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Tips for Organizing Your Coffee Table

Your coffee table is often the focal point of your living room, and it is not uncommon for this surface to become the landing pad for all sorts of small items that find their way into the space while you sit on the sofa enjoying them. As time progresses, your coffee table may end up with a few more incidentals using the space than you’d like. Designer Nico De Swert with Pottery Barn has a few tips that can help you style your coffee table so that it adds to the decor of the room while serving as a hub for organization.

Use a Tray to Organize Small Items

If you have a lot of small items on your coffee table, then it's very easy for the table to look a bit cluttered. Fortunately, proper placement can help you make sense of the items on the table so that they look decorative instead. Whenever you have books or magazines on the table, always stack them from largest on the bottom to the smallest on the top. Use books that have colorful spines that go along with the color palette in the room to tie the two elements together.

A tray is a smart way to keep your coffee table mess-free. Choose a large tray that matches the colors of the room. Place the remaining items on your table neatly inside the tray. When stacking objects, it looks more uniform to place large items on the bottom and small items at the top. Anchor it all together with a large wooden bowl filled with a natural element, such as green leaves or a low bouquet.

Trays are also wonderful additions to your coffee table because you can easily remove the tray with all of its small objects to clear space on the table whenever you are entertaining guests.

Create a Landscape Using Bottles

You can also use your coffee table to showcase a collection. If you have a group of objects that go together, arrange them at the front of your coffee table to create a scene.

Nico De Swert showcases a collection of beautiful blue bottles. Some he's collected, but he filled out the rest of the landscape with decorative bottles that he’s purchased. You can recreate this look using bottles of various sizes and shapes.

Play around with the bottle arrangement on the table. Rather than lining them up in a straight line, stagger them along the front of the table to showcase the various heights.

Place about an inch of water in the bottom of the bottles, and select some long-stemmed flowers that match the color palette of the room. Trim the stems to match the heights of the bottles and place one flower in each. It's always beautiful and refreshing to incorporate nature into the decor of your home.

Group Objects Together for a Simple, Organized Look

Groupings are another and simple way to organize a coffee table. Choose objects that have similar colors; this makes them much easier on the eyes. On one end of the table, start with a pile of books stacked largest to smallest. Place a decorative object on top of the pile.

In the center, place four small plants in a grouping on a tray. This incorporates a natural element into your decor; herbs are a smart choice that have a nice aroma and a simple look. Additionally, you can easily remove the tray and take it to the kitchen to use the herbs in a recipe.

At the other end of the table, create another stack of books. Arrange decorative objects on top of this stack as well. This creates a balanced look in the arrangement of the entire table, and it's a simple way to make your coffee table look organized and decorated with items you already have on hand.

Use simple items like books and trays to make your table stylish, fun and functional. No matter what the theme or color of your living room is, you can use these style tips to turn your table into the focal point of the room.