Style Your Coffee Table Like A Pro

Because a coffee table with a lovely vignette is an instant focal point in the room

Original Article: Dagny Madamba Photography: Kurt Alvarez & Ocs Alvarez (Main Photos) Styling: Dagny Madamba

Creating a beautiful living area depends on its two furniture pieces: the sofa and the coffee table. These two furnishings make up the entertaining area of a home, and the vignette you create with the sofa and coffee table can develop into the focal point of the space—especially in tiny homes.

That’s why it is worth noting that decorating and styling your coffee table are as important as designing the whole living area because it becomes the centerpiece in itself and not just a place to set your coffee mugs down on. Here are a few tips and themes on how to do it:

Kid-friendly glamour.

A glamorous coffee table style that’s also kid-friendly? Yes, it’s possible! With just a few tweaks, you can enjoy a chic setup without worrying about your child’s safety.

The table: Glass and metal are practically landmines for active kids, so opt for a fully upholstered table instead. Have it customized by your neighborhood upholsterer, use a long ottoman seat, or combine two ottomans. Not only will you have a sophisticated, baby-proof center table, you’ll also have additional seating.

The décor: Go for wood or solid resin, as these are not easily breakable, and avoid ceramics and glass, as well as sharp objects. Use a tray to corral tabletop items. Still too much space on your table’s surface? add a table runner or throw, which could come in handy these cooler months.

RL Tip: a tray can make a large table feel less massive, and can also be used as a catchall for items that often go missing (hello, remote controls!).

Sparrow three-seater sofa, P68,000; Madeline side table, P13,300; Ottoman Coffee Table, P27,600; Accent Mirror, P20,100; all from Home Matters

Minimalist chic.

If you’re a believer in “less is more,” then this style is for you. It’s also great for those who love to entertain, as there is enough room on the table to serve coffee, tea, and nibbles.

The table: Choose one with clean lines and slender legs, so you won’t add visual bulk. this is ideal for small places.

The décor: If you have a rectangular table, display round objects to add contrast and to soften the look. While you can never go wrong with neutral shades in minimalist vignettes, add flair with a bit of color or some metallic elements. Since there are only a few pieces on the table, be sure to use items of different heights, but keep an eye on proportions—too-tall elements may block your view of the TV or disrupt conversations with your guests.


RL Tip: Not sure where to start? a foolproof formula for tabletop vignettes: a stack of books + floral arrangement + a tray.

Eric sofa (part of a set), P16,000; Wetland Rug, P7,450; Coffee Table, P4,100; Round Tray, P620; faux plant, P170; diamond-pattern vase, P1,100; iron candle holder with votive, P365; Aztec-Print Throw Pillow, P550; Black and White Pillow, P320; Circle-Print Cushion, P305; Gray Pillow, P435; Zigzag-Print Pillow, P360; Long Plate, P660; all from Mandaue Foam

Fuss-free and casual.

Ideal for busy families, this style has a light and airy feel, and is easy to maintain.

The table: Choose a light-colored coffee table. On a tight budget? Have your current one repainted!

The décor: for small coffee tables, avoid anything bulky. Use potted plants and air plants to inject freshness. throw in items your kids will appreciate, like storybooks, coloring books, and a container of coloring pencils.

RL Tip: Items on the coffee table often reflect the homeowner’s personality. Before you buy, try to “shop” around the house first—you may already have what you’re looking for.

Lindsay sofa (part of a set), P32,000; Rug, P10,200; Coffee Table, P4,000; Teardrop Glass Hanging Plants, P310 each; Candleholder (set of three), P980; Yellow Mug, P55; Throw Pillow with Leaf Print, P350; Throw Pillow with Embroidery, P375; Tropical Leaves Canvas Art, P950, all from Mandaue Foam. Colored Pencils, P66, Japan Home Centre

Read the original article ("Center of Attention") in the September 2016 issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine. Log on to for more details.

More on

5 Things You Need for a Beautiful Coffee Table Display

5 Ways to Keep the Coffee Table Organized

5 Coffee Table Vignettes For Your Living Area


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