Simple Ideas for Decorating Fall Living Room Centerpieces

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Decorating occasional tables is an easy way to bring a fall style to your living room! Keep reading for my favorite five tips for easy fall coffee table decorating!

Decorating occasional tables is an easy way to bring a fall style and focal point to your living room! Keep reading for my favorite five tips for easy fall coffee table decorating!

You probably recognize by now that there isn’t a season that I don’t love decorating for.  However, fall has to be one of my top four! (wink, wink!)  

Speaking of decorating for fall, if you’re hopping over from Southern Crush at Home, thanks for joining me today!  I am loving all of the early fall inspiration in this tour and I love the pumpkin-themed ideas that Melanie shared!

Fall coffee table decorating is a perfect way to bring those “feel good” vibes of the fall season to your living space.  Plus,  you’re creating a focal point that instantly makes family and friends feel at home.  At the same time, one of the questions I get the most often is:

How do you style a coffee table in the fall?

If you’ve also asked this question, you are not alone!  Even though I love decorating our home for the season, fall coffee table decorating can feel challenging.

However, it doesn’t need to take a lot of time, energy, money, or effort to give your coffee table a quick refresh for the fall season with a beautiful centerpiece and intentional focal point.  In fact, natural elements (like free branches or pinecones from my yard) are a great way to creative budget-friendly decor for a coffee table or dining table.

Keep reading for five really easy tips for effortless coffee table styling!  The living room is one of my favorite places to decorate because it can make our whole home feel fresh and everyone gets to enjoy it, spending time together, in their free time too!

Here are a few of my favorite tips for fall coffee table decorating:

Cozy fall living room styled with unique gourds, vintage mirrors and artwork, and cozy fall pillows

Simple Ideas for Decorating Fall Living Room Centerpieces

Five Tips for Easy Fall Coffee Table Decorating

#1: Base: What do you decorate a coffee table with?

First things first.  One coffee table or dining table decorating essential, no matter the season, is a base.  Whether you use a large tray, basket, bowl, crate, old bread board, your fall coffee table arrangement will be so much easier with this constraint.  Choosing the base is a great way to get started with styling your coffee table or even a dining table!  It is the first step in creating a living room focal point.

The best way is to think of it is the frame for your simple coffee table decor!  Actually, this tip is also perfect for dining room table centerpieces, a kitchen table, dining table, or even something to take center stage on a kitchen island!

You can choose how rustic or elegant, how modern or traditional, or how old or new your base (aka, frame or focal point) will be.  Actually, it sets the tone for the entire look of your coffee table decor.  You will want to invest in a piece that you really love and can use year-round for simple and easy coffee table vignette refreshes.  First of all, make sure you consider your coffee table design when choosing accent pieces.  Of course, this is all up to your personal style!

Here are a few pieces in varying styles that I recommend:

Overhead view of coffee table centerpiece styled with a vintage books, a glass cloche, and fall gourds

#2 Arrangement: How do you arrange things on a coffee table?

If I start struggling with arranging a vignette on my coffee table or trying to figure out some fall coffee table decorating ideas, I try to go back to the basics for beautiful centerpieces.  These are great for the centerpiece and focal point of any living room:

  1. Base
  2. Tall item
  3. Medium item
  4. Short item, usually a smaller seasonal accent
  5. Incorporate a plant, faux flowers, or simple greenery

*If you’re hosting a dinner party or your coffee table is near the kitchen, consider even fruit bowls for bright colors and simple decorations.

Tip: Stacks of books are a great option to give different sizes!

I almost always start my decorating with an odd number of items.  For coffee table styling, three (plus your base) seems to be a pretty magical number.  Interior designers often refer to it as the decorating triangle.

However, I actually typically gather more than three decorative items.  Then, I play around with them until I get an arrangement of three items, usually with different materials, that I love on my base.  Often, I stack items for more layers and interest too.  Basically, coffee tables are the perfect place to just have fun and get creative as you make a special focal point for the living room space.

Here are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind for fall coffee table decorating ideas:

(Or any season, for that matter!)

  • Varied height
  • Create a decor triangle with odd numbers
  • Soften the edges with a plant or floral arrangements, whether faux flowers or fresh flowers
  • Incorporate an unexpected element, such as a small seasonal accent or natural elements
  • Repetition of a color scheme, pattern, texture, and style throughout the room (meaning, the 3 items don’t have to be the same but they should usually repeat some kind of color, pattern, texture, or style displayed elsewhere in the room for a cohesive look

In this fall coffee table styling, you can see how I used a large bread board as the base for my focal point. Next, I added a vintage zinc vessel with a mixture of fall faux stems and florals.  Then, I added a grouping of books for my middle height.  Lastly, I added a glass cloche with a vintage quail statue.  The quail brings an unexpected touch while also having a subtle nod to the season and use of natural elements..

