Leave some open space on your accent table, especially if its surface contains an interesting design.

How to Arrange Home Decor on Accent Tables

by Lisa Monroe

Poor arrangement could leave you with an accent table that looks either too bland, or cluttered and lost. Whether you want to provide a space for family photos, ornaments or practical accessories, everything you use must fit the scale of the accent table and harmonize with your surrounding decor. Use layering and softening techniques to add depth. Take some time out of your busy schedule to carefully consider the shape and placement of your accent table arrangement.


One of the most important elements of displaying home decor on an accent table is balance. The decorations must have a similar style and color coordination. For example, if you are using books as a riser for another object, keep the books in a particular theme -- the spine of an antique hardback book does not work with a modern paperback book. Ensure the arrangement contains contrast with the textures of all the accessories. A smooth candlestick contrasts well with the roughness of a wicker basket when you group them together.


Place items of similar scale on your accent table for balance. Avoid using a lampshade that exceeds the size of the accent table’s surface area. In the same vein, avoid dressing an accent table with items that are too small. If you want to use small items, give them prominence by grouping them together or placing them on a riser. Keep small ornaments at the front and larger pieces at the back to give your display depth.


Too much of the same shape prevents your accent table decor from doing its job. If all of the accessories on your table are the same shape, they will not attract attention. If the majority of your surrounding furniture has square edges, decorate your accent table with curvy objects to break up the look. Keep continuity in mind when it comes to the shape of the accent table itself. A square-edged lamp may look odd atop a round accent table.


Leave a little bit of surface space on your accent table. If you do not have any visible surface space, the arrangement appears too dense and results in a cluttered, untidy look. Simplicity is essential. Sometimes removing an object or changing its position could be all that is needed to achieve the look you want. If you have a display that looks a little too static or bland, liven it up with a vase filled with blossoming flowers or a houseplant. If you would rather have something more personal, add a family portrait in an attractive photo frame.

About the Author

Based in Somerset, Lisa Monroe has worked as a professional interior designer since 1998. In 2012, Monroe started putting her knowledge into practice, writing articles for both online and offline publications. She holds a degree in creative arts from Bath Spa University.

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