How to Style Beautiful Coffee Table Decor for Winter (With A Tray)

by | Home

Winter is the perfect season for creating cozy spaces around your home!  Refreshing your living room decor can be as simple as restyling a vignette with coffee table tray decor! Check out these tips, ideas, and examples for simple and beautiful coffee table decor ideas!

Who else is loving all the coziness and warmth of the winter decorating season?  Even though I live in warm, sunny South Florida, I still love creating cozy moments throughout our home during these winter months and transitional time in home decor between Christmas and spring!  Today, we are going to chat about a few ways I’ve tried to make our interior spaces feel fresh while giving them visual interest with coffee table design and decor.

One thing I love about winter decor is how simple it is.  After all the big Christmas displays, there is something so calm and peaceful about stripping all of the “extra” from Christmas decorating and giving our home a fresh start.

Best Ways to Decorate for Winter

For me, it isn’t as much about big changes in my family room decor.  Instead, I like to start with a focal point, such as a coffee table, and come up with some simple coffee table styling.  You can give an entire room a refresh by restyling one or two vignettes.  How easy is that?!

Sometimes, I think in decorating we get really caught up in the big transformations.  Of course, these are so fun to watch.  However, small, simple refreshes are the reality for most of us.  A simple restyling of decor can make our homes feel enjoyable and intentional without taking a lot of time or money!

I recently got our back living room deep cleaned, restyled, and refreshed after the holiday season.  I love the simplicity and fresh look it has. It’s one of my favorite places to spend time in our home and I’m glad it’s cozy and ready to enjoy!

I styled up a few winter decor vignettes on the rectangular coffee table in this room and thought it would be fun to share the details of each one with you.  Along the way, we can chat about some tips and tricks you may want to try yourself when you are working with decorative items for coffee table styling.

Hopefully this post sparks an idea or two!  At the same time, maybe even inspiring you to use things in a different way that you already have around your home!

view of back living room styled cozily for winter

How to decorate a coffee table for winter?

We will chat through this post about specifics in these areas.  However, this is a quick reference for you before we get started.

  1. Remove all decor and deep clean the table.
  2. Touch up paint, give the wood a good rub down with Old English, or whatever refinishing may be needed.
  3. Now you’re ready to decorate!
  4. Choose a favorite base: a large tray, woven tray (basket), or bowl with a flat bottom is my first choice.
  5. Gather a variety of pretty decor that is non-seasonal.
  6. Consider neutral colors or soft, muted tones for a really peaceful and simple winter look.
  7. Start playing with the decorative items, styling them in odd numbers.
  8. Keep working things around until you love it!

Tip: If you feel “stuck”, it’s okay!  I get that way sometimes too.  Just step away and leave it for a day or so, then try again with fresh eyes! 

set of cubbies with a library sign, styled with books, greenery, and a cloche on a coffee table in front of the cubbies

How to Style Beautiful Coffee Table Decor for Winter (With A Tray)

What do you put on a coffee table to decorate it?

I am not an interior designer by trade.  However, if you were to ask almost any interior designer where to start with decorating a coffee table, they would likely list some kind of tray as one of the top options for a beautifully styled coffee table.  Who am I to argue with the experts?!

Even though there are many different ways to decorate a coffee table, one of the best ways is to start with a tray of some kind.  This will help your coffee table look curated and styled rather than several decorative items strewn about.

You can shop some of my favorite trays and coffee table decor HERE on my storefront.

large winter tree in a metal urn on a large white cabinet with a dark green top

What shape of tray goes with rectangular coffee table?

What kind of tray you’ll want to use depends on the shape and size of your coffee table.  In general, I think a rectangular coffee table is the easiest to work with because you can use a rectangular tray, square trays, or even oval or round trays.  The most important thing is that the size and scale of your tray has a good aesthetic fit to your coffee table.

​Since my personal style is very vintage and chippy, I often use a large wooden tray on my living room coffee table.  Actually, this “wooden tray” is just a really big, very old bread board!  However, it makes for some of my favorite coffee table decor.

Tip: Invest in a few trays that work with your coffee table.  

They will be the first thing you use for coffee table decor ideas.  For example, a wooden tray, a woven tray or basket, and a large bowl with a flat surface bottom will all work great.