The colors, texture, and style in this vignette are mirrored in the room.  This helps the overall feel of your living room to be cohesive.  Next, the zinc bucket accents the zinc table top.  At the same time, the vintage leather books (which make great coffee table books) match the color of the stacked items used for a side table.  Then, the glass cloche connects with a grouping of cloches and dried gourds on the cabinet I use as a sofa table.

Shop this look:


Coffee table centerpiece vignette styled for fall, displaying the typical designer's triangle as shared above

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule!  

Since it is your home and your decor, you get to choose what you love and then just enjoy it.  For example, this swan and trencher don’t really fit the rules of 3 items and odd numbers  like I discussed above.

However, I love how the swan looks in the trencher.  At the same time, the wood coloring of the trencher and the chippy white patina of the swan closely mirror other tones and patinas in our family room.  Even though it is certainly an “out of the box” coffee table styling, it doesn’t feel out of place in this room.  This is a great example of how you make the “decor rules” work for you.  The good news is, you don’t have to follow the rules at all!  You can just decorate however you love!

These rules only exist to help you get your creativity wheels spinning!  After that, the most important thing is just to have fun with your decor and create something that you love.  Some of my favorite coffee table decor ideas have definitely broken a few decorating rules over the years!

 large white wooden swan placed in a large vintage dough bowl on a coffee table

#3 Functional: How do you style a coffee table tray?

Even though I absolutely love home decor and enjoy trying to make our home look pretty, it’s much more important that our home functions well for my family.  Since this coffee table is often used for games and puzzles, I keep two things in mind when trying to come up with just the right centerpiece and focal point for the room.

First of all, I only place one vignette at the end.  Since our coffee table is oversized, it allows me to keep one end “pretty” and the other end open for games and activities.

Secondly, I always keep my fall coffee table decorating ideas limited to something that fits on a base.  As I said at the beginning, a base allows you to easily move your coffee table decor.  In this space, I used a large bread board as my tray.  Then, I created a decor triangle with a cloche, a stack of books, and a large candle.

Tip: Your tray should usually take a similar shape as your table.  For example, with a round table you may want to try a round tray for the center of your table.

For a touch of the unexpected, I tucked in some old ledger pages.  They offer some extra texture and interest between the hard lines of the glass and the books.

If you feel a little stuck when styling your fall coffee table tray, try this easy combination:

  1. Large Tray
  2. Plant or vase of faux or fresh flowers
  3. Trio (or odd number) of candlesticks with battery-operated taper candles (THESE are my favorite!)
  4. Small dried gourd or pumpkin decorative objects or natural elements.
Coffee table styled with a glass cloche, vintage books, fall gourds and a cozy fall candle

I think the most important thing is that your coffee table decor works around your family’s lifestyle, rather than trying to always work around the decor.

For example, if you know that your family will want to rest their feet on the coffee table when getting cozy for a movie night, make sure your coffee table decor is clear on the sides.

Since I know that the decor on this fall coffee table is going to need to be moved a lot for games, I style it on a tray at one end.  It’s easy to move if we need more space.

Homes are not for show!  They need to be functional, accessible, and comfortable for everyone.  Planning your coffee table styling and decor accessories with those in mind first can help eliminate frustration later on!  (Trust me.  I speak from experience here!)

How do you customize a coffee table?

Even though our back living room is a small space, we knew we wanted an oversized coffee table to be the focal point.  Since this is the main place where we gather for games and activities, it was important to have a piece that met those needs and will function well for our family.

We came across this antique 6 foot library table at an auction.  Since it is narrow and long, it fits the space perfectly.  However, it was way too tall.  So, we cut the legs off to make it the perfect coffee table height.

Some may say that we ruined a beautiful piece of furniture.  However, we feel like we took a gorgeous piece and made it something that can be used and enjoyed by our family on a daily basis!  It is literally the focal point of the entire room!

You can easily customize a table and turn it into your coffee table: How tall should I make my coffee table?

16-18 inches is considered standard height.  We really like the 18 inch height, especially for this table, since we play games here a lot.  16 inches would feel like we were bending down more.  Funny what two inches can do, right?!

