Staging a Coffee Table – A Work in Progress


Welcome to my sunroom!  It’s a cheerful room at the back of our house, with windows on three walls.  I love this room!  (I haven’t taken down the boxwood wreaths/ribbon from Christmas yet… sigh)  Ick, sorry the below picture is so dark!  It’s a catch-22 taking pictures in a room with a ton of windows!  Take pictures on a dreary day, and you may have a dark picture.  Take it on a sunny day, and you’ll get tons of glare!


We had been borrowing our cute mahogany coffee table from our living room to use in the sunroom, since we spent so much time in there.  But it meant that any time we used our living room, there was no place to stick a hot drink!  Horrible!  So I knew we needed a coffee table for the sunroom.  I wanted a more casual table, and settled on a rattan chest from Wayfair (currently not available, but a similar look can be found here).

When it arrived, I’ll admit… I didn’t love it.  I liked it, but didn’t oooo and aaaaahhh like I had seeing it on the website.  And can you blame me?  The rattan color was a close match to our jute rug.  The table was shorter than our other coffee table, so, even though I measured it before purchasing, it felt dinky in person.20140204-120210.jpg

See what I mean?  Blah and boring……. I actually felt guilty about the purchase!!


I decided I needed to give it a chance… so I wandered around the house to borrow items to style the coffee table.  And now that it’s 75% of the way there, I LOVE this trunk!


When I start to style or “finishing off” something, whether it is a buffet top, a bookcase, or a coffee table, I make sure that the whole look doesn’t appear too perfect.  What I mean is  that the items have some visual interest to it.  Items must vary in height.  Multiple textures.  Useful and organized, but not too tidy.  It needs to look lived in!

You’ll notice my table top has two similar stacks of books/magazines.  But then I added height and texture with the faux potted plant.  The white pitcher of tulips doesn’t always live here, but it adds additional color and texture.

Then I added a few smaller objects. My mercury glass candle from Anthropologie, as well as a clear class with a coat of arms on it.



Much better, right??  I still want to find a big tray to corral these items more.  I think it’s the last piece of the puzzle.  But having the top of the table decorated just this much has made me love this coffee table, instead of debating whether to return it or not!


There is, of course, inspiration EVERYWHERE if you’re looking to style an area in your own home.  Here are some of my favorites!

This Pinterest board has amazing pictures!

This article from Houzz talks about various rules for styling a coffee table, including the “2-to-1 Formula”:  Use 2 small decor items with one large one.

Finally, watch this quick video from Pottery Barn! How can you go wrong!

Happy Styling!

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