  Add some books, candles, and ceramic coasters that reflect beautifully with the ceramic accessories.

Timeless Wicker

Wooden coffee table and a flower vase.

Handwoven wicker baskets and trays placed on a beautifully crafted coffee table are a simplistic way to accessorize.  Fill the tray with interesting books, a tall vase with dried lavender, and rattan coasters.  Or fill a square handwoven basket with three pretty potted African violets. 

Personal Memories

Display your photo books with personal photographs instead of books on your coffee table.  Your family and friends will love paging through your memories.  Many conversations about remembrance will be had over cups of coffee.  Add some memorabilia from your travels or ornamental pieces that have special meaning to you.

Choose A Side

Decorate the coffee table only on one side with attractive ceramic or glass ornaments, books, and pretty flowers in a bowl.  You could place a small linen runner under these items and leave the rest of the table open.  This is a good idea to leave one side free for placing a tray with snacks and drinks for your guests.

Puzzles And Games

A coffee table can be used for entertaining the family over cups of hot chocolate on a winter evening.  Place a large wooden tray in the center of the table and fill it with puzzles and favorite board games for the family and add a vase with some greenery for some height.  Add a lovely chess set on one side and place a stack of books on the other.

Scented Candles Set The Mood

A glass center table and scented candle.

Candles are not only stunning, but if they are scented too, they will set the mood in the room.  You can find all sorts of lovely scents to soothe, uplift, and energize the soul, and your home will smell amazing. 

Place scented candles in different shapes and sizes on the table, or you could place them on a silver or marble tray in the center of the table.  Or you can add a vase with flowers, some books, and other lovely ornaments and mix them with scented candles in small glass holders.

Vibrations From The Sea

Add some coastal vibe to your coffee table with a large seashell placed on top of a stack of books from the deep sea.  Or place tiny seashells in a glass bowl on a weathered wooden tray with a vase with some decorative coral.  Add some interesting driftwood pieces on the table and set a nautical sand timer or compass for a nautical theme.

Decorate With Black And White

Decorate a marble coffee table with accents of black and white ornaments.  Choose tall black vases, white marble jars with lids, and marble bowls with ceramic balls with black and white patterns. 

Place these items in a black tray in the center of the coffee table.  Add some books with black and white jackets on one side and place three white candles in different-sized glass holders on the other side.

Select A Bowl

Choose a selection of bowls made from the same material, such as ceramic, wood, glass, copper, or rattan.  Bowls can be brightly colored in solid hues or bold patterns.  Place the bowls in the center of the table on a pretty runner.   Or choose one to place on top of a stack of books or on a tray.

You can decorate the bowls by filling them with candies, nuts, a nutcracker, dried cranberries and fruit, pretzels, or mini chocolates in wrappers.

Nature Knows Best

A coffee table and fresh lemons.

Filling bowls, baskets, or trays with gorgeous colored citrus fruit looks beautiful and fresh, and it will smell good too.  You could place a large ceramic bowl with lemons or limes, oranges or tangerines, and red or green apples in the center or on the side of the table.

Another one of nature’s bounty is vases filled with beautiful berry branches or sprigs of herbs in glass vases.  Bunches of sweet-smelling lavender tied with a ribbon placed on the table will make a beautiful show.  Or place bunches of lavender and pinecones in wicker baskets.

Create Movement

On a glass coffee table, place a large round glass bowl with some live goldfish.  Center the glass bowl and make it the focal point on the table.  The reflection of the swimming fish in the water will create a beautiful image on the glass table.  Keep the water clean and add some greenery to the bowl.

A Touch Of Africa

Bring a touch of Africa to a neutral-colored palette by adding pottery vases and ornaments, an African woven runner, African tea candle holders, strings of wooden or brightly colored beads, woven baskets, Ostrich eggs, and feathers, or beautiful African figurines and animals.

Warmth And Friendship

A simple living room with jars on the table.

On a beautiful glass, silver, or pewter tray, display an exquisite decanter and sherry glasses in the center of the table.  Place some decorative liqueur bottles and glass-domed jars filled with decadent chocolates on the side.

On the other side, add some books about liqueur and sherries of the world and place a candle in a glass jar on top.  Place a tall glass vase with Calla lilies next to the books for a beautiful and elegant arrangement.


There are many styles and various items to decorate your coffee table.  When accessorizing a coffee table, use the rule of three elements or group three items together to create one visual element.  This will ensure that the coffee table is not overcrowded and will look visually appealing.

Use trays to showcase ornaments, candles, vases, and books for an uncluttered and organized look.  Play with different textures, heights, and colors to create exciting and beautiful displays to compliment the beauty of your coffee table.