My Recipe for Coffee Table Style with Traditional Decor

With this 5 ingredient "recipe" you can master coffee table style using traditional decor!

Your coffee table is one of those key focal points in your living room that deserves some carefully styled decor. Sitting in the middle of your seating group, the eye is always drawn to this surface, and what you choose to display there contributes to your interior style.

A grandmillennial coffee table style with 5 traditional decor staples

This table, although it may be an ottoman or bench, is also a bit of a workhorse, serving as a landing spot for magazines, TV remotes, and truthfully at times it may be more dining hotspot than anything else.

But you can bring organization and style to your coffee table with a few simple tricks and these 5 staples or ingredients:

No. 1 A Tray

Trays are one of those decorator's secrets that always make a vignette look organized and pulled together. Think of them as a coral for other decor, trinkets, and books!

No. 2 Books

Books on a coffee original! I know, but seriously these are one of those traditional decor classics that should be a staple on your table. Collect ones that speak to you and your family's interests while traveling or hunting second hand shops and estate sales.

No. 3 A Candle

Flickering candlelight and pleasant aromatics are always a good idea for the coffee table.

No. 4 A Vase

Style your coffee table with something floral or botanical. The right traditional vase can remain year round in this vignette then simply switch out the flowers or greenery weekly or seasonally, depending on your choice of fresh or faux.

No. 5 A Catchall or Trinket Dish

This is that extra little organizational helper. It may be useful for housing remotes or other paraphernalia that ends up in this space. Or it may be more decorative, depending on how you use the room.

Yellow roses in Wedgwood Jasperware pitcher - a lovely staple of coffee table styling

None of the 5 staples of coffee table style are ground breaking, but that's because they work, and it's up to you to choose pieces that coordinate with your interior style and play off each other charmingly.

Now that you know the staples, let's look at 3 different ways to mix and match these ingredients to achieve the look you want!

3 Looks for Your Coffee Table Using My 5 Ingredient Recipe:

Coffee Table Look 1

Grandmillennial Florals

This pretty floral themed coffee table vignette features traditional decor classics like Wedgwood Jasperware for the vase, floral tole ware for the tray, Herend, and a beautifully framed family photo.

It is an elegant look that feels fresh and feminine -- perfect for formal living rooms.

Using a stack of books on the back corner gives some height to the yellow roses in the Wedgwood pitcher.

grandmillennial coffee table decor bundle
Top view of grandmillennial coffee table styled with tole tray, yellow roses, Wedgwood, Herend, and family photo

Coffee table style in Chinoiserie chic with bright happy colors using blue ostrich tray, rose canton vase, aqua opaline candlestick, and books

Coffee Table Look 2

Chinoiserie Chic

The 5 staples of my coffee table style recipe are brightly hued in this Chinoiserie themed display. A tall Rose Canton cylinder vase with pink hydrangeas adds height, while the blue faux ostrich tray corrals everything together.

For the candlelight, a pink taper contrasts with this aqua opaline dolphin candlestick for a pop of color. Remotes or other accessories can be placed in the green floral dish, for functionality.

Blue faux ostrich leather tray corals chinoiserie decor for a bright coffee table look

Coffee Table Look 3


This last look marries eclectic elements for a more bohemian vibe. A small green Florentine tray serves as a catchall, while the Rose Canton box holds a fun collection of match books.

Books stacked on the back corner add height to the gorgeous camellia flower arrangement. A funky elephant pillar holds the candle for that important coffee table element.

coffee table styled with eclectic decor, including a green Florentine tray, rose canton box, elephant candle pillar, and tortoiseshell vase
coffee table styled with eclectic decor, including a green Florentine tray, rose canton box, elephant candle pillar, and tortoiseshell vase

A few other styling tricks to try:

  • In terms of layout, work with the shape of your coffee table, so if it's square divide the space up into 4 quadrants like I did here or place the elements directly in the middle.
  • Always vary the height of your decor.
  • Tie eclectic elements together with color.
  • Never be afraid to take the dust jacket off a book to see if the color or design of the cover is better.
  • Don't forget to leave space for practical usability like setting down drinks.

This coffee table decor will be available on the first day of April for my Instagram flash sale at 8PM EST.


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