Beautiful view of sitting room styled for fall with cozy pillows, a cute coffee table and a wooden trough full of gourds

#4 Plants and Flowers: Incorporate seasonal stems into your fall coffee table decorating ideas

Almost always…not every time, but almost…my fall coffee table styling ideas will include some seasonal plants, flowers, stems, or branches.  Actually, no matter the season, I typically have some kind of fresh or faux greenery or flowers on my coffee table.

I love how green plants or even a clear glass vase of flowers bring some life and movement to a vignette.  Also, vines from plants can soften the otherwise hard or straight lines of the items used in your coffee table decor, such as books and candlesticks.  Coffee tables are a great place to add fresh elements that make a whole room feel so special and intentional!  I don’t have a green thumb, so I really count on quality faux greenery and flowers, especially for a pop of color.

You can find several ideas for decorating with fall flowers on a budget over on THIS POST.

Over on THIS POST, I share some ideas for thrifted and vintage vessels to make even inexpensive grocery store flowers look special!  Even on a small table or in a small apartment, a simple bouquet is a wonderful way to add a seasonal touch and pop of color.

Here are some great options to try for fall coffee table decorating:

White vintage apothecary, large mirror, and sitting chairs styled for fall with rust tones, vintage frames, and fresh flowers

#5 Accessories: What do you put on a display coffee table?

Figuring out exactly what to display on your fall coffee table can be a challenge.  For me, there are often TOO many things that I want to display, so I have to narrow down my choices.

However, it can really be helpful to stick with that formula from #2!  Even though there are so many pretty fall accessories, you really only need one or maybe two, at the most, to give your coffee table decorating a great look for fall.  Just using a single item, like a clear vase of flowers, for your center table can also give a more modern look to your living room space.

I am not a minimalist in my decorating.  Can you tell?  Haha!  However, especially for a high-traffic area like a coffee table, less is usually more.  Plus, you can allow one or two favorite seasonal items to really become the focal point and avoid a cluttered vignette.

Here are a few favorite accessories for fall coffee table styling with a more neutral color palette:

two gourds on top of a stack of books, styled alongside a chippy white concrete planter and a vintage mortar and pestle

It’s time to refresh your fall coffee table decorating!

I hope these favorite tips and tricks have sparked some creativity for you.  As always, I hope it gives you some inspiration to love your home and have fun making it special and cozy for your family too.


  • Less is more.
  • When in doubt, stick to the decor triangle.  It’s always a great idea.
  • You can’t go wrong with the most popular centerpiece: A tray, plant, candle holders, and a pumpkin.  And of course, a cup of coffee and a fall scented candle will finish off any creative living room centerpiece ideas perfectly!

Now, have fun decorating and happy fall!

view of a cozy coffee table styled with a glass cloche, vintage books, large gourds and a cozy candle

Now it’s time to visit the next amazing blogger in today’s hop, Kim over at Shiplap & Shells.  She has one of my FAVORITE gardens anywhere!

For even more early fall inspiration, check out all the amazing ideas below!

Early Fall Inspiration From Fellow Bloggers

Easy First Touches of Fall Decor // White Arrows Home

Neutral and Natural Fall Home Tour // Willow Bloom Home Blog

Simple and Charming Minimalist Fall Decor Ideas // Eleanor Rose Home

Fall Decorating on a Budget: Easy Ideas for a Cozy Home // Cottage on Bunker Hill

25 Creative Fall Decoration Table Ideas for Your Home // The Ponds Farmhouse

How to Create a Festive Fall Table Setting // Cottage in the Mitten

6 Easy and Affordable Fall Centerpieces That You Can Make Yourself // White Lilac Farmhouse

How to Make a Stunning DIY Faux Fall Tree That Looks Real // WM Design House

How To Make A Fall Book Page Leaf Garland // Midwest Life and Style

5 Ways To Cozy Up Your Kitchen This Fall // She Gave It A Go

Favorite Faux Fall Stems for Your Home this Year // Pasha is Home

Easy Fall Flower Arrangement // Sand Dollar Lane

Easy Fall Pumpkin Pillow Cover DIY Using A Vintage Chenille Bedspread // Southern Crush at Home

Simple Ideas for Decorating Fall Living Room Centerpieces // Robyn’s French Nest

19 Easy Ways to Transition Your Home Decor From Summer To Fall // Shiplap and Shells

Early Fall Decorating // Paint Me Pink Blog

Transition Summer To Fall With Simple Changes // A Stroll Through Life

Easy Fall Wreath For Your Front Door // Amy Sadler

I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  











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