Inspiration and styling tips for the "not-so" perfect fall coffee table. Plus... the good, the bad, and the uncomfortable aspects of our coffee tables.... unresolved stuff rattling around in my mind.


The coffee table is often the center of attention in our living rooms and family rooms.  It’s a spot that so many want to get just right.  Especially since hours can be spent around that rectangle, square, or round low table.

I’ve had many readers say, “Please help!” Because they just don’t know what to put on their coffee table… besides a cup of coffee.  The idea of “styling” that focal point is intimidating.

And for some reason… many feel the decorating pressure to create a perfect fall coffee table.

After all… fall decor is coming close to pushing Christmas off that first place spot.


Inspiration and styling tips for the "not-so" perfect fall coffee table.

The Design Dare Devil


You know what?

It doesn’t matter.


I know.


Inspiration and styling tips for the "not-so" perfect fall coffee table.

Designing Domesticity


If you know me, I fuss with my decor and try to get things, just right.

It’s okay… and it’s not.


You see… creating the perfect fall coffee table is not important.

What is important is that I have an opportunity to ply my gifts and talents… to be creative.


Inspiration and styling tips for the "not-so" perfect fall coffee table.

Charles Faudree via Pinterest


I know I just said that it wasn’t important…

In the scheme of things… a jaw dropping fall coffee table… is not important.

What is important… is that we invite people into our homes to sit around the coffee table.

What is important… is that we share life with others.


That stories are told and heard.

That we listen.

That we laugh and cry.


What’s important is that we make our homes a sanctuary of peace for those who reside with us inside the walls of our homes.

What’s important is that we take the love and encouragement given and received within our homes and take it to others outside the walls of our homes.


Inspiration and styling tips for the "not-so" perfect fall coffee table.

Stone Gable


Having a perfect fall coffee table might or might not be important to you.

Something else might be important to you.  Something else as trivial as a coffee table.

You see… we all have a desire to have a perfect fall coffee table.  It just has a different name and it’s in a different room in our house.

I’m not going to tell you it’s okay, either.

You see… it’s taken me a long time to “get” that having the perfect fall coffee table is so not important.

I’ve had to live through a whole lot of changes to see this.


What I do know…

Decorating a coffee table for fall should be fun.

It shouldn’t be costly.  And it doesn’t need to be showy.


Inspiration and styling tips for the "not-so" perfect fall coffee table.

Finding Home


If you want to create a fall coffee table… go for it.

But don’t obsess over it.

Please don’t obsess over it.

Therein is the danger.


Between magazines, Pinterest, blogs, Periscope, Instagram, HGTV, etc., it’s easy to obsess about home decor.

I’ve done more than my share of that.

I know the slippery slope too well.


Sometimes it’s our excuse to escape from a crazy world.

Sometimes home decor becomes the god we worship.

Sometimes our focus on decor is an attempt to fill the empty place we have in our souls that’s designed for something so much better.


Inspiration and styling tips for the "not-so" perfect fall coffee table.

Ashley Whittaker Design via Decor Pad


And really… there are no perfect fall coffee tables.


Beauty is only beauty if it’s beauty in the eyes of the beholder.

We all have different ideas and tastes.


Inspiration and styling tips for the "not-so" perfect fall coffee table.

Ashley Whittiker Design

Having said all that…

I do have some simple tips for decorating your coffee table for fall.


Styling Tips for the Not-So Perfect Fall Coffee Table


Don’t run to the store… Select items from around your home that are special to you or evoke special memories for your coffee table.

  • If you love books… place a few of your favorites on the table.
  • It’s a great spot for travel mementos… even a handful of collected rocks.

Choose things in varying heights… or create heights.

  • An empty vase or pitcher or candlesticks or a tall lantern can be your tall item.
  • A small basket or bowl filled with pine cones or acorns you gathered with someone you love placed on on top of a few books could be your middle height.
  • A small plate or tray is lovely for a low height item… and it doesn’t need to hold anything if it’s eye-catching on its own.

Add various textures and finishes to your coffee table vignette.

  • Mix wood and metals.
  • Choose bowls or plates or vases that have interesting surface texture
  • Remove the jackets from your books for a stronger color and textural interest.
  • Fall is filled with textures… pine cones, acorns, feathers, pumpkins, gourds, leaves.  Have fun gathering or visiting the farmers’ markets for these items.

Large rectangular or round trays are a great help in styling your coffee table.

  • The tray makes a statement on its own… even an empty one can serve as a handy spot for placing beverages… ready for entertaining at a moment’s notice.
  • When you have no idea how to arrange a few items… place them in a tray… move them around until things look good to you… what could be easier?
  • Corral several smaller items in a shiny tray… place a wood bud vase filled with fall leaves  in a tray, next to a stack of books topped with grandpa’s magnifying glass, and a bowl of apples.

Don’t go overboard…

  • Visually empty space is necessary for the eye to rest.
  • You need room for drinks and a plate or tray of appetizers or snacks, too.

Place your items on the table in a pleasing arrangement to your eye.

  • Don’t worry if it’s perfect or not…
  • Relax…. and enjoy this moment you’ve created.


Inspiration and styling tips for the "not-so" perfect fall coffee table.

Shabby Sweet Cottage


You see… there’s really no perfect fall coffee table.