This will make it easy to swap out your coffee table vignettes and get a brand new look without purchasing a whole bunch of larger decorative items that have to be stored when not in use.  I like to rotate my trays, baskets, and bowls around the house to different tables.

For example, a wood tray on the coffee table could be used as the base for a centerpiece in the dining room.  Then, a large bowl from the dining table could be moved to the entryway cabinet.  Basically, consider it a big game of musical trays!

evening view of the back room, candles lit under a cloche and cozy pillows on the couch

What do you put on a decorative tray?

There are so many simple things you can use for coffee table tray ideas.  Basically, you want to combine some favorite things for a cohesive look in small vignettes.

Here are some of my go-to decorative objects to style coffee table tray ideas:

How to decorate a tray for your coffee table?

After choosing a tray and gathering some favorite decorative items, you may want to keep these easy tips in mind as your begin decorating.

First, choose items that keep a cohesive look.  If you prefer a more eclectic style like I do, you don’t have to worry about items that match exactly.  Rather, you will look at the whole room and how to make the space feel cohesive through color, pattern, texture, and decor style.

For example, with this cloche decor, the mercury glass trees repeat color and style.  While the glass cloches and architectural salvage bases are different, they repeat the textural elements of glass and wood, as well as the dome shape.  The gold deer repeat color from brass candlesticks that are also in the same room.

Tip: Repetition of color, pattern, texture, and style are the best way to get a cohesive look.

cloches with mercury glass trees underneath next to a brass deer

Use Various Heights for Coffee Table Tray Decor for Winter

Using various heights of decorative items is a stylish way to make your small vignettes look curated.  The same is even true when decorating with objects of larger sizes too.

Over on THIS blog post, I share a lot of specific ideas for styling objects in odd numbers and various heights.  Basically, you want the decorative items to fit together rather than feeling lined up.  Usually, when you get your coffee table tray decor to where you love it, you may notice the items taking a triangular shape or pattern.

Tip: If I have smaller items that I need to be taller, I stack items or rest an object on stacks of books.  

This is an easy way to get taller items for your vignette!

It is a good idea to have an odd number of items, such as three objects, with three different heights.  Adding some different textures is another perfect way to create an interesting vignette.

a cloche with mercury glass trees inside on top of a wooden base next to a unique brass deer with a small tree behind it

What do you put on a decorative tray on a coffee table? 

For winter, I like to use items that are not so much seasonal as they are textural.  Neutral colors create a really calm and peaceful color palette.  To get a winter look, I usually bring in some kind of natural elements.  Actually, natural elements are the perfect way to add a seasonal touch to your coffee table vignette for any season!

In the winter, I often use pine cones, brass deer, candles, reflective elements (glass, metallics), and winter greenery to make the space feel cozy for the season.

No matter the season, adding a touch of seasonal greenery is the easiest way to directly decorate for the season in a simple and subtle way.  Greenery also helps to soften the edges of the vignette and break up the hard lines of the decorative objects.

Tip: Think of the greenery as a brush that blends the decorative elements together!

Winter Coffee Table Tray Decor Ideas

Here are a few specific examples of winter vignettes I’ve created.  You’ll notice that they are all very simple and can be adapted to use on a coffee table, sofa table, entryway cabinet, or even a dining room table.

Winter Coffee Table Decor Vignette #1: Cozy Cloche Styling

This cozy cloche could not be a more simple winter decor vignette, but it makes the whole room feel peaceful, especially in the evenings!  In general, most any time you group like items together, like these candles and cloches, they make a focal point.

My first suggestion for any vignette is to start with a base.  It could be a bread board, wood tray, platter, flat dough bowl, or low basket.  Really, anything that rests smoothly on flat surfaces can be used as the base for your coffee table vignette.  For this small vignette, I used these antique, ironstone pill counter trays.

(They were a Christmas gift and I love how unique they are!  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any online to link for you, but keep an eye out when you’re antiquing!  If you find one, grab it as they seem to be a rare find.  They also fit perfectly under my large cloche!

Next, I grouped my pillar candles together and added a small spring of faux cedar greenery.  Greenery is a staple item for any vignette styling and even just a little touch of it gives a finished look to this candle and cloche styling!

