There’s a pretty simple formula to styling a cocktail table. Here’s a list of some of our go-to things to pop on top:

A box. It’s a pretty accessory that serves a purpose — it’s the perfect hiding place for those ugly remotes.

Something green. An orchid or vase of fresh hydrangeas adds life and a little needed height.

A conversation piece. This can be anything from a family heirloom to a mid-century sculpture.

A tray. Try putting coffee table books or a box on top of it. It breaks up the surface expanse of the table and adds an element of texture.

Books. Add a couple of stacks of good (thick!) reads. Assouline and Taschen are two of our favorite publishers for good and pretty books.



In this formal room, a maquette from sculptor Seymour Meyer takes center stage on the cocktail table. Design by Lindley Arthur Interiors.

When styling your cocktail table, make sure not to neglect the lower shelves. Design by Lindley Arthur Interiors.

Consider using a large ottoman in place of a cocktail table. It can serve as extra seating during parties or a place to put your feet up on movie night. When you want to use it as a surface, set large trays with accents on top. Design by Lindley Arthur Interiors.

The books, flowers and other accents on this table were specifically chosen to mirror the color scheme in the larger space.