Everything You Need For a Skillfully Styled Coffee Table

Styling the coffee table is one of our favorite activities. There's no right or wrong, and we love to switch up the look every once in a while. That said, it helps to have a few chic accessories handy to make transforming your tabletop a fun and inspiring task. Here are our essential standbys. _1 There are countless beautiful trays on the market -- and you probably already have one handy in your kitchen -- but these must-have accessories aren't just eyes on the eyes: they're functional, too. Trays can be used to corral smaller items.
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 Lacquer Hexagon Tray, $175, Jonathan Adler Rectangle Walnut Serving Tray, $275, Heath Ceramics   Palm Leaf Tray, $75, Furbish Studio
_2 Coffee table books earned their name for a reason -- and it's because hefty art, style, and photography books look gorgeous on a coffee table. We love to set a few stacks of books on our coffee table, but sometimes we'll open one to our favorite page or chapter to invite friends to take a look. Switch it up whenever you feel like your table needs a new "outfit."
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 Diana Vreeland Memos: The Vogue Years Edited by Alexander Vreeland, $38, Amazon  Slim Aarons: A Place in the Sun by Slim Aarons, $46, Barnes & Noble  Interiors by Martyn Thompson, $50, Jayson Home

If you have the room for them, sculptural pieces add an artful element to your table. We'll admit they're merely decorative, but they can add a bit of personality and movement to your table. Vintage pieces are our favorites: look for small brass animals, glass globes, or hand figurines. We love to stack them like paperweights on top of books.

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 Pedra Coasters, $68 (Set of Four), Rablabs  Noir Peace Sign, $46, Zinc Door  Beetle Paperweight, $60, Dwell Studio
_4 Plants and flowers are wonderful additions to every room in the house, and the living room is no exception. A fresh bouquet is always a pretty treat, but potted plants, moss, or even a vase of branches will have more longevity. If you don't have a view to compete with (such as a TV), try something with height to play with scale.
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 Fin Ceramic Vase, $30, West Elm  Geo Terrarium, $95, Jayson Home Copper Patina Planter, $20, Leif 
_5 Tabletop lighters had their heyday as a glam home accessory in the early 20th century when smoking didn't have the stigma it has today, but let us tell you: they're still beautiful accents -- and a shoo-in for your coffee table. Better yet, you can still use them to light your candles without raising an eyebrow.
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 Lalique French Crystal Tokyo Lighter, $395, 1st Dibs  Dunhill Sabre Jet Polished Chrome Table Lighter, $473, 1st Dibs Brizard Tan Leather Table Lighter, $171, eLighters 

Tempting as it may be, we don't recommend judging a book by its cover when it comes to candles. Luckily, there are countless beautiful and wonderfully scented options on the market. There's nothing cozier than a candle lit up beside the sofa when you want to unwind, so make sure you have one in your coffee table styling arsenal.

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 La Loteria Matches, $5, Furbish Studio  Patriot Bust Candle, $34, Nickey Kehoe  Woodstack Candle, $17, Rodale's
_7 Like trays, bowls are great for corraling little things. We love to keep one or two on hand to use as a catch-all for jewelry and other little odds and ends.
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 Balinese Palm Leaf Basket, $149, The Loaded Trunk  Form Bowl Set, $90, Y Living  Blue and White Bowl, $238, Biscuit
Photographs: Vogue, Vogue, Eric Piasecki, Eric Piasecki, Richard Powers, Windsor Smith, Grant K Gibson, Lauren Geremia, House BeautifulJustin Coit, Yatzer