Interior design maestro Martyn Lawrence Bullard shares his 5-step formula for styling a coffee table

Styling a coffee table is all about adding personality to a room, according to the interior designer

Headshot of Martyn Lawrence Bullard
(Image credit: Getty Images / Michael Tran / Contributor)

Celebrity interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard has shared his design expertise regarding how to style a coffee table in the home. Known for his eclectic approach to interior design, it's no surprise that his coffee table styling ideas follow suit.

In the video, which Bullard shared via his Instagram, the acclaimed designer makes it clear that he believes styling a coffee table should be deeply personal; layered with items that have meaning to you.

We take a closer look and break down Bullard's five top tips for you to replicate the look in your own home, perfect for styling a coffee table for fall

1. Add personality with books

Coffee table styled with books

(Image credit: McGee & Co)

The first step in styling a coffee table, according to Bullard, is adding books. Tapping into this popular coffee table display trend, books don't only look stylish, but they're a great way to reflect your own interests, as Bullard explains: 

'Not only because I love books, but also because they add height to the table. They kind of give a little window into your personality, but they also give a lot of interest to the space.' 

2. Showcase meaningful objects

The second element to consider when styling a coffee table is adding personal and sentimental decorative objects. In the video, Bullard shows a plate he purchased on a trip, which he explains is a great way to create a layered look whilst also reflecting memories. 

3. Create ambiance with candles

Coffee table with candle

(Image credit: McGee & Co)

Candles are an essential part of styling a coffee table, according to Bullard. His preference is a candelabra, which he praises for its ability to not only add extra height to the table but for the flattering glow it gives the room. 

In addition, he goes on to explain: 'Never forget a fragrance candle, again, to give your own flavor into the room.' 

4. Layer with boxes

'Boxes too are always wonderful. I collect boxes from everywhere,' he says. Not only do boxes act as a further decorative feature on the table, but they're also excellent for storing away smaller items that may otherwise clutter the space. 

5. Finish with flowers

Coffee table with flowers

(Image credit: McGee & Co)

Bullard's final step in styling a coffee table is adding flowers: 'So really and truly, it's all about personal objects. But the thing that crowns it, that gives it that sort of wonderful natural flavor, are flowers.'

Displayed in Bullard's home are pink garden roses that he explains bring a pop of color to the room as well as an element of freshness. Take reference from the designer and opt for flowers in a different color to the room's main palette to add further interest to the space. 

Style your coffee table with these items

Whether you're looking to start styling your coffee table from scratch, or rather looking to make some fall-inspired additions in anticipation of the changing seasons, we've rounded up some of our favorite coffee table accessories for you to shop below. 

Whatever design style you lean towards, make sure you follow Bullard's final piece of advice: '...when designing a coffee table, just go for it. Design with abandon.'

If you're looking for more inspiration, take a look at further coffee table decor ideas we've rounded up, or, if you're looking to try something new, we've got lots of ideas on coffee table alternatives for the home. 

Emily Moorman
News Writer

Emily Moorman is a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, working across a range of topics spanning interiors, celebrity and emerging trends. With a background in the fashion industry, Emily is well-versed in the world of design and trend cycles. Her undergraduate degree was in Fashion Communication and Promotion which she studied at Norwich University of The Arts, specialising in writing and digital communications.