Design coffee table to reflect your style

Wednesday October 9 2019

Irene Kajubi, an interior designer, shows off

Irene Kajubi, an interior designer, shows off her living room area. When styling your coffee table, repeat your wall colour, couch colour or a colour in nearby artwork on your table. PHOTOS BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 

By Carolyne B. Atangaza

Take a minute and think about coffee tables you have seen in the homes you have visited. What impression did they give you? Did you find an item that made you see your host in a different light? That is what happens every time someone sets their eyes on your coffee table.

You can use your coffee table to show off your style and create an environment that best suits your tastes and personality.

Joselyne Kamisiri is a minimalist by nature, and loves her surroundings neat, unclutters and tidy.

“I although I love keeping things very simple, it does not mean my coffee table should be boring. So I usually just style with one or two of my favourite books at the moment, some fresh flowers usually white roses or lilies, and some business magazines,” Kamisiri reveals. Each of these items point to her interests and tastes and adds visual interest to the table.

No clutter
Zainab Sula, an interior decorator, points out that while the way the table turns out ultimately depends on the individual’s likes and tastes, there are still basics that will make the process even easier. She emphasises the need to keep the décor to a minimum.

“The idea is to create a visually appealing space for the eye not a display for all your knick knacks. As matter of fact keep clutter off the table by for instance getting a beautiful, unique box to hold items that are often left lying around such as remotes controls, match boxes, lighters and candles, creating space for prettier things such as coffee table books and flowers among others,” she tips.


Sula advise choosing something that is of sentimental value to you and has something fundamental to say about you. “We had our honeymoon in Mombasa and before we came back I took time to pick up the smooth stones and sea shells, which are I put in a beautiful glass bowl and are now displayed on my table.

Every time I look at them, I am transported back to those peaceful, blissful, carefree days which fill me with happiness,” she reveals adding that they are also a conversation starter often removing those awkward first moments and setting the tempo for the visit.

Your personality
The interior designer notes that in addition to the accessories, the table should be a representation of your personality.

“There is no end to how creative you can be. There are some quite capable artisans in Uganda currently that will be able to make anything you want I have had custom tables made for clients using steel, wood or glass. It is fun to break away from traditional look and try something unique,” Sula adds.

In addition to accessories, the centre table
In addition to accessories, the centre table should reflect your personality.

It is one thing to be creative and another to create a visual catastrophe with colour choices. If done well a mix of colour, texture and various heights can take a coffee table centerpiece to the next level. Books, vases, greens and metal elements carefully styled in one cohesive arrangement can create a perfectly balanced, magazine-worthy image.

Repeat your wall colour, couch colour or a colour in nearby artwork on your coffee table. This makes that all-important aesthetic connection and creates a repetition of colour.

Bring nature
To bring a natural style to your coffee table, Sula suggests you look to art and nature for inspiration.

“If you take your time, you will find beautiful and affordable art pieces in supermarkets, interior décor stores or even the crafts village that you can add to your accessories,” she notes adding that for families that do not have young children or pets, the coffee table can the perfect place to display their unique indoor plants such as the cacti, a few herbs, or some peonies.

Mini library
If you live in a small space that cannot give you room to indulge your interests such as a library, the coffee table becomes your personal library.

Stacking up your books two or three titles high will create visual interest and give you a place to store your most beloved novels. Many coffee tables have enough space underneath to create storage for magazines, books, baskets, and other items that do not quite have a home.

Board games
This space can also be used to store your favorite board games for those monthly game nights with your friends.

What your coffee table says about your personality

If it is covered in keepsakes
The owner likely has a multi-faceted personality. This voracious appetite to experience new things is showcased throughout the house, but is especially evident on the coffee table. Each piece represents their creativity, which never ceases to surprise guests.

If the owners always use coasters
They are people who pride themselves on planning for the future.
Instead of leaving things to chance, they think about long-term goals. This can be as simple as preserving their table, but it is probably reflected in how they take care of everything they own.

By the same reasoning, if they never use coasters the owners tend to be more spontaneous. This can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on how overboard they go.
If the table is always organised

The owners are probably walking a tight rope between minimalism and perfectionism. From clothing to décor, they are impeccable in every aspect of their lives.

While a perfectly preserved table highlights this, a messy table is usually owned by someone who is more creative. These people do not have time for cleanup, since they would rather invest their energy in other projects.