first a couple of inspiration images from the zhush - sue always seems to have perfectly curated coffee tables!
chairish gave a bunch of coffee tables to choose from and i landed on this one - i love the clean lines and the parquet top. if it were mine, i'd probably try to strip it and lighten it up. it's teak so there is good potential. it's also a great size (61") so you can style away without running out of room.
my styling tips are simple and fairly fail-proof i think. it's all about depth and texture.
1. buy pretty books and stack them - two to three high is ideal. i choose design books obvi but they can be any pretty book. i do think a nice spine is a plus or a pretty cover. you don't want to use some weird paperback you got 15 years ago that's now all yellow. ;) here are my picks (each title is linked):
allegra hicks: an eye for design | gray malin beaches | nancy braithwaite simplicity | lauren leiss habitat | erin gates elements of style | nathan turner american style
2. add some green and add some gold - both add great texture.
i keep my green faux. between the dog and kids who still put things in their mouths occasionally, i don't need anyone ingesting a cactus. this potted plant from west elm fits the bill.
for the "gold" i like to add something funky - it's small so why not. i love this bowl from wisteria and i'd pop it on top of a stack of books.
3. always a tray! they help organize the smaller items that you want to display and look polished and neat. serena & lily's lacquer and rattan tray is a favorite and i'd choose the large size.
4. accessories - the pretty things that go on the tray! this includes more books - take a couple of the smaller size books, stack those inside the tray too and put one of the accessories below on top.
i always like to have coasters so everyone has a spot to rest their drink without putting a circle on that pretty wood. these onyx ones from one kings lane are purdy!
i also like to include a box of some sort - this bone one is light and adds texture with the bone. glass could be another option here.
a piece of ceramic is always on my list. again it's another texture that hasn't been introduced yet and is a great way to add color or pattern. i love this one from anthropologie.
depending on space, a candle is another good choice. again i steered away from a tall glass hurricane style though that would give nice height. i'm more of a diffuser person myself but wanted to throw that out there for you candle lovers. :)
the key is to play around with all the elements until you've found just the right mix. i probably change things around 10 times before i'm happy with how it looks. i've kept my styling fairly neutral - the books look busy not the board but stacked they are a lot calmer - and i find it's a color palette that works for every day.