7 ways to style your coffee table with antiques

Tips for creating a fresh and visually appealing coffee table this season

A glass coffee table arranged with a wire basket of tropical fruit and glass paperweights
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For a mid-century vibe, marry original or new pebble tables with a Fifties-style sofa, love seat or curved bench and plenty of soft furnishings in mustard, grey and green. If you have the space, leave all the tables out on display and style them with vintage ceramics, well-thumbed novels, a small houseplant and perhaps a Bakelite phone for added charm.

Ercol Pebble tables decorated with plants, mid-century ceramics and an antique telephone
Ercol Originals retro love seat in black graded finish £900; Ercol Originals retro nest of three tables £695, all Barker and Stonehouse. On love seat: Mustard Caernarfon cushion £49; Buttercup Gold Caernarfon Tapestry cushion £59, both Jane Beck Welsh Blankets; quilted green velvet cushion £30, Oliver Bonas. Scandi Leaves rug £220, John Lewis. On tables (left to right): Kathie Winkle Mandalay striped plate £5; Denby Arabesque brown mug £6, both Focus on the Past; vintage GPO telephone £50, Rag & Bone Bristol; books, stylist’s own; 1970s studio pottery brown plate £15, Shepton Mallett Antiques, Vintage & Collectors Fair; Crassula ‘Tom Thumb’ succulent, stylist’s own. Vintage magazines, stylist’s own.
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A Moroccan-style table surrounded by ornate floor cushions and gold bowls of pomegranates
Rare Kafiri house panel from Central Asia £345, Artique. On panel: Mexican highball orange glasses £7 each; Mexican orange glass carafe £18, all John Lewis; slipware bowl from Afghanistan £25, Artique; scissors, stylist’s own. 19th-century orange Moroccan kilim rug £750, Lorfords. Old tribal Afghan kilim £295, Artique. 1920s brass dish flower by Georg Mendelssohn £595, Brownrigg. Diamond cushion £40, Smouk Interiors. Black and white cushion £12, Matalan. Tayo floor cushion in saffron £95, John Lewis. Negana large tapered vase £89.95, Nkuku. Ochre yellow cushion £19.50, Marks & Spencer. Cushion made from old Kutch textile £25, Artique. Fringe cushion £14, Dunelm. Brown Moroccan leather pouffe £130, Smouk Interiors.
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Choose a delicately decorated oriental-style table as your focus piece in the room and accessorise it simply with a few nods to the theme. Chinese bowls, fresh fronded foliage in a sculptural vase and other well-chosen accessories in toning shades are all ideal companions.

An oriental-style table topped with Basalt teapots, rice bowls and chopsticks
Mid 20th-century French Maison Jansen occasional table £1,500, Brownrigg. On table: Fusion Ikat yellow bowl £6, John Lewis; chopsticks £2.50 for 10 pairs, Ding Sing Oriental Supermarket; cup £1.20, 168 Oriental; Tokyo Design Studio Arare teapot £30, John Lewis. Ella Floral Print Satin fat shoes £78, Anthropologie. Empire yellow vase with two ears £75, Nook Deco. Chinese bowl £24, Focus on the Past.
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If your style is more traditional, try teaming an exquisite occasional table with handcrafted marquetry alongside richly patterned rugs, tapestries and antique armchairs with carved details. Here, the grain of the wood on the table contrasts beautifully with the wooden floorboards and mahogany chair.

A traditional marquetry coffee table on an antique Persian rug
18th-century Italian occasional marquetry table £3,800, Brownrigg. On table: Royal Albert 1990 Bouquet three-piece set £70, Royal Albert; glass vase, stylist’s own; vintage knife £3, Malvern Flea & Collectors Fair. 19th-century carved mahogany Regency-style French chair £12,500 for 12, Lorfords. Mid 20th-century Hamadan runner £295, Focus on the Past.
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Create visual interest with different textures. A glass table is a fabulous option if you have a striking floor (parquet, for example) or a rug that’s crying out to be noticed. Place a standout ceramic or piece of glass on top to anchor the look.

A glass G-Plan coffee table atop a vintage-style Berber rug
Vintage G Plan 1960s Astro coffee table £195, Cream & Chrome. On table: large Murano glass dish £35, Rachel’s & Michael’s Antiques; vintage cups, saucers and teapot £25 for the set, all Focus on the Past. Moroccan Azilal rug £645, Emily’s House London. Mustard leather pouffe £130, Smouk Interiors. Yellow vase, stylist’s own.
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Sparkling glass and shimmering brass are together the epitome of glamour. Think plenty of luxurious touches with gold-edged bowls, marble platters and deep-pile rugs.

A gold and glass coffee table topped with studio ceramics and metallic cocktails accessories
Vintage brass and glass table £250 for a set of three, Rag & Bone Bristol. On table: Edo grey and gold ceramic platter £36, Oliver Bonas; cocktail glasses, stylist’s own; marble and lapis platter £60; Fusion hammered metal gold coasters £15 for four; hammered stainless steel cocktail shaker £25, all John Lewis; cocktail stirrer, stylist’s own. 1960s chair £1,700 for a pair, Brownrigg. Geo Club cushion £40, John Lewis. Vintage Berber Azilal rug £295, Smouk Interiors.
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A sleek glass coffee table requires minimal dressing and allows collections to take centre stage. Paperweights may be rarely used these days, yet can be wonderful objects in their own right and are hugely collectable. These glass orbs are filled with colour and will catch the light in a beguiling way.

A glass coffee table arranged with a wire basket of tropical fruit and glass paperweights
Henge Amesbury porcelain tiles £36.11 per tile, Fired Earth. Vintage Azilal Berber rug from the Middle Atlas £245, Smouk Interiors. Gallotti & Radice side table £265, Lorfords. On table: vintage wirework fruit bowl £15, Rag & Bone Bristol; paperweights from £10 each, Rachel’s & Michael’s Antiques. Plant pots, stylist’s own. Great Britain in Colour by Paul Farrell £14. Glass tumbler, stylist’s own.

Photos: Philip Sowels
Styling: Jaine Bevan

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