Styling a Cocktail Table

February 24, 2015

Styling a cocktail table

A cocktail table is an essential for every living room.  They come in a variety of different styles to coordinate perfectly with the rest of your décor. It’s not just there for its good looks but for its practical functionality. A perfect sturdy surface to hold your tea while reading a book or to hold your cocktail while entertaining. 

However, its function can take over the table. It often becomes a dumping zone for remotes, keys, mail, nail polish etc… Before you know it the table is hidden and looks messy. A cocktail table, being in the center of the room craves attention, so you want it to look amazing!

McElherans fine furniture and design

Here are 10 ways to style your cocktail table and have it looking its best for you and your guests! 

  1. Create a theme

Just like when designing a room, you want your theme to be consistent in order to tell a story. Whether you prefer glam, industrial, or country, try to choose items that are unique, but still have something in common, such as color or finish, to create impact.

  1. Rule of 3!

Mix it up from the classic symmetry rule. Pair together odd numbers to make it more interesting. Just like in a crowd, the odd ones stick out and are more memorable. When choosing these objects think of layering various heights in order to have the items all visible.

  1. Scale

The goal is to make a statement with your collections. Achieve this by grouping your items into a pyramid using different heights and shapes. The tallest piece should be placed in the center while the other pieces staircase down either side.

  1. Pops of color

Don’t be afraid to add a punch of color! It’s a perfect opportunity to enhance your theme and draw your eye in. The colour doesn’t have to be bright and cheerful, try mixing in shimmery metallics.

books and flowers

  1. Something from Nature

To adorn your new table, nothing makes a statement more than bringing the beauty of nature indoors. Fresh flowers are my favorite! They can be the focal point in a large bouquet or a delicate individual flower for that added touch. If flowers are not your thing, rocks, branches, or coral all do the trick!

  1. Add a tray

Trays are functional and decorative. You can store your books or remotes all neatly inside. This is where you can play with shapes and add a round tray on a rectangular coffee or ottoman.

  1. Personal object

This is a great opportunity to add a souvenir or special item to display that adds character and meaning. A great conversation starter!

  1. Stack books or magazines

Use a few large books and stack them with a small object on top. The books may follow a theme and show your personal interests like history, art, cooking, etc. You can also go with a similar colour palette on the spines or covers. Stacking books adds height and another element of texture to the display. 

  1. Play with shapes

Round, square, rectangular or heart shaped. Using different shaped objects opens up so many more combinations. Even if everything is neutral on the table, switching different shapes can add the drama it was missing.

  1. Hidden storage

We could always use more storage. I love how using boxes or baskets layered on top or underneath a cocktail table is so functional. You can hide remotes, dvds, etc. when you’re not using them. They can also make for a quick and easy clean up before company arrives.

 traditional living room cocktail tables