Co-authored by Katherine Tlapa This article was co-authored by Katherine Tlapa. Katherine Tlapa is the Principal Designer and Owner of Honey Bee Interior Design, LLC in North Carolina. She received her BFA in Interior Architecture from Ohio University in 2016.
There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
Sofa tables are a great way to utilize space in a living room. When decorating your sofa table, remember that you want the table to be as practical as possible. Make space to store your remotes and favorite books. Include a few lamps on the table to create a warm and inviting space. When assembling your accessories, try to create a balance of height and color across the table. Have fun decorating your table, and remember to express your personal style as much as possible and include items that are meaningful to you!
Part 1 Choosing Accessories
- Add a lamp or 2 to create a warm atmosphere on your couch. Lighting is one of the most effective ways to create a pleasant atmosphere in a space. Position a lamp on one side of the table to create a striking look, or place lamps on either side of the table to make a symmetrical look. Choose light bulbs that have yellow tones instead of blue tones to create a warmer atmosphere.
- Choose lamps that fit with your personal style and match the colors in the rest of your room.
- Make sure the lamps are proportional to the size of your sofa table so they look good together.
- Purchase boxes or dishes to store remotes. Most homes have at least a few remotes, and you can keep them all in one handy place on your sofa table. If you have lots of remotes, a box is a good way to keep them all in one place. If you only have 1 or 2 remotes, a shallow dish is an aesthetically pleasing way to store the remotes.
- If you have lots of remotes that you don’t use often, store them in the drawer if your sofa table has one or somewhere out of sight. Only place the remotes you use most days on the sofa table. Keeping the sofa table uncluttered will make it look much more elegant.
- Include candles or diffusers to add decoration and scent. Add nice smells to your living room to make the area feel inviting and luxurious. Choose a decorative candle that fits the color scheme of your lounge and has a pleasant scent. Use multiple candles to create a trendy look, but be cautious of combining too many scents as this can become overwhelming. 
- If you have small children or rowdy pets, candles on sofa tables are best for decorative purposes rather than for functionality. Sofa tables often get bumped making them an unsafe place for open flames, so stick to battery-operated candles instead.
- Purchase candles and diffusers from homeware stores.
- Potpourri makes great decoration as well as making your home smell great!
- Add a plant to the table if you want to create a fresh atmosphere. Plants help to improve the air quality in a room and can heighten people's sense of wellbeing. If you want your plants to be a focal point of the table, choose a large plant with thick leaves. If you want the plants to be a small feature, choose a delicate plant with small, thin leaves.
- A rubber fig is a beautiful indoor plant with thick leaves. If you want a more delicate option, the maidenhair fern is a lovely option.
- If you struggle to keep plants alive, consider choosing an artificial plant or a cactus.
- Choose a flowering pot plant if you want to add color to the table.
- Check to see if the plants are poisonous to pets before putting them in your home.
- Stack a few of your favorite books or magazines in a tidy pile. Sofa tables work best if they are practical. If you love to read, include a few books on your sofa table so that they are within easy reach for reading. Stack the books so that the table doesn’t look cluttered.
- Place a book with a nice cover on the top of the stack.
- Choose books that are similar in size so that the stack doesn’t fall over.
- If you don’t like reading, consider having a few interesting coffee table books on the table for guests to browse through.
- Pick a few favorite ornaments to add a personal touch to the table. Less is more when it comes to sofa tables. Keeping the space uncluttered will make the area feel peaceful. However, a few meaningful items will make the table feel more personal and less stark. Choose a few ornaments that are meaningful to you and match the colors in your living room.
- If there is a stack of books on your table, consider placing a small ornament on top of the stack. This will add multiple layers to the space.
- A pinecone, a small figurine, or a small clock are all good options.
- Switch out the ornaments each season to keep your decor looking fresh.
- Place stools or chairs around the table if there is room. If your sofa table and couch are in the middle of the room, a good way to maximize the utility of the table is to add seating. This enables the table to be used as a dining table as well as allows you to pull out extra chairs when you have guests. Choose chairs that aren’t too chunky so that they don’t distract from the table. Place the chairs behind the table rather than at the side of the table.
- If you think that chairs will make the room look too cluttered, consider purchasing ottomans instead. These can be pushed under the table when they aren’t be used.
- Generally, 2 or 3 chairs will fit comfortably under most sofa tables.
- Add decorative baskets or store extra items under the table if it has a bottom shelf.
Part 2 Considering Design Principles
- Add height to your sofa table if you have high ceilings. The side table will look most effective if the height of the objects on the table are proportionate to the height of the room. If you have low ceilings, keep the decorations on the table fairly low. If the ceilings are high, pick taller objects to display on the table.
- Consider stacking objects to create height. For example, place an ornament on top of a magazine box.
- Lamps, vases, and plants are simple ways to add height to the table.
- Balance the height of objects on the table. Create an aesthetically pleasing space distributing your decorations across the table in a symmetrical manner. The objects don’t have to be the same in order to create symmetry. Simply look for objects that are similar heights.
- For example, if you have a tall plant on one side of the table, place a tall candle or lamp at the other end of the table.
- Space apart the tall items so they aren’t all together.
- Distribute color evenly across the table. Avoid using bright blue at one end of the table and lime green at the other end of the table. Instead, use similar colors at each end to create symmetry. This can be achieved through small splashes of color.
- For example, have an orange sculpture at one end of the table and a photograph of an orange sunset at the other end of the table.
- Use one brightly colored decoration to draw attention to it.
- Choose a large conversational object to be the focal point of the table. Spaces work best when there is a focal point in the middle. Sofa tables are often used when hosting guests so consider choosing items that will generate conversation. Interesting books and items that you purchased when traveling are good options.
- The focal point is a good way to integrate color into the table, especially if the rest of the decorations are neutral colors. Choose an item that complements the color of the walls and couches. Don’t be afraid to pick a bold or bright color.
- You don’t need to fill the table completely. Just using a few items can make a huge impact.
Tags: How to Decorate