One of the easiest ways to update a room is to rearrange your accessories. It’s not what you have; it’s how you display it. Here are a few styling ideas to inspire you.


1. On a large coffee table, use trays to showcase smaller objects and break up the expanse of tabletop, as Amy Mitchell of Studio Mitchell has done here. She also used books and other items to add height.

2. By hanging artwork just above this arrangement of accessories on a chest of drawers, marketing executive Marc Shotland gave it the necessary height.

READ MORE: 8 Must-know tips for hanging pictures

tabescapes - SA Garden and Home

3. As the ottoman in her TV room also acts as a coffee table, Lyrene Zimmerman of The Furniture Guild uses a tray as a level surface for drinks, snacks and arrangements of books.

tablescapes and styling - SA Garden and Home

  1. “Keep things interesting with personal mementos and treasured pieces. Here I’ve played with balance, composition and colour,” says interior designer David Muirhead.

tablescapes - SA Garden and Home

  1. Layering items is a great way to accentuate a particular look. Stylist Sarah Stuart-Reckling used a collection of bowls, potted plants and African artefacts on this coffee table to establish a tribal mood.

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Useful Tips for tablescapes:

  • For inspiration, look at displays in shops, in magazines and on websites. Pinterest is an excellent source of ideas.
  • Surfaces like console tables, coffee tables, mantelpieces and bedside pedestals all lend themselves to showing off collectables.
  • Give smaller items more impact by placing them on trays or rectangular plates.
  • Use books to add height.