7+ Types of Coffee Tables & How to Decorate Them

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As many people would argue, your living room space can easily feel “empty” without a coffee table. As simple or stylish as it can get, the basic furniture item can go a long way in elevating your interior design, while also adding functionality. 

And as obvious as it might sounds, coffee tables have since time immemorial, been used as:

● An esthetic addition to the living room

● A surface to display décor centerpieces

● A way to add functionality to the living room

● A wonderful complement to the seating area

Coffee tables also come in a wide range of design and material options to choose from depending on your décor and functionality needs as well as your budget. In this piece, we shall look at some popular types of coffee tables and how to decorate them as well as some tips on how to make the perfect pick.


Quick Tips For Decorating A Coffee Table

Whether you’re expecting some guests or when staging a house to sell, you want your living room to look welcoming and visually appealing. And even as you think about other parts of your home, adding some elements of décor on your coffee table can go a long way in elevating the entire room’s aesthetic appeal.



Below are some tips you could use to make your coffee table more stunning.

Display a Photo Book 

As earlier mentioned, coffee tables also serve as storage space. But what’s more beautiful than being able to share your life story with the guests and friends you invite over? 

Besides books and magazines, you can use a portion of your coffee table to display your wedding album or family photo album. It’s also a good way to keep guests engaged when you dash out into the kitchen or visit the bathroom so they won’t get bored.

Place Some Fresh Blooms on Top 

If not a small, low-maintenance plant, the coffee table provides the perfect space to place some colorful blooms. 

Placed in a jar, white tray, or low bowl, a lovely floral arrangement like these ones from The Bouqs Co. could be all you need to add life and color to your living space. You can even stack two or three books on one side of the coffee table and place the flower pot on top.

More Ways to Decorate Coffee Tables

● Add tablecloth

● Display a centerpiece

● Play well with colors

● Don’t keep it cluttered

Common Types of Coffee Tables by Design

You will likely encounter plenty of different designs while out there shopping for a coffee table. 

By design, some of the most common options include the following:

1. Modern:

With a balance of aesthetic appeal and functionality, these coffee tables derive their style and design from the 20th century and above. Bauhaus and Art Deco are good examples of modern coffee table options available.

2. Rustic:

Usually wooden and carved, rustic-style coffee tables feature a countryside feel and portray old-fashioned designs. With simple-pattern carvings on the wood, some will occasionally come fitted with parts of brass.

If you like, you can call these tables classical since they borrow inspiration from some of the quirkiest designs from the past.

4. Traditional:

These are the old-age coffee tables that never seem to go out of fashion. Featuring an oval or rectangular surface, these tables are usually made from carved wood and given a proper finish to attain an appealing final look.

Besides these, many other coffee table designs exist, from folding styles, stacking styles, and coffee tables that also serve as ottomans.


Popular Coffee Table Options by Material

While the modern-day coffee table can be manufactured from a wide range of materials, some of the most common options include the following:

5. Wood 

This is inarguably the most commonly used material to design coffee tables, and for a few good reasons. For starters, wood can be cut, shaped, joined, and manipulated in a diverse range of ways to make a stunning coffee table. 

The natural look of wood is not only pleasing to the eye but it can also be given a stunning finish that’s easy to blend well with the rest of your décor.

Some commonly used hardwoods include mahogany, oak, maple, and walnut, whereas softwoods include cedar, pine, and fir. Faux wood and manufactured board (MDF) tables are also quite popular these days.

6. Metal 

As you might already know, metal is among the most widely-used materials for furniture construction. 

Especially for industrial designs, metal coffee tables are increasingly gaining popularity due to their immense strength, sturdiness, and lightweight. Metal tables are also more resistant to staining and water damage compared to wooden designs.


7. Glass 

Often containing metal or wooden support structures, glass tables are loved for their sleek and aesthetically-appealing look. They are especially great at adding visual space to the living room. 

Glass tables are also easy to clean and maintain, won’t stain easily, and won’t succumb to water damage. The slight downside is that glass is fragile, so breakage is sometimes expected, such as when moving.

Other Materials 

Besides metal and wood, other materials commonly used to make coffee tables include the following:

● Leather – Just for surfaces

● Pallet

● Acrylic

● Rattan/Wicker

Coffee tables are an essential piece of furniture in every living room. Depending on the type you select and how you decorate it, your coffee table can go a long way in making your home more aesthetically striking.


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