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Cocktail tables have many uses — an anchor for ottomans and sectionals, a spot for children to leave their toys, and more commonly a place to prop your feet after a long day. Every cocktail table serves a different purpose depending on the user and there aren’t any hard rules on how it should or should not be decorated. Considering the purpose of your table, follow these steps as an outline to design a beautiful display that fits the functional needs of your space.

For a square surface begin by dividing the area into four quadrants. Place the four main items you decide to use in each of the quadrants and move them around until you are satisfied with the placement. This approach creates a grid of order and consistency.

When styling a round surface, remember the Rule of Three — creating a triangle layout on the table. Avoid using too many square items as it can throw off the balance and instead opt for various shapes to compliment the round surface.

Trays and boxes are great bases to create mini layered vignettes within the quadrants. They not only help ground the area, but are a convenient place to store the essential living room items that seem to get misplaced—like the coasters, remote, or a matchbox. Layers can also be created topping a stack of books with a small bowl that is both functional and ornamental.

Add ornate momentos on the top of the books and in the trays for a more personalized feel. Your favorite candle, an heirloom box or a hand painted vase brought back from one of your travels are great ways to add dimension to your table, as well as authenticity.

Using objects too similar in size can make a table feel overcrowded. Adding items that are comparatively larger, like an oversized vase with tall branches or a decorative bowl, help to break up the monotony. Creating height in an otherwise flat area will result in a more inviting and complete atmosphere.

Adding a little greenery can do wonders for a room. A simple floral arrangement or interesting plant placed on the table will result in a more bona fide appearance throughout. If filling a larger surface, consider styling with more weighty greenery such as sculptural succulents, cherry blossoms, or a grouping of several planters to anchor the space.


Robinson Home Cocktail

Tables and Styling Items


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