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Go beyond the coffee table norm of books, flowers and trays with sculptural elements. (Image: Courtesy Havenly)

Styling the perfect coffee table for spring

I don't know about you, but come Spring I get a serious itch to makeover everything in my life. My decidedly non-bikini body, my wardrobe, my apartment -- you name it, I want to change it. But total overhaul isn't always practical, particularity in the case of interior design changes. So to save my sanity, and my wallet, I appease myself with small-scale redesigns that still give an aura of change to the room. And what better space to tinker with than a coffee table!

We turned to the experts at Havenly, an online interior design startup that should seriously be your new BFF for all things decor, and for tricks of the trade. Below, Director of Design Shelby Girard walks you through the design process of styling the perfect coffee table.

First off, decide what style of coffee table to buy.

Think about your lifestyle and how you use your living space. Do you love to entertain? Do you find yourself kicking your feet up on your table every chance you get? If you live a more casual, comfy life, you probably want to avoid glass coffee tables, which are a bit more formal and delicate. If you like warm, cozy spaces, a wood coffee table works well. If you're more modern, white lacquer is easy to clean and always in style. Mirrored or marble table tops work well for a more glam look. If you love books, consider a coffee table with two levels so you can display your prettiest art and decor books on the bottom row.

Start with these must-have coffee table items:

1. A lovely tray

2. A vase with fresh flowers

3. Beautiful coffee table books

4. A candle

5. Drink coasters

But what if I want my coffee table to really stand out?

Beyond books, trays, and flowers, consider sculptural pieces. Pairing a sculptural piece alongside a more streamlined candle holder or bowl will provide amazing visual contrast. Decorative objects like hands, antlers, or organic shapes can bring a lot of energy to your coffee table. I also love the look of over-scaled lanterns on a more rustic/traditional coffee table, or a draped sheepskin throw on a wood table for a cozy Scandinavian feel.

Avoid the cluttered look.

Grouping a vignette of decor on a tray will help keep accessories contained rather than scattered around the coffee table. Consider the size of your table, and work around a smaller tray and books if your table is petite. If you have a large, expansive table with several levels, consider multiple stacks of books and larger sculptural pieces or centerpiece bowls.

How will Havenly help in the design process?

Havenly helps decorate your room in every aspect, from choosing the big furniture items, to sourcing the bookends and candles that will adorn your shelves. Your designer will show you suggested styling of surfaces in your home during the design process.

Your room is decorated to your style (whether you're glam, Bohemian, or classic), your budget, your existing furniture and your lifestyle. We provide a complete design process all online for $199 per room.

And don't forget, Havenly has shoppable boardsthat anyone can browse for inspiration and product discovery, covering everything from glam to industrial -- there is definitely something for everyone!


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