Above, an interior by Lindsey Coral Harper.

The heart of your living room isn’t the television, mantel, or even the sofa. Instead, it’s the coffee table. After all, it’s the center of your seating arrangement and the place where everyone gathers. The coffee table is also an unusual piece, in that it has a function (supporting all the accoutrements of a Netflix binge or tea with friends) and also needs to look decorative. Keeping the tabletop bare lets you maximize functionality, but it can look just that: bare. Instead, count on these classic elements to add style without clutter.

1. A tray or bowl.

Yes, it can corral remotes. But it can also help you set up a lovely little vignette in mere seconds, acting as a “frame” for decorative elements. One to try: Mr. Brown London Ivory Bone Beaufort Tray

2. Something tall.


Height catches the eye, adding an element of the unexpected on a tabletop of similar-height items. One to try: Mikasa Pale Green Vase

3. One book (or a stack of books).

They’re called coffee table books for a reason, no? Display your most-loved books, or change things up by stacking tomes of different hues. One to try: Our favorite recommendation in our “Things We Love” roundup.


4. A decorative object.

Have fun here! These are the fabulous little accessories that will make guests want to take a closer look. One to try: Toots Zynsky “Sbarrazino” Glass Sculpture


5. Something fresh.

A bouquet of fresh flowers always feels so luxurious. It’s double the beauty when paired with a lovely vase. One to try: Ralph Lauren Home Brogan Classic Bud Vase

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