Coffee Table Displays as a Room's Focal Point

Coffee tables serve many purposes in a room. They are the keepers of drinks and plates while watching television or having a party. They are impromptu seating for lightweight children. Coffee tables are so versatile and so different in style and shape, that they are beautiful pieces in a room, even without anything on them. However, for a truly beautiful focal point, the coffee table is usually the best place in the room to display it.


Flowers are the quintessential focal point of any room. Their beautiful shapes and vibrant colors make them natural choices for centerpieces. In a room with a coffee table, flowers are best displayed in the center. They immediately draw the eye and create an instant focal point in the room. For an understated display, think small flowers with vibrant color. For a large, extravagant focal point, go with giant flowers and overflowing greenery. Whichever style is trying to be achieved, there is no better place to display the vase than on the room's coffee table.


A good focal point is one that draws the eye and pulls the viewer into the space. It is not overbearing and does not clutter the space with unnecessary visual clutter. A great focal point for a room is to place a large, colorful bowl on the coffee table and fill it with a monochromatic collection of items. For example, if the bowl is red, fill it with white shells or pine cones dusted with red glitter. Create a powerful color punch without overwhelming the space. Bowls are unique focal points, because they offer such an enormous amount of variety and can be vastly different in style and texture. A large, unfilled bowl can have just as much impact as one brimming with colorful pebbles if it has an unusual texture or shape. Be creative with bowls to find one that is a perfect fit for the room and coffee table it will grace.


Literature is a wonderful choice for a room's focal point. A tall stack of books, or a couple of low stacks, placed on a coffee table easily draws the eye and creates an interesting focal point in the room. Books, unlike flowers or bowls, contain mystery and insight. They can tell a lot about the homeowner's interests, hobbies or passions. Hardcover books, though more expensive, provide sturdy foundations for stacking and often have colorful covers and dust jackets. If two smaller piles of books are placed on either end of the table, consider placing two or three tall silver candlesticks in the middle. This will move the eye from the high point of the stack of books, down to a lower candlestick, and back up to the other pile of books. The focal point is then even more visually pleasing, but entirely contained on the coffee table in the room.

Creating a focal point using a coffee table display takes only creative thinking and ingenuity. Think outside the box to create a display that will work well in the room and on the table. Always take into consideration those who use the room most and be sure not to put potentially hazardous glass or plants at a level where children or pets could be harmed.

Veronica Smith, a contributing writer and designer for, offers tips on displaying metal art sculpture and contemporary metal art.