Cen­tre of At­ten­tion

The cof­fee ta­ble ties the look of a living room. If you don’t know how to dress it, here’s help. In­te­rior stylist Jasleen Singh of The Ketli Home styles three cof­fee ta­bles at Fabindia and de­codes the rules.

India Today - - COVER STORY -

The cof­fee ta­ble is an im­por­tant aes­thetic and functional part of your living room. It could be the one el­e­ment that helps an­chor your seat­ing ar­range­ment. Whether you have a large space and can house a good sized one, or can only ac­com­mo­date a small one in your tiny apart­ment, it’s im­por­tant to have a sur­face to rest your

cof­fee, or other bev­er­age on. If you have a TV in your living room, your cof­fee ta­ble can also serve as a footrest and re­mote sta­tion. What­ever its func­tion, how you style your cof­fee ta­ble can have a huge aes­thetic im­pact and help pull a room to­gether. Here are a few styling tips to help pretty up your cen­tre ta­ble.


It’s all about bal­ance. The goal is not to fill up the sur­face. Some­times less is more. Leave some room for coast­ers and to keep a snack or two for when you are en­ter­tain­ing.

Start with some life. A flo­ral cen­tre­piece or a low height plant. Add books for height and dis­play some pretty ob­jects on these, such as a pretty lantern or a small pot­tery piece for a lay­ered ef­fect.

If the cof­fee ta­ble is two-tiered, keep some books or an in­ter­est­ing box on the lower shelf. Play around with what you have and see if it looks right to you.

As a gen­eral rule, don’t place any­thing too tall on the ta­ble which could ob­struct the view of peo­ple sit­ting op­po­site you.


A round ta­ble has many ben­e­fits. No sharp edges, helps soften the room, and looks so stylish. But it can be a tricky shape to style. Work against the round shape. Here we worked with a tri­an­gu­lar dis­play. Al­ter­na­tively, you could use a rec­tan­gu­lar tray.

Stack some cof­fee ta­ble books and keep a can­dle or a small sculp­ture or any strik­ing decor item on it. Re­mem­ber, not too many things on the books in case your guest wants to flip through one.

A piece of pot­tery like this beau­ti­ful bowl will add in­ter­est with colour or tex­ture.

Place a vase of sum­mer blooms or a low height plant to an­chor the ar­range­ment.


If you have a very small space, think out­side the box. You could use an in­ter­est­ing trunk as the cen­tre ta­ble. An­other al­ter­na­tive could be us­ing two nest­ing ta­bles.

When styling a small ta­ble, go for just one or two pieces to create an im­pact. Here we used a fair sized mar­ble bowl and added marigold flow­ers for colour. Cof­fee ta­ble books are styling sta­ples, but use these only if you have the space. If the ta­ble is re­ally small, just have that one cen­ter­piece, like the bowl with flow­ers.

You don’t need much to create an in­ter­est­ing dis­play. Mix shapes and tex­tures, bring flow­ers or plants into the mix, and bal­ance your ar­range­ment with the other el­e­ments in the room. Happy styling! Delhi-based Jasleen Singh, an in­te­rior stylist, is the founder of The Ketli Home. She is also the co-host of the In­sta­gram hash­tag BrightS­pacesWeLov­e, which cu­rates pretty spa­ces from across the world. @theketli­home (In­sta­gram)

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