our best holiday coffee table styling tips, how to use texture, balance and style to create a stunning holiday setting
When decorating for the holidays there are definitely some key focal points. Of primary importance is obviously, the tree. The tree is usually the center of attention and rightly so. Next, the fireplace, mantle, where “stockings are hung by the chimney with care.” But once the “oohing” and “ahhing” over these primary spots is finished, most get togethers will settle down into a gathering space for conversing and relaxing.
The often overlooked coffee table is now center stage. Your holiday coffee table matters more than you think, so let’s get it ready to really wow your family and friends. Read on to learn just how I style my coffee table as I share my pro decorating tips to create your own gorgeous holiday coffee table. If you’re curious to see last month’s coffee table styling, be sure to check it out next.
Theme of Your Holiday Coffee Table
Always begin with a theme. With the holidays soon approaching my theme is Christmas. Maybe yours is Thanksgiving if you are entertaining at your house this year. Other possible choices for themes are: spring, Easter, July 4th, winter, fall, etc. Maybe you’re throwing a party with a theme, like a baby shower, engagement party, or New Years Party. It doesn’t have to be a holiday or season but you will find this an easy way to begin to think about decorating.
I like my home decor to reflect my mood and what’s current in my world. If you prefer not to change your coffee table entirely you can simply update with a few new items that convey the current theme. For example, let’s say you have a bowl, a tray and a stack of books regularly appearing on your table. You can give your coffee table a fresh seasonal look by changing out a few of the details that appear in the bowl, on the tray, and possibly on top of your books. Your essential “building blocks” can stay the same.
Style: Holiday Coffee Table
After you choose your theme choose your style or styles. I often mix two styles or more for added interest. Choosing vastly different styles creates drama in your decor, it’s unexpected. My choices are quite different: farmhouse rustic and glamorous.
There are no rules, but to ensure success I make sure to have several examples from both styles represented. On my holiday coffee table I chose: Rustic, natural elements, evergreen, and glam. Here is what appears for each. (As you will see, someitems fall into more than one category which helps tie it all together.)
- Reclaimed wood rustic farmhouse style tray
- rusted antique bird and birdbath
- old books
- burlap red stripe farmhouse runner
- antler (candle holder)
- pine cones
- evergreen plant in woven basket
- evergreen round
- wooden stand
- gold pine cones (3)
- elegant lit candles (3)
- mercury glass votive
Create Texture on Your Holiday Coffee Table
I love to choose items that have a variety of textures. Texture alone is a powerful element. I start with my glass coffee table; so it’s clean modern, smooth and elegant. Then, I add the thick cotton rustic farmhouse runner (with a nubby natural-looking texture). On top, I add a large reclaimed wood farmhouse tray, a natural twig nest, old books, gold pine cones, lit candles….you get the point. Everything has a different, interesting, and unique texture.
Arranging Your Holiday Coffee Table
You don’t want items floating or to look scattered. This is where your “stages” come into play. A stage is anything that can gather items together to make them look connected and organic (like they belong together). You can use a tray of any kind, books, a piece of fabric (like a runner, a place mat, a cloth napkin), or a raised stand of some kind.
You can arrange things at straight angles or crooked. This is up to your own design aesthetic. There are no right or wrong ways, it’s about what appeals to you. An interesting vignette is created by layering these stages. I love to put stages on top of stages which adds powerful interest.
It’s important when arranging to have a variety of heights for interest. I like at least three different levels of heights or more. For the sake of my family who watches television over this coffee table I am always considerate, and I don’t go so high that it will have to be moved. You will also want to consider height for conversations. Sit in the seats and look where your guests will look to make sure faces (or televisions view) will not be blocked by your creation.
Most of you have probably heard this decorating “rule” before: Decorate with three or an odd number. As much as I avoid rules in my decorating, I have to agree with this one. An odd number is almost always a better choice. Using three items creates a pyramid. I like to arrange things in triangles. I do this naturally without even thinking about it.
Occasionally, a straight line of three items is fun, but this is usually in a stand alone spot, like a shelf or a tray. If you look at the picture below, you’ll see I’ve arranged a triangle of items in the farmhouse tray and also a triangle of three on the table runner. I didn’t even think about this; after years of decorating my eyes tell me this feels balanced. Again, it’s not a rule, just a guideline to help you.
Let’s Recap Your Holiday Coffee Table Design
- choose your theme
- choose your style or styles
- incorporate at least 2-3 elements representing each style (and they can overlap)
- use stages to gather and display
- create 3 or more levels/heights
- arrange artfully in 3’s and in triangle patterns
- Have fun!
No matter what the season and no matter what your style, you can use these tips and strategies to create your own masterful coffee table displays. Happy Decorating!
Now, it’s time to join our next fabulous Blogger on our Blog Hop Coffee Table Tour, Amy of Crazy Chic Design.
We know you are going to love what she has created. All our amazing friends have wonderful ideas that you will not want to miss. Enjoy!