I’ve seen some gorgeously done and beautiful coffee table decor, in stores and online… Some of my favorite places to browse are West Elm and Emily Henderson’s blog. Swooning. But then reality hits and I remember that I live in a house with three kids, three very active kids. So I’ve learned how to bring a little of the design and style I love into my home (a bit at a time usually) while still keeping it rather kid friendly. Meaning glass bobbles don’t really work for me and even metal symmetry objects that I’ve had my eye on can become throwing toys in the hands of my boys right now… we’re still working on that part.
Now that Skylar is 18 months old and has learned not to grab everything on the coffee table, I’ll go ahead and share with you how we keep it at least a little bit stylish in living room. But before you decorate your coffee table, you must have the right coffee table to decorate. You might be a white gloss coffee table type of person, or maybe you prefer a classic wooden piece. Either way, there is no point in spending so much time and effort decorating a coffee table that isn’t worth it. Anyway, this is how keep our front room looking good.
First, the table. For us, when I was pregnant with our first, Aliyah, and we were on the high of baby-proofing, we opted for a baby-friendly ottoman instead of a table… and that’s what we’ve been using ever since. My kids seem to find hard surfaces and corners easily enough, I didn’t want to add one more hazard in the middle of a room that they particularly like to run through. So, if you can find an ottoman upholstered in a kid-friendly fabric (like ultrasuede, poly, leather, patterned, or a dark finish) you’ll be set for the long haul. Ours (though maybe not quite in new condition) has weather and lasted through 8 years and 3 kids. I’ve just added a little faux sheepskin for texture, comfort and depth (plus it’s good at covering any stains on an 8 year old ottoman!).
I’ve pretty much always kept a tray on this ottoman, although the items on it have rotated between the plethora of remotes we have to run our tv (really, we need that many?) and a few coasters (making it seem quite empty), to adding in a few more fun features.
So, you need a tray. It corrals all those said remotes and the other items you display, and particularity a tray with sides, especially with kids around. The nice thing about everything being held with a tray… it’s easy to pick up and move when the need arises. You know, like an impromptu game of tag or catch in the middle of the living room. Just pick up the tray and move it out of the way, and you’ve saved yourself, and your kids, from a likely “accident”.
Okay, on to decor. It’s the little touches that make your home feel cozy and special. I’m blessed with a husband who bring me flowers on occasion (for no particular occasion) and I love to display them proudly (and sometimes if I don’t have flowers, I’ll even run outside to clip a few things growing around the house). Flowers and candles create the perfect combination to make your home look chic and lovely. And it’s not something reserved for spring and summer. Add a little glam to your home anytime! In the cooler months, choose flowers and a candle that are representative of the season, as a great scented candle nestled near some flowering beauty is a perfect way to feel cozy inside as the weather gets cooler outside.
Now that our littlest has learned not to touch the candles or flowers (or whatever kind of greenery I choose to display at the time), I can leave those be.
A great coffee table book or two (like Mom Candy) is another touch that will make your coffee table display interesting. Sometimes, ours has a couple of children’s books along with my own, and it’s a great way to remind them to pick it up and read. I’m about to order some books printed with our Instagram photos and those will make GREAT coffee table books!
Give everyone something to put their drinks on. I just loved these tree slice coasters from a local shop I found over Christmas! So unique and an adorable addition… plus they won’t break if dropped (because I’ve had the kind that do, and those don’t work with kids).
And finally, go ahead and add something quirky. Many times we’ll end up with a random toy that adds a special touch (which is perfect, because then you won’t worry about little hands getting ahold of it, which is what happened when I was taking these photos) Or maybe you have a fun find from a trip you’ve been on, show it off!
What do you like to add or display on your coffee table? I’d love to hear about it or see it!! If you share a photo on social media, tag me (@TabithaBlue or hashtag #freshmommyblog) so I can get a peak inside your home too! 😉