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How To Style A Rectangular Coffee Table

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When it comes to styling your coffee table, shape really does matter. To get the best look it’s important to consider the size and shape of your coffee table, along with its colour and material.  Rectangular tables need particular attention and below we show you some top tips to really enhance them.

How Do You Dress A Rectangle Coffee Table?

Generally speaking, one way to start is to split the surface of the table into thirds. This doesn’t mean items have to be the same size or spaced out exactly.  The impression of 3 areas is the key.  Try taking one larger item and flanking with 2 smaller pieces.

Reflect The Scheme Of The Room

To create a stylish and cohesive look to your decor choose the items to place on your coffee table to subtly reflect other colours and shapes in your scheme.  Below the black bowl is echoed in the wall print and the pattern in the rug, whilst the monochrome theme is carried through with the books used.

What Should You Display On A Coffee Table?

Vary Textures

Playing with different textures will create interest and can make a real statement.  Here a gold tray contrasts with the wood surface of the table.


Use objects of different heights to give depth of field.  This tall plant contrasts with the low lying coffee table book and mid-size vase.

Go Green

Bringing the outdoors in is a key trend this year so incorporate plants into your coffee table styling.  The bigger the better.

Use A Tray

Trays are a great way to create layering on your table and also keep items together.

Can You Put A Round Tray On A Rectangle Coffee Table?

Yes – a round tray can work well for a rectangular table creating contrast and interest.  Use a different material for the tabletop though.  The round tray has also been accented by the circular storm lantern which gives height.

Coffee Tables With Shelves

A table incorporating shelves is practical from a space-saving perspective and can be an excellent way to create a beautiful focal point in your living room.  Keep objects simple and pared back to avoid a feeling of clutter.  If you know your table is going to get a lot of traffic, keep the top completely clear and use the shelf to carry the design.

Do You Style A Glass Coffee Table Differently?

There are extra elements to consider when styling a glass rectangular table.  You may wish to consider what is below the table.  If you have a statement rug that you want to show off,  then it makes sense not to have too many objects on your coffee table.  


 As glass is highly reflective, pay special attention to the types of materials you are placing. Adding a  glass vase can be very effective so consider using some fresh flowers or greenery as part of the scheme. Any items in an accent colour also work well due to  how the light reflects off the surface.

Before You Go

Remember what you place on your table isn’t a fixed design, so have some fun and change it up when you feel the urge.  Make sure you leave some room for the coffee cups though.

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