7 Design Elements for an Elevated Coffee Table

The most rewarding step during our design process is placing the last layer. Skillfully arranging all of our client’s stories, memories, and collections is a key step towards sharing a piece of who they are with their guests. This can be an intimidating prospect, especially on a surface that has to be both functional and beautiful, like a coffee table.


Create Focus

 Generally resting in the center of a space, the coffee table is a natural focal point in a room. It has a pretty big job, too. It’s the piece that you throw your feet up on after a long day's work, eat take-out on, and reluctantly play Battle of the Sexes around after you’ve used up all of your usual excuses to get out of happy hour games with your partner’s colleagues. Despite the heavy traffic, it shouldn’t be neglected regarding design. When staged well, the coffee table can act as the coup de maître to the entire living space—a visual cue for the overarching vibe of your space.  Keeping this in mind, here are seven tricks we use when styling a coffee table.


Lucky No. 7

 READ | A table in a cozy, shared space craves books. Any genre will do, just make it something relevant to you. We even throw cookbooks into the mix on occasion. There’s nothing better than curling up in an overstuffed chair to flip through Rene Redzepi’s Noma to find inspiration for the week’s meals.

PLAY | This could be your family's favorite board game, an heirloom checkers board, or even a couple of beautiful card decks nestled in a bowl that you’d picked up in an exotic locale.

BURN | Candles are always a good way to create a sense of relaxation. Or take a note Kanye, and consider bringing incense back into your home scent story.

SPROUT | Whether it’s a floral arrangement you picked up from your neighborhood market, or the branches you trimmed off of the blooming trees in your yard, something living will always give back to a space.

GROUP | A series of trays or generous bowls that house fat stacks of your favorite art magazines or Architectural Digests (or to consolidate the ever growing stack of New Yorker’s you’ve been avoiding) is a must. Add a small bowl of your family's favorite chocolates or nuts, and a midsize tray for any elusive remote controls and you may just be able to track them down without too much work before your next QEFTSG binge.

COLLECT | This is a great spot to show off a collection of vintage finds—jars, magnifying glasses, match boxes, or even a set of tea lights all add elements of interest to a table.

SCULPT | This could be that bowl that we mentioned earlier, or the above collection of interesting pots or jars, just add something sculptural to give a sense of stability to your coffee table.  


In our next post we will show you how to arrange these items, and what general rules we use when creating that perfect balance. Check out our Pinterest for more examples on how to style your case goods. Feel free to let us know what other questions you have for us. We would be happy to answer them!


-Saint Mich'l Interiors


 Image Sources: 

Jamie Capawana