The coffee table is a subtle element of any living space but is one that can speak volumes about you and your personality. It’s also a great way to personalize your livings space and convey to guests a little bit about yourself and your interests. If you’re unsure about where to start, we’ve compiled an essential list of things to think about having on your coffee table (in no particular order).
Decorative Tray Tables/Miscellaneous Storage
Tray tables are a versatile centerpiece where you can neatly store a number of different items that typically grace the coffee table (mail, remote controls, keys, etc.) They’re also a great place to put other decorative items on display (many of which we will go over below). In addition, tray tables are made in a slew of different shapes and styles so it’s easy to find one that is unique and fits your decorating motif. Other miscellaneous storage pieces also help keep things neat and compact while also looking aesthetically pleasing.
What it says about you: You’re neat and organized.
Games are an inviting coffee table item that lets people know you’re open to having a bit of fun. It can also be a good ice-breaker for guests you may find yourself entertaining that you may not be all too comfortable with (think a potential date if you’re single). We suggest games like dominos, a deck of cards, chess, mancala, Chinese checkers, even Uno! You can get pretty creative with what kinds of games you choose to include on your coffee table. Something to think about… some games may complement your other decor pieces better than others. If your coffee table has underneath storage, this would be an ideal storing location.
What it says about you: You like to have fun!
In our opinion, a shared powerbank is a must. This is a convenient tech accessory that you, roommates, and guests can take advantage of in the living area. Instead of having to get up and find an open outlet, you and others can have a charging station right on the coffee table and have your phone within reach as you’re watching TV, entertaining, or enjoying each other’s company in the living room. This adds a little bit of functionality to your coffee table
What it says about you: You’re up to date and somewhat technologically savvy
Decorative Jars and Bowls
Various jars and bowls (glass, ceramic, or otherwise) are a great addition to your coffee table. You can leave your jars/bowls empty or accessorize however you see fit. It may be a little cliche at this point but we like the idea of an old-fashioned glass mason jar and filling it with used wine corks or bottle caps, depending on your adult beverage of choice.
What it says about you: You like to enjoy a nice drink, but still keep it classy
Plants and flowers are a must in your living area and add a little bit of life and color to your apartment. A coffee table is one of the ideal locations for a plant or flower, depending on your preference. If you’re feeling really crafty, you can always create your own artificial floral or plant arrangement (like the one pictured above)!
What it says about you: A lot of it depends on the kind of plant (ex. bonsai, you can take special care of a living thing other than yourself; they are a lot of work!) but in general, it means your detail-oriented and care about what your living space looks like. Finding the right plant (artificial or not) and taking care of it (if it is real) takes some work!
Whether for functionality or to purely add aesthetic value, candles are a fantastic piece to a coffee table. There’s a ton of creative ways you can display candles on your coffee table. We suggest doing a quick Pinterest search to gather a few of the many ideas that are out there already. Rental-Living Bachelors: scented candles are a must! It’ll add a nice fragrance to your living area guests can appreciate.
What it says about you: You can set a mood and you are considerate of your guests… particularly their olfactory sensory experience.
Books are a great addition to a coffee table. Hardcovers in particular add a studious element to your living area. You can choose books that reflect your hobby, your field of work, or whatever your current leisurely read is at the moment. COFFEE TABLE DON’T: Don’t throw magazines or newspapers on your coffee table; this isn’t the doctors or dentist office! If you must include one, weave it in among several over hardcovers.
What it says about you: What your interests are, how you like to spend your free time, and how studious (or not) you are.
This lets people know you’re a classy individual and you care about your belongings. Coasters obviously protect your furniture but it is also another chance to personalize your living area. People get quite creative with the drink coasters they find in some unique places, as you can see with the coffee table coaster pictured above.
What it says about you: Well, we kind of gave that away already… but depending on the type of coaster (novelty or more traditional), it gives others another clue into your personality.
If you’re looking to make a move, let our California apartment finder help you out and browse through apartments in California based on price/amenities/locations, and more!