Call it what you want—coffee table or cocktail table—the name brings a smile to my face. After all, it’s only when gatherings are scheduled that this surface sees a coffee cup/saucer duo or a double-old fashioned on a hemstitched cocktail napkin. Name aside, most of the time, this piece of furniture plays host to a bevy of beauties. After furniture has been placed, I look forward to the final part of the design process—accessorizing. To have the blank cocktail table canvas to play with brings me design euphoria as I place and rearrange elements until I find the perfect composition. At home, I often find myself rearranging and restyling the cocktail tables and switching out accessories and books now and then.

For this post, I wanted to show a glass cocktail table, specifically. A glass top is an ideal solution for small rooms, as its see-through material tricks the eyes into interpreting style without extra volume. And when there’s a rug worth showing off, a glass table allows an opportunity to enjoy it through the clear surface.

There are a handful of staples that I rely on to amp up this transparent foundation. And I’m thrilled to share them with you here.


I posted about some of my favorite design reads last week. But coffee table books cover a variety of categories from design and fashion to travel and art. Use the table as a revolving door for your books. As new ones join your collection, put them on display here. Another plus? They make the perfect platforms for other objects that deserve to be elevated.


This is your chance to add sculpture and cherished pieces. There’s a special place in my heart for little gold animals like the turtles in the image above. The other silhouette in gold speaks to my love of abstract art. Play with a variety of sizes until you find a good balance.

Bowls and boxes

I use this space to display those little trinkets and treasures that I pick up in antique shops while traveling. Lidded boxes are perfect to store pens, a tablet, a remote, and other unsightly necessities that come in handy. Set a bowl out to have your favorite snack at arm’s length, or if you have one that shines with a handsome design like this metallic, gold-and-white gem, let it stand on its own.

Match Strike

I always have a candle nearby, so a vintage match strike is a chic accessory to keep matches at the ready and lights a flame when I want a little extra glow. As with anything that graces the cocktail table, be sure to keep matches out of reach if there are little ones in your house.

Flowers or Plant

I think that every surface deserves a live moment. There’s no need for any sort of formal arrangement here though. Cut from your own garden to fill a small vase. And if the flowers aren’t blooming, sprigs of greenery will work just as well. I also love a little spider fern in a small basket that doesn’t need much sun but provides living sculpture with its dragged tendrils.

Chances are you have a table in your living room or family room that could stand a redo. Take everything off, set it aside, and reimagine. Once you are done, your new composition will be ready for those guests and whatever beverage they are indulging.