Everything You Need For a Skillfully Styled Coffee Table

Julia Millay Walsh
Styling the coffee table is one of our favourite activities. There's no right or wrong, and we love to switch up the look every once in a while. That said, it helps to have a few chic accessories handy to make transforming your tabletop a fun and inspiring task. Here are our essential standbys. _1 There are countless beautiful trays on the market -- and you probably already have one handy in your kitchen -- but these must-have accessories aren't just eyes on the eyes: they're functional, too. Trays can be used to corral smaller items.
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 Lacquer Hexagon Tray, $175, Jonathan Adler Rectangle Walnut Serving Tray, $275, Heath Ceramics   Palm Leaf Tray, $75, Furbish Studio
_2 Coffee table books earned their name for a reason -- and it's because hefty art, style, and photography books look gorgeous on a coffee table. We love to set a few stacks of books on our coffee table, but sometimes we'll open one to our favourite page or chapter to invite friends to take a look. Switch it up whenever you feel like your table needs a new "outfit."
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 Diana Vreeland Memos: The Vogue Years Edited by Alexander Vreeland, $38, Amazon  Slim Aarons: A Place in the Sun by Slim Aarons, $46, Barnes & Noble  Interiors by Martyn Thompson, $50, Jayson Home

If you have the room for them, sculptural pieces add an artful element to your table. We'll admit they're merely decorative, but they can add a bit of personality and movement to your table. Vintage pieces are our favourites: look for small brass animals, glass globes, or hand figurines. We love to stack them like paperweights on top of books.

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 Pedra Coasters, $68 (Set of Four), Rablabs  Noir Peace Sign, $46, Zinc Door  Beetle Paperweight, $60, Dwell Studio
_4 Plants and flowers are wonderful additions to every room in the house, and the living room is no exception. A fresh bouquet is always a pretty treat, but potted plants, moss, or even a vase of branches will have more longevity. If you don't have a view to compete with (such as a TV), try something with height to play with scale.
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 Fin Ceramic Vase, $30, West Elm  Geo Terrarium, $95, Jayson Home Copper Patina Planter, $20, Leif 
_5 Tabletop lighters had their heyday as a glam home accessory in the early 20th century when smoking didn't have the stigma it has today, but let us tell you: they're still beautiful accents -- and a shoo-in for your coffee table. Better yet, you can still use them to light your candles without raising an eyebrow.
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 Lalique French Crystal Tokyo Lighter, $395, 1st Dibs  Dunhill Sabre Jet Polished Chrome Table Lighter, $473, 1st Dibs Brizard Tan Leather Table Lighter, $171, eLighters 

Tempting as it may be, we don't recommend judging a book by its cover when it comes to candles. Luckily, there are countless beautiful and wonderfully scented options on the market. There's nothing cozier than a candle lit up beside the sofa when you want to unwind, so make sure you have one in your coffee table styling arsenal.

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 La Loteria Matches, $5, Furbish Studio  Patriot Bust Candle, $34, Nickey Kehoe  Woodstack Candle, $17, Rodale's
_7 Like trays, bowls are great for corraling little things. We love to keep one or two on hand to use as a catch-all for jewellery and other little odds and ends.
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 Balinese Palm Leaf Basket, $149, The Loaded Trunk  Form Bowl Set, $90, Y Living  Blue and White Bowl, $238, Biscuit
Photographs: Vogue, Vogue, Eric Piasecki, Eric Piasecki, Richard Powers, Windsor Smith, Grant K Gibson, Lauren Geremia, House BeautifulJustin Coit, Yatzer

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