Today I’m taking the coffee table decor outside, as I share my tips for how to plan your own outdoor coffee table decor, from start to finish!
Are you stumped with how to plan your outdoor coffee table decor? See how I used the same principles as indoor coffee tables for this outdoor space!
Coffee table decor can be one of those difficult-to-master design concepts: you don’t want to have too much or too little on the table. It can be difficult to find that perfect balance of pieces that flow seamlessly together, and doubly so when it comes to outdoor coffee table decor! Today I’m bringing some of the same principles we use for indoor coffee table design to the great outdoors!
When it comes to styling outdoor coffee table decor, we can use the same basic concepts that apply to indoor coffee tables to our outdoor spaces as well.
- The rule of three’s always works like a charm whenever you’re stumped for coffee table styling! The concept behind the rule of three’s is to use three main objects on your coffee table, or likewise, three groupings of objects. This is one of the go-to classic decor patterns for round coffee tables, but it works equally well with square or rectangular coffee tables. For example, in the case of our outdoor coffee table, I used three groupings of objects: a planter with flowers, sculptural pieces, and two books with a candle.
- Vary your object heights. If everything on the table is the same height, the design can become somewhat static. In contrast, if you vary the height of the three objects or groupings on the table, it can help to draw the eye to whichever piece you have chosen as your focal point (usually a larger or taller item on the table). Layering items can be helpful for varying object height, for example, stacking books as I did in this styling. Other options are a taller pot or vase with flowers and choosing sculptural items or candles of varying heights.
- Play with textures! In this case, I used a woven straw table runner folded in half to better fit the size of the coffee table. I love that it helps ground the three groupings of objects in the center of the table and also bring a beautifully natural texture to the design. This, paired with the rich leather of the books and the oil-rubbed bronze metal sculptures allows for a lot of variety of texture, which is pleasing to the eye and makes the whole tablescape feel cozier.
So what do I put on my table?
There are so many options when it comes to outdoor decor, and my favorite thing to do is play with textures by incorporating natural elements! Here are some ideas of items you can locate in your own home, at your favorite stores, or even in a resale shop to add that cozy touch to your outdoor space:
- Plants! Whether it is your favorite fresh buds in a vase or a beautiful arrangement of potted flowers you picked up at your local garden center, this is a great place to bring in a natural touch to your tablescape. Plus, it is easy to use a tall vase or a large pot as the focal point for your outdoor coffee table decor. I prefer to use planted flowers outside because they are easy to leave on the table or in another outdoor space for automatic watering (aka… rainfall!).
- Table runners are another perfect accent and a great place to incorporate texture, pattern, or color into your design. Simply fold your runner in half to use in an outdoor space, and remember to bring inside at the end of the night to prevent wear from the natural elements.
- Candles add a lovely ambiance to any gathering space. They are also a good way to incorporate varying heights. In this tablescape I used a singular candle, but you could easily add a gathering of several candles of varying heights to add interest to your display.
- Sculptural elements such as my set of metal star sculptures are another great place to add some texture, as often times you can contrast your more natural elements with an industrial metal piece.
- Books can be stacked to add height or depth to your overall tablescape. Once again, remember to bring these elements inside to prevent damage to the books from the elements. If you are looking for some design-oriented coffee table book suggestions to add to your design, click here for some ideas from the designers over at Havenly!
Related: Our New Home: Two Lakes Lodge
How do you deal with rainy weather?
My biggest concern with buying an outdoor patio set like this was bad weather! I didn’t want my beautiful new wood furniture and nice ivory cushions to be ruined within a summer. So my advice? Do your research! I read a lot of reviews for a lot of different sets, and kept in mind the return policies on each website. The set I finally set on was one that weathers well according to a lot of other reviewers, and I don’t have a problem with the look of weathered wood furniture on a patio at all! As for the cushions, I chose to use two options:
- First up, we purchased a large (and I mean large!) outdoor storage bin for the cushions and pillows. This will be great for storage in the winter as well, as the storage bin we purchased is quite heavy duty, but for heavy rainstorms that we know are coming our way, we can stick most of our cushions in here for safekeeping. It also contains a zippered section to ensure that water does not seep into the storage portion of the container. This is also a perfect option if you have a tablescape display filled with decor items that you only use outside: store them in your bin with your pillows to protect them from the elements when you aren’t using your outdoor space!
- Secondly, we also sprayed all our cushions with two coats of heavy duty outdoor water “shield” spray, which should protect the cushions from rain showers. It has not yet rained since we put the protectant on the cushions, but the reviews sound promising, so I will keep you posted!
Overall, I am in love with how this space came together! It’s light and airy with just the perfect amount of outdoor coffee table decor, which is important because you don’t want to be lugging a ton of stuff inside and outside when company is over! I love that the flowers can typically just live out on the porch all summer long, and when we have family or friends over, I can bring out a few other pieces to make it feel nice and cozy.
What are your favorite tips for outdoor summertime decor? Share with me by commenting below, and scroll down to shop this post!
Related: Guest Bedroom Remodel
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8 Piece Patio Set – Christopher Knight Home
Outdoor Rug – Safavieh
Striped Pillow Set – Cabana Classic
Palm Print Pillow Set – HACASO
Metal Pail – Etsy (similar style here)
Storage Bin – Patiorama
Water Protectant Spray – ScotchGuard