How I Style My Coffee Table

I’ve decided to do a few more home posts on here, I hope you don’t mind. I know so many people who are planning a bit of a house overhaul after Christmas, so now seems like the perfect time for a bit of coffee table inspiration.

I think you can get some really nice homeware on a budget (if you know where to look) and my blog posts reflect that. Hopefully, you’ll pick up some tips along the way. I’m no expert – I just like home decor!

My Coffee Table

A coffee table is the main anchor point in your lounge. When somebody walks in, their eyes will be drawn to this focal point, so you want something inviting but not too cluttered. There are so many factors to consider when choosing the perfect table. The size of your space, whether or not you’re going to have a rug underneath it and what you plan to use it for are just three considerations.

Our coffee table is from IKEA and it’s described on the website as the VITTSJÖ nest of tables, £45. It’s very good value. We don’t use the second part of the ‘nest’ in the lounge, but we’ve got it as a bedside table in one of the bedrooms.

I picked this one because of the glass top. There are some much more expensive options, like this Terrace Coffee Table, £399 from West Elm. This table is beautiful, but I was specifically looking for black because it goes better with the aesthetic of our room (plus, we don’t have £400 to drop on a coffee table). I’ve seen people spray paint the IKEA table antique brass (like the West Elm one) and it comes out really well.

Because you walk through our lounge to get into our kitchen, we wanted something that didn’t dominate the area. Having a glass top makes it look more petite and the thin legs showcase the accessories we’ve added to it.

The Rug

We decided to have a rug because we’ve got a wooden floor and wanted to break the space up a bit. Our rug is from Cox & Cox. It’s not available anymore but here’s a very similar (basically identical) one, £275. We didn’t spend that much on ours and we did get 20% off. Cox & Cox does 20% off all the time. So, don’t purchase anything before signing up to the newsletter and getting a code.

I’ve been obsessed with this woven, faded-design style for ages. You can spill anything on it and it just blends in. Trust me, we’ve really experimented with that theory!

Caroline Allen Coffee Table Decor

This rug is my pride and joy and it’s something I think we’ll have for a long time to come. I like the black against the grey/blue of the rug. It’s also a really good sized rug for how much we paid for it. There are two ways to style a rug. 1. All of the furniture is sitting on the rug. 2. None of the furniture (aside from the coffee table) is sitting on the rug. We picked the latter.

The Accessories

I was always going to want books on my coffee table. I’m a writer, I have books in every single room of the house. I like to have books that represent us and ones we’ll actually read on our coffee table.

We have Soho House’s Eat Drink Nap book, £20.16 (James bought this in America for me & I love it) and Designed By Apple, £169 (James was given this as a gift) on ours. I feel like it kind of sums us both up.

Caroline Allen Coffee Table Decor

There are some beautiful coffee table books out there depending on what sort of person you are, some of my favourites are:

I could pick from hundreds. Not that you should match your books up with your rug (If it happens it’s just a lucky coincidence) but I like the more simple front covers because it reflects our style more.


Anybody who knows me will know how obsessed I am with indoor plants. It’s a real issue. They are so relaxing and they make a home look so much more homely.

As nice as flowers on the coffee table are, it’s not practical. We use our coffee table all the time and if we had a big bouquet of flowers on it, we wouldn’t be able to. We’ve settled on a small pot with a plant in it. I wish I could be more specific than that but I got the plant ages ago and I can’t remember where from.

Now, I always get my plants from Sprout London (the plant subscription is awesome). The pot itself is from Oliver Bonas, £8. They don’t have it anymore but they have an excellent selection of plant pots at really reasonable prices.

Caroline Allen Coffee Table Decor

I would always recommend adding a bit of greenery to a coffee table if you can. A plant is quite often the focal point of the set-up and it gives you a good base to build other accessories around it.

We also have three mini cactus plants on top of the glass. We got them from Tesco – I can’t find the link online but there are so many similar ones, like this from IKEA. These are simple enough to add some depth but they don’t overpower the table.

Caroline Allen Coffee Table Decor


Usually, I think of autumn clothes when somebody says layering to me. But, in this case, I’m talking about a coffee table! Adding layers to your coffee table gives it depth. If you just lay out everything you like on your coffee table, it’ll look weird – you need to pile things on top of each other.

always have some sort of tray. Trays look great on all coffee tables whether you’ve got a glass top or not. I alternate between two (one is more wintery and one is summery). The gold tray I have on there at the moment is sold out online, but I recently got it from the Bluewater store. Other similar, nice ones include this one and this one. Gold looks great against the lights of a Christmas tree.

Caroline Allen Coffee Table Decor

My summer tray is from The Little Deer, which is probably my favourite ever homeware store. It’s the Wicker Bamboo Large Tray, £28. I think it’s one of my favourite things I’ve bought for our house. I love it. In the winter I use it in the kitchen, but I’m thinking I might start putting breakfast on it for breakfast in bed.

Caroline Allen Coffee Table Decor

Caroline Allen Coffee Table Decor


A coffee table isn’t complete without a candle, especially in the winter time. I swap mine out a lot depending on the season but I have three favourites. The one in the picture is H&M’s Firewood Candle, £3.99. They don’t have the Christmas edition (below) on the website but this is the same smell.

I also love Tom Dixon’s Eclectic London candle, £55 for winter. My favourite ever candle is White Company’s Wild Mint candle, £14 (in the sale right now!) – if they discontinue it, I will die.

There’s nothing nicer than snuggling on the sofa at Christmas time with the candles on the coffee table. Just like plants, you can almost work your accessories around your candles and they smell great too – which is always a bonus when you have a dog like us!


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