How do you style a coffee table in the fall?

Create a charming and functional fall display for your coffee table that steals the show from the rest of your living room

Fall coffee table
(Image credit: Magnolia / Anthropologie)

Styling a coffee table for fall can be the first step in creating a striking fall centerpiece in a living room that can become the focal point for other fall-inspired decor in your living room. 

The coffee table is the natural place to gather around with guests to drink, relax and celebrate, which is why it's so important to style your coffee table with a fall display that reflects the warmth of the season as well as your personal style. 

We've provided plenty of fall decor ideas to help you create a stunning fall coffee table display, so if you're wondering how to start decorating for fall, these tips will give you all the inspiration you need.

How to style a coffee table for fall

Coffee tables with rich wood, warm metallic or rustic tones and textures are the ideal foundation for creating a fall display, since they resonate with fall's warm, earthy themes. However, any coffee table decor with a strong seasonal feel can transform even a plain white piece of furniture. 

When styling your coffee table for fall, remember that balance is key. While incorporating various fall decor elements is tempting, you must also maintain some space to ensure your coffee table doesn't become cluttered. Styling with a purposeful arrangement of seasonal items will create an aesthetically-pleasing display. 

1. Display items on decorative trays

Tray display

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

A decorative tray is the best way to to create a focused display on your coffee table. It provides organization and structure for smaller decorations, while also being easy to move in one go, should you need the table top space. 

'Trays that fit the fall aesthetic such as those in warm, natural materials, such as dark wood, or in rusty colors or more earthy tones, such as forest green, will enhance your scheme,' says Lucy Searle, Editor in Chief, Homes & Gardens. 'Or, you could choose a mirrored tray, as above, that will reflect flickering candlelight. 

'Pick its size carefully, since your tray should enhance but not overwhelm your coffee table's surface. Similarly, if its shape reflects the shape of your coffee table, all the better.'

We've listed some of out top picks for fall trays below.

Lucy Searle
Lucy Searle

Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens for over 30 years, starting within the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-1990s. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she has also taken on the editorship of the magazine, which is the UK's oldest interiors magazine at 103 years old. Lucy is a serial renovator and also owns rental properties in the UK and Europe, so brings first-hand knowledge to the subjects she oversees.

2. Add in candles and lanterns

Multi colored candle holders on coffee table

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

The best candles are one of the easiest and most effective ways to style a fall coffee table to enhance the seasonal atmosphere. What better way to introduce a warm glow to your fall living room?

A nice extra touch is to find candles or candle holders with interesting, sculptural shapes and in earthy or warm colors to create visual interest.

'Candles are a quintessential element of fall decor. I would choose a few scented candles in warm, earthy fragrances like cinnamon, vanilla, or pumpkin spice,' suggests Hara Lessandra, Interior designer and CEO of Untamed Creatures. 'Placing them on candle holders or within lanterns not only adds a soft glow to the space but also infuses the room with a delightful scent that instantly makes it feel cozy and comforting.' 

Hara Lessandra
Hara Lessandra

Hara Lessandra is the CEO of Untamed Creatures and an interior designer, Kitchen designer, and home renovation expert. After spending years working as an interior designer, Hara realized that there was a need for a platform that could simplify and streamline the process for homeowners, which is when she founded Untamed Creatures.

3. Introduce natural elements and seasonal florals

Dried flower arrangement in vase

(Image credit: Magnolia)

Incorporating natural elements to your fall coffee table display can be a beautiful way to introduce fall color schemes, add height and texture. Whether this means carefully scattering pine cone decorations, pumpkins and gourds on a tray display, filling a vase with dried leaves and small branches, decorating with dried flowers, or displaying seasonal potted plants in decorative pots.

Laura Rich, Interior design expert at Furniturebox advises, 'For a quick and easy fall fix for your coffee table, try themed floral arrangements and the 2023 trend of dried flower bouquets. My go-to is to embrace stems of berries in stunning color displays, of deep rusts and reds, which also add sculptural elements to the space. Arranging a fall bouquet and placing this as a focal point on your coffee table will add instant impact to the space.'

'For fall, I like to use tall stems in an unassuming vessel – maybe a ceramic pitcher or antique urn,' adds Allison Horbaly interior designer and owner of Interior Fix. 'Fill it with stems that have fall leaves/foliage in yellows, golds, and reds, or flowering stems like a mum. Next, surround your tallest piece; add some pumpkins and gourds that add more color and texture.' 

When it comes to plants, Hara Lessandra says, 'I would incorporate small potted plants or succulents in decorative planters to add a natural element to the coffee table. Plants like eucalyptus, ferns, or even small potted mums can create a beautiful backdrop against the rustic fall decor,' 

4. Display fall accessories

Fall table decor ideas with pine cones, marshmallows and burning sage

(Image credit: Future)

Now comes the fun part: finding seasonal decor to accessorize your fall coffee table is the perfect opportunity to insert your personality and style.

'To inject a personal touch, I would add decorative elements that reflect the charm of the season,' says, Hara Lessandra, interior designer and CEO of Untamed Creatures. 'For example, a stack of vintage books with beautiful autumn-themed covers or a decorative bowl. These special touches add character while bringing the beauty of fall indoors.'  

Let your creativity run wild and keep fall colors and themes in the forefront of your mind when choosing decorative items. We've listed some of our favorite options below.

5. Use fall-themed functional elements

Living room with a lit woodburner, natural stone wall with logs piled on a wooden shelf, armchairs covered with cushions and throws.

(Image credit: David Brittain)

To maintain a balance between aesthetics and functionality, consider which items you need to keep on your coffee table or coffee tables and figure out how to keep these on trend with the fall-theme. 

To do this, switch out items such as coasters, mugs and teapots for fall-themed ones. This can mean finding alternatives with warm fall colors or patterns.

You should also avoid over-decorating a fall coffee table at the expense of having space to store items such as coasters and remote controls.


How to style my coffee table for fall?

The essence of fall revolves around warmth, so try to incorporate warm colors and golden hues. Begin by embracing a palette of burnt oranges, deep reds, and soft browns as well as finding items with warm metallic accents for your coffee table decor. 

Like with fall table decor ideas, styling a coffee table for fall is about making the most of fall colors and elements to create a tactically designed centerpiece display that is also functional. You should consider not only your personal style but also the rest of the room when decorating your coffee table for fall.

Lara Rich, interior designer at Furniturebox says, 'Despite the coffee table being the centerpiece, you do also need to think about the room to make it work in unison, complementing the room’s overall style, materials and tones already in place. 

'For example, matching a raw wooden coffee table with darker tones of wood for a deep and cosy color palette. This can also be achieved with your fall touches, by sticking to a similar feeling throughout the living or dining room where your coffee table is placed – the devil is in the detail, but also in the cohesive styling across the full room.'

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past five years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including recipe articles, reviewing products, writing ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ articles. Lola now writes about everything from organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate student, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.