How to Decorate a Coffee Table with Annette Joseph (video)

Try these Three Coffee Table Tricks


We asked Atlanta photo stylist and producer, Annette Joseph, to help us tackle a decorating dilemma we all struggle with from time to time: the artful arrangement.

One-on-one interview with Annette

Using the Morgan Coffee Table, Annette styled several different vignettes to show how you can create visual interest with well-placed objects. Below, we talk to Annette about her tips and tricks to styling the perfect arrangement.

Ballard Designs: We love the three coffee table looks you styled for us. What’s the secret?

Annette Joseph: The key to a great coffee table is the composition. When in doubt, use large objects in a grid pattern and then add smaller objects to fill in the voids. And, remember, it’s always better to go with less objects on a coffee table than more. Keep it simple!

Ballard Designs: Can you talk us through each look?

Annette Joseph:

European Old-World – Timeless

This is the most traditional of the settings. I like the idea of using interesting, antique-like objects, such as a magnifying glass, a wooden box, an Asian-inspired bowl. Use what you already have around the house: a stack of old books, a pair of candle sticks and a soft rose bouquet. Add some shine with silver or mercury glass objects, like the tea lights.

Country Chic – Serene

White is such a clean color and I use it here to pull the look together. I chose white objects—a white pitcher with soft white flowers, interesting branches, a scented candle in a great container and books that match the color scheme. I love using trays to gather objects.

Contemporary Transitional – Beautiful

I went for textural objects with a modern look: that great collection of modern trays, the curvy vases, a wooden bowl and, of course, fresh flowers. I threw in bright color, in this case orange, with the flowers and fruit.

Have other thoughts on how to decorate a coffee table? Leave us a note in the comments below.

Caroline McDonald

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.



  1. Reply

    Joanne Director

    February 27, 2015

    I have an oval glass coffee table and an open cherry wood base, how would you suggest I decorate it. Right now, I have a Candle with a china saucer and shade on the candle, a round, crystal candy dish and a wooden kaliedoscope on a wood base on either side of the candle.

    • How to Decorate Team

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      February 27, 2015

      Hi Joanne,
      We would love to help you choose some accessories for your coffee table. We actually offer a free service where our Design Solutions team will help you come up with a plan for your home, and they’d be happy to make some suggestions for you! Simply complete this form, and we’ll reach out to you.
      We look forward to hearing from you!
      The How to Decorate Team

  2. Reply


    October 2, 2012

    Please give some suggestions for a round coffee table.

  3. Reply


    August 31, 2012

    Yes, please!

  4. Reply

    Jen Berry

    August 31, 2012

    Suggestion: many companies, including mine, block video because it eats up bandwidth, so I can’t see what’s been done with the coffee table (or other subjects on video). Could you also include a few pictures that represent whatever your videos are covering for people like me who can’t see them?

  5. Reply


    August 28, 2012

    Love these tips. Wondered what was wrong with my coffee table – the look is completely unbalanced!