All you need to create this look is to grab a base, candles, and a cloche!  Don’t forget a little touch of greenery too!

flameless candles and a sprig of greenery underneath a glass cloche
wooden base and a cloche with a wintery sprig of greenery placed inside with flameless pillar candles

Winter Decor Vignette #2: Use the decor triangle

This next vignette is a little more involved since it has larger items and fills more space on this vintage cabinet.  Whether large or small, winter decor vignettes can still follow the decor triangle.

Over on THIS post, you can get more details about how I loosely use the decor triangle in my decorating.

While your decorative items will be different, the general idea is the same for this cozy winter vignette: Winter greenery, vintage books, and an architectural salvage piece!

This.cabinet has a large space to fill, so my decorative objects are oversized.  However, you could create the same look on a smaller scale or whatever fits your space the best!

If you have have any table top trees left from Christmas, this is a great place to use them for taller items!  I added a winter tabletop tree to this old concrete urn.  To me, the chippy white garden style makes it feel less “Christmas” and a more “every day” kind of winter decor!

Tip: Try styling your winter tabletop trees in vessels that you may not use with them for Christmas.  

Think of pots, planters, baskets, pitchers, or even large bowls.  These can also add various textures for visual interest.

If you want to lighten it up, check out THIS post for all my favorite faux greenery this year!

Vintage books are always great filler for winter decor vignettes.  They help tell the story of long winter evenings, curled by the fire, reading a favorite book…even though you probably won’t be actually reading these old law books!  Haha!

Vintage books add a lot of character and texture to any styling and they are also a great way to bring in a touch of your decor color of choice!  I love the old leather and how it blends with the aesthetic of our home.  Pretty blues, like these, would also be beautiful for winter and could transition into spring!

To finish off this vignette, I added a chippy architectural salvage piece.  Architectural salvage is something I always hunt for when we are on vintage shopping trips (though they are getting harder to find and definitely pricier!)!  It adds so much character to any space and I love that it can blend with almost any kind of design aesthetic too!

vintage books next to a small tree n a vessel and a piece of architectural salvage in front of it
a piece of unique architectural salvage in from tof beautiful vintage books and a small faux tree in a planter

Winter Coffee Table Decor Vignette #3: Cozy Candles

I love that this vignette uses several of my favorite cozy things for winter decor!  The first thing I added to my wood tray was this large architectural salvage column base.  Next, my large flameless candle fits perfectly inside.  Lastly, the cloche finishes the whole thing off.  It’s a simple combination that I pull out almost every winter now!

Then, I added a couple more of my favorite vintage books to tie all the winter decor vignettes and styling together and a little sprig of winter greenery.

Remember?  Every vignette, even winter decor vignettes, need just a touch of greenery to soften the edges and pull it altogether!

Lastly, I added a small pair of vintage brass candlesticks and my very favorite flameless taper candles.

When I tell you I love these taper candles, I REALLY LOVE THEM!  They have the best colored faux flickering flame I’ve found so far.  Plus, they are on a 4, 6, or 8 hour timer with a quick and convenient remote.  Also, you can dim them for a softer glow if you wish.  They are perfect and I really enjoy using multiple sets around our home with my winter decorations.

These flameless taper candles are a must-have for cozy winter decor vignettes and you can use them anywhere in your home!

two gold candlesticks in front of vintage books next to a large flameless candle underneath a glass cloche with a unique architectural base
vignette featuring vintage books, golden candlesticks, and a very unique architectural cloche base

Now You’re Ready to Decorate!

I hope this post has given you some fun and cozy ideas for those small, yet impactful, winter decor vignettes around your home!  The simple reset and refresh of cleaning and decorating a coffee table can make an entire living room or family room feel cozy and purposeful.  At the same time, it can help a living space feel fresh and calm after the festive holiday season.

Lastly, I hope the tips and ideas in this post give you inspiration and confidence to pick up a great tray and have fun experimenting with decor styles for your coffee table tray decor ideas!

You can shop some of my favorite new trays HERE on my storefront!

view of vintage book vignette with a unique library sign hanging in the background
I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  










(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Posts on Robyn’s French Nest may contain affiliate links. You can see our full disclosure details here.)

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This