Coffee table décor is notoriously tricky to get right. A staged vignette gets tired quickly and a cluster of beautiful collected items looks untidy and scattered. A good balance between striking and functional needs to be struck for a truly beautiful, fresh and effortless look.

Play around with the following tried and tested ideas:

Texture: For an interesting display integrate different textures like an aged wooden tray, a ceramic ginger jar, little woven baskets that can hold feathers, porcupine quills or other collected items, a glass weight or crystal bowl and something organic like cut flowers, a pretty potted plant or a terrarium.

Height: Strive for different heights by stacking some books and placing an ornament or decorative candle on top. A taller vase with flowers placed behind the books and a photo frame of a lower height in front of it looks interesting and coordinated. A flat metallic tray with a collection of candles can also be placed in front of the stack of books for a more delicate look.

Keep things organised: Arrange all items on a large tray for cohesion and place a stack of books in front of the tray.

Organic: Include something organic in the vignette for freshness, fragrance and colour. An arrangement of flowers, a bonsai or an orchid look great. Change the organic element frequently to keep the vignette from getting tired.

Functionality – leave adequate space on the table for cups of tea, cake and biscuits and odds and ends that visitors might require. If you have kids and large dogs with swishing tails, don’t keep precious, breakable ornaments on coffee tables. A sweet idea for kids is to keep little stools stowed under the table for snacks and meals in front of the telly.

Photo by iStock

Photo by iStock