How To Style a Child Friendly Coffee Table – The Sage Haven

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How To Style a Child Friendly Coffee Table

If you’re on Pinterest as much as I am, you’ll have seen all of the beautiful coffee table dexoration ideas, and like me you have probably thought ‘ya, right’ because you know it wouldn’t last five minutes in your house!!

But I believe there is a way to have a beautifully displayed coffee table that not only looks good but is also child friendly.

1. Use a wooden tray to keep it together

Large wooden tray - coffee table tray - handmade tray

Image courtesy of DunnRusticDesigns

A good friend of mine has a home which is so beautiful it has featured in magazines, every surface is luxurious and every bit of glass is perfectly polished, it looks stunning!! But I can’t bring our 5 year old to visit as it is just not child friendly (or hurricane friendly in our case!). Glass, marble and porcelain are sharp, delicate and very unforgiving to little chocolate covered hands!!

Wood is a child’s friend. It’s solid, durable and can mask all the fingerprints that you haven’t had time to clean! A wooden tray is also sturdy enough that you can pick it up, with all the contents in place, and move it out of the way for a board game in the evening.

Having a tray on your coffee table helps to keep everything together so you can teach your child that if you take something off to look at, you put it back on the tray after. It may not be in the perfect position but at least it’s in the general area!!

2. Fake the flora

Blush orchid vase from Next

Image courtesy of Next

As much as I love having fresh flowers in the house, I love having them in the garden more!

Fake flowers used to be awful, like really awful! But in recent years they have improved so much and the attention to detail means it can be hard to know the difference if you buy decent quality.

While a vase of fresh flowers in the living room may look and smell beautiful, the chaos and upset created by a spilt vase is not! If you have good quality silk flowers your kids can touch them and even pull them out without worrying about any damage. Plus you don’t have to remember to fill up the water!! 

3. Add books to create levels

Coffee table books - book stack - book pile

Image courtesy of VisitBatch

Our coffee table books tend to collect dust in the bookshelf after being looked through once or twice when we first get them. So I have started actually putting them on the coffee table (serious Eureka moment right?!!) and to my great surprise it works, we actually do pick them up and look through them, and more importantly the kids do it too.

Choose books which appeal to kids, depending on age and interests, even toddlers like looking at pretty pictures! An encyclopedia, a pretty cookbook or an atlas are great options, educational as well as aesthetic!! And make sure to change them often enough, second hand book shops can be a great place to find large format books at a fraction of the new price.

4. It’s all in the details

Wooden puzzle cube - coffee table accessories

Image courtesy of TheCoolStuffToBuy

A lot of the coffee table vignettes you see on Pinterest include some pretty, delicate ornaments to create interest and layers...or stress and dust if you’re a parent!! 

You can achieve the same effect with something child friendly and interactive. Wooden puzzles are great for adults and older children, they’re a piece of art in their own right as well as being safe for kids to pick up and play with.

You could also use a small wooden box of dominos, a wooden carving or even a small wooden box which can double as a remote control hideaway!

5. Let there be light!

Coffee table candle display on wooden tray

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Of course I couldn’t do a blog post without mentioning candles!! Although traditionally, candles and kids don’t play nicely together, there are ways to make it work without having the fire brigade on speed dial!

Using a small candle lantern can be a great way of creating height and light on a coffee table display, especially if you’re burning a nicely scented candle. 

The alternative of course is to use an LED candle (shameless plug for The Sage Haven!). They give the same ambient glow as traditional candles without the fire risk. Most LED candles also have a timer so you can set it to come on every evening, a lovely welcoming glow to greet you when you settle in for the cold evenings!

6. Put it all together

How to create a coffee table vignette - coffee Table Styling

Once you have everything gathered, play around with different placements on the tray. Remember to keep it accessible to kids, if they’re allowed to touch it’s less likely that they will want to tear it apart as soon as your back is turned!! And don’t be afraid to change it up as often as you like, make it seasonal, add some finds from a nature walk or if you have some photo albums add those in for great conversation starters with guests.

Happy styling!

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