An X-Acto knife, those loafers that go with everything you own, a really good throw blanket, your favorite white button down shirt, and Meryl Streep. What’s one thing they all have in common? Versatility.
Being multi-faceted and versatile is the hallmark of so many great things in life, but today I want to give some credit to one of the most versatile and overlooked objects in our home: the coffee table.
You may very well have your feet propped up on one as you read this. If not, it’s probably holding your drink while you go about your business or acting as the resting spot for an ambience-setting candle. Or, maybe the small, rectangular table in your living space is meant to be a show-stopper in its own right.
For us, the coffee table is often a make shift dinner table, a centerpiece for time with friends, a footrest after long days, an overpass for Banks to take naps under, and a place to add some creative touches to an otherwise utilitarian piece of furniture.
Whether it’s collecting rings from glasses like trophies of your favorite late-night conversations, or just hanging onto a few photo albums for you, the coffee table can be a really fun and, you guessed it, versatile way to add dimension and detail to your home.
As I’ve touched on before, we’re all about combining form and function here at The Page Edit, so this tiny table between our sofa and chairs should have enough space for my coffee while also housing conversation pieces and fun arrangements that bring us joy.
Tip Number 1: Leave a Border
This may be obvious to some, but when you’re decorating a space — no matter how small — don’t forget to leave room for, you know, real life. Plan to eat while you watch tv regularly or host friends for drinks and dessert on the weekends? Get the tape measure out and make sure you’ve got a few extra inches to spare to avoid moving trays, magazines, and 15-pound coffee table books every other day.
If you don’t have any extra space, I’d gently advise against decorating with a candelabra that will be a pain to move every time you need to clear out for a game of Phase 10. As always, try to find a way to decorate without making your day-to-day more difficult.
Tip Number 2: Have Fun with the Vertical Space
Regardless of your coffee table’s height, you can use books as a way to stack and vary the heights of other objects (they’re typically great conversation starters, too). You can balance the levels of different sides of the table using candles, table trays, floral arrangements, and other unique decorations you may have.
This is the part where you get to have fun! If you have eclectic collectibles, you can find places for them while using those coffee table books to give them the stage they deserve. For us, we use an hour glass for vertical dimension and an antique magnifying glass to add more interest and texture to the space.
Top Number 3: Always Be Knolling
Knolling (according to a brief internet search) is the simple act of organizing objects so they are parallel or at 90-degree angles.
Now, “always” is a bit dramatic, but it mostly applies when it comes to arranging books and trays on a coffee table. I personally prefer coffee tables that are rectangular or square in shape, so focusing on symmetry with the varying bases I choose for other decorations helps create a visually cohesive centerpiece. From there, feel free to lay out some of the aforementioned, eclectic pieces however you like without sacrificing the practicality of the space you’re decorating.
Let us know about some of your favorite coffee table decorations in the comments!