5 steps to styling a coffee table or console table

When styling the coffee table in your living room or the console table in your entryway, you might wonder “how much is too much?” From drink coasters and art books to fresh flowers and travel trinkets, it can be difficult to achieve balance between form and function.

In this post, we outline five easy steps to styling a unique yet usable coffee or console table. For a timeless tablescape that captures the breezy elegance of Hamptons style design, follow below.

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1. Start with a Decorative Tray 

Pictured Above: Whitewash Rattan Tray Rectangle and Suri Green Vase


Before choosing objects for your coffee or console table, place a decorative tray on the surface. Adding a decorative tray to your coffee or console table will instantly provide structure for the rest of the tablescape.

Not only does it create a contrasting base upon which to build your array of objects. Grouping items on a tray also allows for easy removal in the future.



Pictured above: Natural Linen Buttoned Ottoman with Navy 3 seater roll arm sofa and Navy Linen Roll Armchairwith matching foot stool


Pictured above:  Lavender Hill Interiors - 4 drawer console table with Duck Egg Blue Coast lamps and styling pieces 


If you also use your coffee table as a workspace during the day or a bar during parties, opt for a tray with handles.

For a Hamptons feel, we prefer our Rectangular Whitewash Rattan Tray. When picking a tray for your table, consider scale and shape. Choose a circular tray for a rectangular table and a square tray for an oblong table. Finally, always ensure the tray measures at least one third the size of your table.

Pictured above:Lavender Hill Interiors Duck Egg Blue Wingback armchairand matching foot stoolwith selected decor pieces


2. Pick a Colour Palette

A well-defined colour palette can make even the most crowded coffee table look chic and cohesive. When choosing a colour scheme for your console table display, draw inspiration from your existing living room decor.

Pull tones from the throw blanket on your couch, framed photos on your mantel and artwork around the room. Create contrast -- even in a monochromatic scheme -- by varying the saturation and opaqueness of each colour.


Pictured above:Lavender Hill Interiors 3 drawer white console tablewith Glass Urn Lamp and decor pieces


3. Obey the Law of Threes

From illustration and interior design to theatre and religious texts, the law of threes governs how we group thematic elements.

We use the rule of threes to make a lasting impression. In an ideabook assembled forHouzz, Margaret Everton explains how the rule of threes applies to interiors. Everton writes that the “basic idea of the rule of threes” is that “information and objects that appear in threes are more appealing." They are also "more memorable, and effective than other numbers of objects.”


Pictured above:   Palm Beach Candlesavailable from Lavender Hill Interiors - styled with our beautiful styling books and vases


In interior design, “the rule serves as a tool for building drama and progression in a space.” According to Everton, “the rearrangement of a grouping of threes can entirely alter flow and aesthetic of a room." In short, it can significantly affect how a viewer experiences the space.

When arranging decorative objects on your console table, be sure to create groups of threes that make thematic sense.


Pictured above:  Lavender Hill Interiors Oak Square coffee table - with Imperial Ceramic Bird, styling books available from Lavender Hill Interiors and Dynasty Jar 

4. Vary the Scale of Your Items

Encourage the eye to travel from one object to the next by varying the height, size and weight of each item. In their article “41 Tips to Style a Coffee Table Like a Designer,” the ElleDecor editorial team references an arrangement by Thierry Jeannot. 

Pictured above:  Lavender Hill Interiors Forest Green Lamp, Marble Pears, styling books and White Suri Vase.  Magnolia stemsalso available on the website 


When styling objects of different heights, the ElleDecor editors suggest progressing “from high to low.”

Obey the law of threes while encouraging the eye to travel across your display with our Trio of Vases. These three matte finish, chalk white vases measure 11, 13 and 18 centimetres tall, creating the perfect cascade for your coffee table.


Pictured above:  Lavender Hill Interiors Trio of Vases available on the website.

5. Embrace Asymmetry

Lastly, embrace asymmetry when designing your coffee table display. While symmetry does offer balance, it can also be predictable and -- dare we say it -- boring.

On the other hand, asymmetry forces the mind to pause and process the space. This search for meaning not only makes the display more interesting, more engaging and more memorable. Asymmetry can also make a coffee or console table more functional.


Image from Pinterest

For example, the console table pictured above features a group of three objects on the left and none on the right. This also allows the user to place their keys or mail on the table when necessary.

We particularly love asymmetry in a multilevel coffee table. Decorate the right half on the top level and the left half on the bottom level for a dynamic display.

Browse our gorgeous Hamptons inspired Decor pieces below to easily create the perfect display on your console or coffee table.


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