No need to fret about whether you’ve arranged it perfectly or not.

It’s your creative inspiration.

And it’s good. All good.


Home decor is important… but it’s not the do all, end all.

Clean and uncluttered to me is a higher value.

What is important is that we need to make our homes warm, welcoming, places for family and friends.

What’s more important is that our hearts are warm, and loving, and welcoming to all who step through our doors.

And that we open our doors to those who are hurting.

That’s what’s important. 


Inspiration and styling tips for the "not-so" perfect fall coffee table.

Southern Hospitality


On an aside but not entirely…

I’ve been thinking…

How do we open our doors to those escaping religious persecution?

I’ve been thinking about this poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty…

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” ― Emma Lazarus

I have no answer.  Just a prayer.

And the realization that the perfect fall coffee table doesn’t matter…

The only thing that matters are those gathered around the coffee table…

and we don’t want to exclude the wretched refuse from our tables.


Creating the perfect fall coffee table is not only unimportant…

it’s easy compared to what is important.

What is important… is hard… and there are no easy answers.

Or maybe there are… they just aren’t comfortable.

What do you think?


Thanks for stopping by today… I can’t wait to hear your lovely thoughts!

Wishing you... An Extraordinary Day!

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  1. Pinky says

    My coffee table is all set for Fall. I did my inside decorating last week! These are all beautiful vignettes but I agree it is the PEOPLE around the coffee table, and how we make them feel that is important! Happy Labor day!

    • I bet your coffee table is gorgeous Pinky! You’re a great decorator.
      Thanks for stopping by today. Hope your Labor Day has been a beautiful one. [hugs]

  2. Gail says

    Wonderful post. It is who is around our table and not what is on it that is important.

  3. Nancy says

    What a special message this is. As always, your faith and honesty shine. I learn so much from your messages.

    • I almost didn’t publish this post, Nancy. Thank you for your kind thoughts. [[hugs]]

  4. Shirlene Weber says

    Great post! I feel the same way , it is all about the people and God’s blessings. I don’t decorate much these days mostly because my 7.5 yr old won’t keep his hands off things. Keeps me sane not having things out at this time in my life.
    You sure are a wonderful inspiration for keep God first and home second.
    Bless you!

    • I sure understand the challenges of those busy hands. But what a joy those hands are in so many other ways. 🙂
      Thanks sweet friend for your encouraging words. You bless me in return! [hugs]

  5. BETTY Brown says

    I’ve been wondering what to put on mine and as I’m reading your post it dawned on me.A bowl of lemons,a fall candle and a book with dried flower arrangements on the cover.Best part I can shop my house.:)Our main focus should be all the blessings God has given.HAPPY labor day.

    • Oh Betty I am so excited that you’ve been inspired! Your ideas sound absolutely wonderful! Have fun putting your decor together. 🙂

  6. Suzan says

    What a fabulous post Diane – we do tend to sweat the small stuff – and when I see what’s going on in Europe right now – everything I do seems to have a selfish twist to it.
    Even painting.
    There are people dying to escape horrendous conditions. Children found on beaches – dead – My soul aches.

    • Suzan… so much of what we do seems so unimportant right now. We take our blessings so for granted, don’t we?
      Thanks for your kind words. [hugs]

  7. Gwen says

    I missed joy day. I shall do it now for I weep deep at odd times and so ill just do joy day now.
    1. Looking at pretty creativity. Lord you’ve given me a desire to be creative with visions a popping in my head…but wooziness and fatigue and deep wails begin. You created me for this time too.
    2. Joy that Curt gets a second opinion on his heart tomorrow. His pain has been so great. A hard mass. Yet puffy. And warm to touch. No one has had this after pacemakers yet I can’t do laundry. Thank you he did laundry and made scrambled egg and sweet potato some watermelon
    3. I’m lonely so how does one create joy from loneliness? Study Gods Word. I spend time doing that! I’m learning every time. Read reminders. Post them throughout my home. The JOY of the Lord is my strength. Props me up.
    4. I am counting on the Lord yes I am counting on Him. I have put my hope in His name. ( or pretty close) repeat Gods Word. Out of this depths of despair shall come good and glory.
    5. I keep writing to encourage others. To you Diane. Gathering all these coffee table ideas. Fun!! Yes mine is “done” a couple weeks yet just using a bit of this and that and moved around thing so! But I’m weary as I get to the end. So Curt says. Stop. Just stop.
    Blessings to you. Curt’s appointment is at ten so pray. Thank you.

    • Yes… I will pray for Curt today at 10 my time and since time is nothing to God it will be just right.
      You finding JOY in God’s word… in being an encourager… in creating your own pretty coffee table… I count it all joy with you. [hugs]

  8. Carolyn says

    One word, Diane; Masterful!

    • It was the Holy Spirit….
      But you know that, Carolyn. 😉

      Hope your fall is off to an extraordinary start. [hugs]

  9. Kim says

    Diane, what perfect timing you have! I’ve needed to do something different with our coffee table. It was in a rut. Ha! Thanks for this load of fall inspiration. My wheels are turning, thanks to you! 🙂

    • Yay!!!! I love perfect timing! 😉 Now I must keep my eyes peeled to see if you share your inspiration on the blog, Kim!! [[hugs]]


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