Outfitting Your
Coffee Table

How to outfit your coffee table How to outfit your coffee table

Outfitting Your Coffee Table

It’s the little details that make for a truly great setup

Over the last two years, we have all spent more time at home than we would have liked, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. Due to WFH or a hybrid schedules in the workplace, most people have transformed spare corners into new home offices and or have even embarked on ambitious renovation projects. But what about those spaces that are perfect for a midday pit-stop? Look no further than your living room.

Whether you're relaxing with your favorite shows or having guests over, you always want your living room to feel warm and inviting. While the comfiness of your couch, size of your TV or art hanging on the walls might steal the show, the main living room attraction should be the coffee table. It's a natural focal point, the place where people set down their drinks and kick up their feet—so everything on it will get noticed. Of course, what you place on your table says a lot about you, so it should be personal. Maybe you want a plant, or have a memento from a favorite trip to show off. To help get you started, we've pulled together some foolproof staples (along with our current favorite tables to set them on).


Coffee Table

The Tables

Coffee tables should be a subtle statement piece. I know that seems like quite the contradiction but it's true. The materials used in all three tables here are substantial and well-made. The colors of each are neutral, which is important because the stuff on top will add the pop of color and texture to bring the whole look and vibe together.

Isamu Noguchi for Herman Miller Noguchi Table

Noguchi table,
$2,195 by Isamu Noguchi for Herman Miller

CB2 Darbuka Coffee Table

Darbuka coffee table,
$699 by CB2

HAY Bella Coffee Table

Bella coffee table,
$395 / 335.75 by HAY

Coffee Table Books

You probably haven't read any of your coffee table books, and that's okay—they're mostly decorative. Whenever you're buying books to stack, think about them as “conversation starters”, so aim to include books that encourage guests to inquire about what's inside. Just be prepared to answer any questions from your dinner party guests if they start flipping through one.

The Watch Book: Rolex by Gisbert L. Brunner

“The Watch Book: Rolex”,
$68.03 by Gisbert L. Brunner

Morning Noon Night: A Way of Living by Soho House

“Morning Noon Night: A Way of Living”,
$43.49 by Soho House

Judd by Ann Temkin

$75 by Ann Temkin

Smell Goods

Scents are everything when it comes to setting a mood, and your coffee table is the heart of your living room so this is where you want your scent emanating from. Earthy or spicy smells are always the way to go in our humble opinion, but the choice of candle, incense or rugged pot-pourri is yours.

Bau Bau by Suku Smoko Memories Incense

Smoko memories incense,
$28 by Bau Bau by Suku

MALIN+GOETZ Leather Candle

Leather candle,

Mad et Len Terre Noire Pot Pourri

Terre Noire pot pourri,
$135 by Mad et Len

Organization and Maintenance

Finally, you need some sort of organizer for your trinkets—everything from your remotes to your lighters. You also need something sculptural and interesting. It can be purely decorative or a useful like a tool that comes in handy when tending to your candles.

Obakki Wide Woven Bowl

Wide woven bowl,
$69 by Obakki

Boy Smells Candle Care Tool Set

Candle care tool set,
$58 by Boy Smells

Antique Italian Pewter Box

Antique Italian pewter box,
$175 at Show & Tell

Jayson Home Dash Porcelain Tray

Dash porcelain tray,
$14 by Jayson Home


Stuart Foote, who founded the American Imperial Furniture company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, claimed to have designed the first coffee table while helping his wife prepare for a party. He lowered the legs of an existing dining table to make a centerpiece from which coffee could be served.

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