A living room centerpiece is an opportunity to create a vignette in your living room. Most, if not all, living rooms have a coffee table right at the center. A well-designed living room centerpiece can complement the look and decor of the space. You could just stack some books on there and call it a day, but you’re better than that. The perfect living room centerpiece often starts with the type of coffee table you have.
There are many sizes and shapes of coffee tables. As a general rule, coffee tables should be no more than one to two inches above or below the height of the couch or loveseat, for convenience and for the look. You might even want to style it like you would a work of art. Use artistic techniques to design the look, such as striking a balance with symmetry and composing a color story or style. Whether you prefer some organized chaos or want things as minimal as they could be, this living room centerpiece guide will get you inspired to go restyle yours.
Start with Your Accessories
Before you run out and purchase items for your centerpiece, we are sure you have many accessories around the house you can use. The perfect centerpiece is about a collection of things that have meaning to you. Here are some accessories that we are sure you have at home to start:
Coffee Table Books
Most people’s go-to for decorating their coffee table is the classic oversized book. And this is for good reason. Coffee table books come in many shapes, sizes, and topics. You can easily show off your interests by including a few books on your table. Aim to find books of different sizes if you plan on using more than one. Alternately you can purchase books with interesting covers and plenty of photos inside for guests to look at.
Coasters & Candles
A centerpiece is a great place to display functional design elements. Candles are great for ambiance when everyone has gathered around and coasters don’t have to be boring. There are many vintage and contemporary options to keep with the design of your room. Or, choose coasters with storage, so they can become a part of the décor.
Collectibles & Antiques
There is not a better way to display items you are proud of than right in the center of your room. Of course, if you have a whole collection, pick ones that would work best for the table without cluttering it. Mix smaller items with larger items for visual appeal.
Living Room Centerpiece – Design Principles
Vary Height and Shape
Consider scale and proportion when you create a centerpiece. Attention to these details will create harmony and make your rooms visually appealing. For a centerpiece you’re going to want to pick one taller item, then balance it out with something shorter and that has a different shape. Tall items could be a vase, lamp, picture frame, or a smaller item given height by placing it on a stack of books. Balance out the tall, skinny or straight objects with shorter, rounder objects.
Vary Textures and Colors
When a centerpiece lacks layers of variation in texture and color, it can fall flat and feel one-dimensional even if your table is filled with the cutest, craftiest or sadly, filled with the most expensive accessories. Mix up your accessories so you have a variety of finishes. Think about adding glass through display dishes, lamps or bottles, sparkle or shine with mirrors and metals, natural textures like sticks, plants, antlers, or shells, and rugged texture like baskets, and woven trays. Group some like textures together or mix them up around the room.
No matter how much you vary the heights of all those vertical items, you are still only playing with one dimension. An all vertical centerpiece doesn’t help keep the eye moving. It gets boring really fast. The same for a horizontal centerpiece with no height. You need a mix of vertical and horizontal items and objects to give the arrangement dimension.
Work with Odd Numbers
Even numbers create symmetry, but odd numbers create interest in a centerpiece. An odd number of details is more effective at capturing your gaze. Odd numbers force your eyes to move around the grouping–and by extension, the room. That forced movement is the heart of visual interest.
Use a Tray
This isn’t a design principle. more like a centerpiece hack. The right tray can corral items on a table into one elegant and unified presentation. This hack not only serves the purpose of keeping your coffee table neat but corralling items on a tray helps to ground them to space and instantly draws the eye to the objects instantly making it a centerpiece.
Easy and Instant Centerpieces
If you don’t have time or energy to design your own living room centerpiece, we have a collection of popular decor that can instantly give you a centerpiece you enjoy.