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How to Decorate a Coffee Table So It Looks Designer-Worthy — On the Cheap!

If your coffee table is more cluttered than chic, try these easy ideas to dress it up!

The secret to making your living room extra inviting for guests and loved ones? Dressing up the heart of the room — your coffee table — with decorative flair! We rounded up designer-worthy ideas for how to decorate a coffee table using items you likely already have on hand and a few fresh extras. That means you don’t have to waste time shopping or spend a fortune creating a coffee table vignette. Read on for the easy how-to’s!  

How to decorate a coffee table idea #1: Fruit and flowers

How to decorate a coffee table: Wooden coffee table decorated with a black metal bowl filled with green apples and a black and white vase filled with white ranunculus

Pretty blooms, colorful fruit, fresh greenery… adding natural elements is a simple way to refresh your space. “These fresh elements infuse life into your space,” says design pro Jeannine Rose, founder of To do that, consider piling bright limes or green apples into a modern black wire serving bowl. (We like CAXXA Countertop Fruit Bowl (Buy from Amazon, $14.99.) Then, pop white supermarket blooms, like ranunculus, into a sleek vase, like Quoowiit Modern Vase for Home Décor (Buy from Amazon, $36.98). Lay a gray placemat diagonally across your coffee table for added interest, then set the fruit bowl and vase on top.

How to decorate a coffee table idea #2: Stacked books and decorative extras

How to decorate a coffee table: Round wooden coffee table topped with a stack of books, pedestal candle holders, gilded plant pots and a wooden dog figurine
wera Rodsawang/Getty

“Clustering decorative objects is an easy way to make a big impact in a small area,” says interior designer and DIY blogger Jenna Burger of “When accents like books and vases are grouped in threes or fours, they create an eye-catching focal point. It makes the display seem like a collection.” To achieve that balance, stack three pretty books together at the center of your coffee table. Then top with a small gold vase or pot, like Castleore Gold Finish Metal Planter (Buy from Amazon, $14.99) filled with faux greenery and a pedestal candleholder. To finish, add a pedestal candleholder and other accents on the table. To finish, place another gold pot of faux greenery on the table.

How to decorate a coffee table idea #3: Trio of houseplants

How to decorate a coffee table: Round wooden coffee table decorated with three potted houseplants (gold dust plant, rubber plant and peperomia plant)
FollowTheFlow/iStock/Getty Images Plus

“Houseplants will brighten up your home and mood at any time of year, but especially during the dreary winter and end-of-winter months,” says Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, author of Bloom. And bringing in a trio of plants revitalizes and brightens your space instantly. For a standout look, remove three houseplants (like a gold dust plant, rubber plant and peperomia plant) from their plastic nursery pots. Drop each into a larger neutral or terra cotta-hued pot. Tip: For the most interest, pick three pots that vary in size and texture. Cluster the largest and smallest pots at the center of your table, then place the medium size pot nearby on a wooden pedestal stand. (We like Develoo Wood Plant Riser Stands (Buy from Amazon, $10.20.)

Related: How to Bring an Almost-Dead Succulent Back to Life — Plus Easy Tricks to Keep It Thriving

How to decorate a coffee table idea #4: Candles and cozy accents

How to decorate a coffee table: White coffee table topped with a wooden tray that's filled with three candles, a mug of tea, chocolate truffles and drinking glass of pink lilies

“During winter, the living room turns into the heart of the home. It’s a central gathering place,” notes designer and DIY blogger Katie Striegel of “And setting out sweet touches, like a tray of tea and homemade treats, will make everyone feel extra welcome.” To do: Set a large wooden tray, like Samhita Acacia Wood Serving Tray (Buy from Amazon, $16.89), on your coffee table. Group two votive candles and a candlestick at one end of the tray and a flower-filled drinking glass at the other. To finish, set mugs of tea and chocolate treats at the center of the tray.

Related: 6 Expert Tips to Make Candles Burn Longer — And the Common Hack That Can Backfire

How to decorate a coffee table idea #5: Books or photo albums

How to decorate a coffee table: Wooden mid-century modern coffee table decorated with an open hardcover book and bud vase of dried flowers
Elena Grigorovich/Getty

A coffee table is the perfect backdrop for displaying a favorite large hardcover book filled with beautiful imageryor a photo album featuring treasured family snapshots. Simply flip to your favorite page of the book, then lay the book open on your coffee table. Tip: Keeping it open encourages guests to flip through and admire the book. To finish, place small bud vases filled with dried flowers or greenery near the book.

Looking for more decorating ideas? Check out these articles:

10 Clever Blanket Storage Ideas From Home Decorating Pros

10 Home Decorating Hacks and Rules for Curating Beautiful Vignettes

Decorating Tips For Your Office That Will Recharge Your Creative Energy

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