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Coffee Tables

….. Are also the simplest. Coffee tables are those things you think you don’t need, until you actually need them, of course. If you’re looking for a quick makeover, a change that really makes its presence felt without too much effort, a coffee table may help you do that. 


How many is too many, and how few are too minimal? Take a moment to consider the natural dimensions, and layout of your space before deciding this. 

You might need two across from each other to create a mirror-image effect, if the space is expansive enough. You might need just the one for an awkward corner in a compact area. 

While we’ve been somewhat conditioned to believe that coffee tables are best as side tables, depending on the size of the space you’re working with, it may well be the0P;.Centre table, too.

The size of your coffee table(s) should harmonise with the size of the sofas, accent chairs or pouf’s, cabinetry, and any other furniture in the room.

If you want to create a layered landscape by combining coffee tables of different heights or widths, consider how much breathing space that would leave. You don’t want yourself, your family, and your guests, tip-toeing or wiggling around an arrangement. It wouldn’t do justice to the tables, either.

If striking contrasts are your thing, though, let’s leave that for the actual aesthetic composition of the coffee table itself. Or, this strategic vision is best applied using the walls, flooring, and associated accessories for reference. 

Are the coffee tables blending in with the overall colour-texture palette of the room, or are they making a statement by standing out and against? It’s a question of personal choice, and of how frequently this space will be due more do-overs in the future.


‘Cosmos-inspired’ shapes continue to enjoy their popularity from last season – the circles, hemispheres, elliptical orbits – and why not? 

For starters, they look cool, and are easy, familiar shapes. They also have a near-instantaneous ‘softening’ effect. Social-recreational areas shouldn’t feel intimidating, and such shapes are the key to the creative styling brief.


Marble and wood have their loyalists, but we’re all for the happy middle-ground approach that involves a mix of both. 

Besides, has there ever been a time when wood or marble hasn’t delivered, in terms of form, function, or aesthetics? They’re amongst the most loved and trustworthy natural materials, and reflect our love for soulful beauty. 


A bold shade – or a sleek dark finish cutting through the colour palette of the room – may be that sharp modern power statement you’re looking to make. It’s a touch of drama and mystery that says something without saying much at all, and that mix of privacy and passion certainly resonates with a few contemporary home styling tastes.

A table top with marble, terrazzo, or any other stone of your choice; with, say, a wooden frame is a combination that livens up the interior landscape with textural contrasts. 

The colours may either create contrasts in the table itself, or against the rest of the room. Smooth surfaces and tight grain details are subtle ways in which the coffee table gets its unique identity.


You might say, “Nothing.” There’s nothing wrong with that! Its design and style itself to honour the accent piece of your choice, for what it is. 

If this is the way forward for you, then scale, perspective, proportion; angles and curvatures; clean lines, or ridged surfaces all have a role to play in simple, but extraordinary product design for that coffee table. You may also prefer nested tables, or tables with concealed slide drawer details.

Anything else you like might sit on the table itself, or on a coffee table tray.

Some flowers and foliage – fresh, dried. This will be the first thought to strike almost everyone, especially the Nature lovers. 

Your coffee table, especially if placed near the window overlooking your own garden, may look and feel like an extension of it. You may also realise that consciously or unconsciously, you’ve decorated your coffee table to reflect the natural beauty you’re missing every day. Pebbles and raw or tumbled crystals are popular add-ons to such arrangements. The vases, pots, or twig holders may be ceramic, to further symbolise the earth from which these flowers, branches, leaves, and stones come.

How can we forget the coasters for the coffee mugs on the coffee table? Or, for glasses of herbal tea, and your favourite cool mocktails or cocktails? These may be neatly stacked to one side for easy reach, or arranged inside an attached mini-drawer, or, again, a hidden slide tray. 

You may not actually want to keep your mugs, cups, or glasses out until you actually need them, but a generic cup that suggests both aesthetic and practical uses for the table, might be placed there.

Lamps for coffee tables. Great idea, but it depends on the size of the lamp and table, with respect to each other, and the number of other accessories on the table. As such, thoughtful placement of the table under mood lighting or ambient lighting from an adjoining source may just do the needful.

Some coffee tables seem made for cosy one-on-one interactions. These call for a scented candle, or perhaps an elegant diffuser.

Books have also been the ever-popular accessory for coffee table styling. In fact, many people use them to reveal something about the likes and dislikes of the people living in the house. A thick, large, hard-bound book does well on its own, with perhaps a smaller one angled upon it. Smaller books may be fanned out lazily, or ‘toppled’ for a playful effect. 


Your coffee table might be the best place to show off the family antiques, or any quirky finds from the local market, and of course, unique souvenirs from any far-off travels. They make great conversations over the cups of coffee!


Otherwise it’s sadly reduced to a storage item of sorts, to stack the things you haven’t found a place for, yet. 

Your coffee table is a subtle showcase of the daily essentials that make your moments happy and comfortable. It’s worth the time and effort to shortlist the accessories that best describe your personality.