My top coffee table titles + styling & where to start

It seems like every living room magazine cover and Pinterest picture is complete with a perfectly styled coffee table that looks like it’s never touched. Do you ever wonder how they actually use their table for coffee? 😉 Or think it looks nice, but feel unsure about where to start in achieving your own look?

I’ve got you covered with easy AND practical tips for styling a coffee table that will pull your living space together and be inviting to your guests.

My top coffee table titles (plus styling and where to start!) From Lauren Carter @laurennoelcarter and TheGuestRoom.blogIn full transparency, I live with a very curious one year old so most of our surfaces three feet and under stay bare most of the time. Good thing minimalism is trendy right now! I’m also not a fan of clutter and prefer decor that is mostly useful. If you relate, it might feel like a styled coffee table just isn’t for you… and if it isn’t, that’s okay! I do it because it’s fun for me, especially during holidays, and I enjoy getting creative with that central space as part of my decor when company is coming over and it isn’t covered in snacks and actual coffee for my guests. The trick is learning how to place things you already have around the house together so that it’s quick and easy when it makes sense. So how do you do that?! Let’s start with the three elements I believe are ALL YOU NEED:


Candles bring immediate cozy to any space with their light and smell! It’s one of my go-to quick fixes to make any space feel more put together. They can be spendy, especially if you prefer to invest in candles that are higher quality and will last you longer, but they don’t have to be! You can do a lot with tea lights which will only cost you a few dollars for a large pack! Put them on and in creative items like a terrocotta pot or plant base like I’ve done here! You can also choose to invest once in a few electric candles. I have a few and love their look and practicality.

My top coffee table titles (plus styling and where to start!) From Lauren Carter @laurennoelcarter and

And for my last trick – this one comes from Ashley over at – Hide a steal in a splurge! Have a super old anthropology candle that was a treat? Grab a Trader Jo’s candle and stick it inside! Hiding affordable candles inside something else gives them the appearance of being fancier without the cost. Yay!


A few fresh cut flowers, a succulent… live greenery adds a ton to any space, especially shelves or a coffee table. Lately I’ve been buying a few green stems from Trader Jo’s (a bundle is just a couple bucks!) and putting them in a fun vase or bottle to add a little green around the house. This stem on my coffee table is going on five months! How crazy!?! Even just one adds another great element to a coffee table, it creates dimension, and it’s something you can easily move throughout the house!

My top coffee table titles (plus styling and where to start!) From Lauren Carter @laurennoelcarter and


Books are my favorite coffee table trimming. It offers your guests an immediate invitation into what you enjoy and gives them something to be entertained or encouraged by the second they sit down. Books are also such a pretty and simple element to build around on a table. They add texture and dimension without any effort. Pair some old books from an estate sale together, stack a few things on top and you’ve got a styled space!

When I’m not specifically inspired by a certain holiday or theme, I like to use primarily books and magazines. Not only do I like the look and option for guests to pick up, it makes sense for us because they’re usually books we have laying around the house anyways; things we’re reading on a regular basis – so why not make it look intentional?! If you’re wondering what type of books to showcase, I typically start with ones I like the look of! Then I think about their content. I like to combine different topics of interest to us because if a guest does happen to pick on up, there are multiple levels we can relate on. My current topics include home design, faith, family, and food!

Here’s the reads on my coffee table currently:

Home design: Home Body by Joanna Gaines

Family: We Are The Gardeners by Joanna Gaines

My top coffee table titles (plus styling and where to start!) From Lauren Carter @laurennoelcarter and

Family: Increase Kids by Increase

Family/Food: Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, Family Circle Magazine, The Magnolia Journal

Personal: Engagement photo book/wedding guest book

My top coffee table titles (plus styling and where to start!) From Lauren Carter @laurennoelcarter and

Faith: 31 Prayers For My Son by Aaron and Jennifer Smith

Faith: Devotions For Sacred Parenting by Gary L. Thomas

Faith: New Morning Mercies devotional by Paul David Tripp

My top coffee table titles (plus styling and where to start!) From Lauren Carter @laurennoelcarter and

I think the key to a good coffee table is simplicity. So don’t feel like you need to overdue it! It’s amazing how much a little stacking and bunching and organizing can make just about anything look like intentional “decoration.” Don’t over think it! Here’s my last tip and best hack for making clutter look cute…

A Coffee Table Tray!

The great thing about a tray is that it give you a natural guideline AND it’s a great way that your styled decor can be easily moved to a safe space, easily, when it’s not practical for it to be there. I recently got a tray (similar to this one) that I’m excited to incorporate into my fall decor, but I’m making myself wait until October 😉

Come find me on Instagram if you want to see that when it comes together! I’m sure I’ll be sharing it there in my stories as I go!

In the mean time, here’s a few from Pinterest that are inspiring me…

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Just remember: your house is meant to be lived in. It should be a reflection of what you love and an environment that brings you peace and inspiration. Keep that in mind when you’re approaching your coffee table or any area of your home! Do that and I think you’ll love whatever you put together! Happy styling!!


2 responses to “My top coffee table titles + styling & where to start”

  1. Love this! Thanks for the tips, I am not very creative. But at least I will have a better looking coffee table soon 😊

    1. Oh you are SO welcome Heather! 🥰

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