Skip to main content

These coffee table Christmas decor ideas put a modern spin on old favorites

Try these simple holiday decor ideas to modernize your seasonal design

Christmas centerpiece wreath wrapped around a candle
Liliboas / Getty Images

As Christmas nears and holidays encourage us to deck the halls, you may be wondering what to do with your coffee table. It’s easy to add pieces that are too big and make the space feel clunky. Or, you add something too small, which makes your coffee table feel bland and empty. Here are some of the best Christmas decor ideas to add to your coffee table that honors the season while maintaining a modern feel.

Festive Christmas table setting
Maria Evseyeva / Shutterstock

Try a simple wood bowl filled with ornaments

Modern home design favors the sleek and simple, so this year, take a cue from the modern book and use a simple wood bowl for your decor. Place a wooden bowl in the center of the coffee table and fill it with stunning gold and silver ornaments for a gentle yet elegant look. This is best done on a glass coffee table. However, if you have a wooden table in your home, add a small plaid or winter-themed placemat underneath to break up the look of the space. For a more rustic look, layer two placemats beneath the bowl and swap out the ornaments for pine cones.

wood table with a white ceramic mug for christmas
Nina Buday / Shutterstock

Use glass vases and evergreen sprigs

Glass vases offer a classic and sophisticated look. Vases carved to shimmer like crystal are trendy around the holiday season. Use a table runner or placement on the center of your coffee table, and then top it with a few glass vases of varying sizes and shapes. Fill the vases with twigs, evergreen sprigs, candy canes, or dried grass for a beautiful, curated look. If you want to add an extra touch to your design, lay an evergreen garland or beaded garland between the glasses to add more visual flow.

Burning candles and Christmas decorations on wooden tray
igishevamaria / Adobe Stock

Put out a wooden tray with evergreens and candles

Similar to the wooden bowl, a wooden breakfast tray can also be a perfect solution to fill the empty space on your coffee table. Lay down the tray and adorn it with evergreen sprigs or garlands. Scatter pine cones throughout the garland and add some candles and candelabras to create an elegant look.

Recommended Videos

Candles alone are a great way to decorate a coffee table. You can add tea lights or larger candles inside glass jars or focus solely on candelabras. During the darker days this winter, have fun lighting them for a romantic, gentle look.

Modern christmas decorations with candles, bulbs, and small trees.

White ceramic fits beautifully with modern styles

Ceramics have become a staple piece of decor in modern homes. Many modernists have favored white ceramics that focus on simplicity and neutrality. So, for Christmas, add a few ceramic houses, reindeer, or mini Santa figures to your coffee table. You can set them up on their own or place them on a lazy Susan or wooden tray. Add some patterned fabric beneath them or drape some garland around the figures to create a sweet design.

wood palette with ceramic mug pine cones and christmas lights
puhimec / Adobe Stock

Pine cones and wood carvings are a perfect touch

If you want something more rustic or authentic, pine cones and wood carvings can provide the perfect touch. A bowl of pine cones (or pine cones dispersed throughout an evergreen garland) looks natural and cozy. They reflect the fantastic winter weather beyond your door and are an affordable solution to decorating for Christmas. Additionally, wood carvings of reindeer, snowflakes, and other Christmas themes are great for keeping things simple yet sophisticated. For homes with kids, wood carvings can be a great alternative to ceramics.

Cozy by fireplace with book, hot chocolate, and blanket
New Africa / Shutterstock

Get classic with a mini hot cocoa station

It’s no surprise that many homeowners love mini hot cocoa stations on their coffee tables this year. A simple tray topped with Christmas mugs, candy canes, a bowl of marshmallows, and plenty of hot cocoa mix can create a family fun station fit for cozying up next to the fire or cuddling up for the perfect holiday movie marathon. With the station set up on your coffee table, all you need to do is bring a few spoons and a kettle filled with hot milk or water for the perfect hot chocolate treat. Adding a bowl of chocolates and a few candles can also make this table decor stand out in your design.

Person hand making a wreath
Pui Shan Cheung / Shutterstock

Garland doesn’t have to be gaudy

When aiming for a modern aesthetic with your Christmas decor, it can be easy to set aside tacky and gaudy garlands. While evergreen garlands are a must-have in many traditional designs during this time of year, they have a reputation for being bulky, over-the-top, and just plain flashy in simple modern aesthetics. However, we’re here to tell you that evergreen garlands don’t have to look out of place in your modern home.

Slim evergreen garlands, small fir sprigs, string lights, birch stems, and slender eucalyptus Christmas garlands exist and are a fantastic way to spruce up modern Christmas decor. You can find these more minimal garlands at stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s during the holiday season. Once you find one that suits your theme and color palette, use it to adorn your coffee table. Lay out a small, slim garland lengthwise on a rectangular coffee table with a candle or two alongside it. Or, turn it into a wreath for a round table with a simple candelabra centerpiece. For extra flair, add a simple red, green, or white table runner underneath for more texture and dimension.

Decorating your coffee table this Christmas can help you get into the holiday spirit while also showcasing your personality in your decor. It’s a great way to honor the season while keeping your coffee table from feeling overcrowded or bland. So try one of these lovely ideas in your home and then kick back and relax for Christmas.

Editors' Recommendations

Amelia Wilson
Amelia Wilson (author pen name Amelia J. Wilson) is a content writer in Greenwood, IN. She often enjoys topics on…
Modern Christmas decor doesn’t mean cold – 6 ideas for a cozy, minimalist vibe
Decor ideas that are both minimalist and warm
Modern Christmas decorations in a living room

Christmastime brings joy and cheer to everyone, and nothing kicks off the festivities more than decorating your home. If the decor in your house is modern, you may be having a hard time incorporating your traditional Christmas decorations with your aesthetic. If you’re thinking about buying all new decorations and it’s stressing you out, worry not. We have some modern Christmas decoration ideas that don’t require you to start from scratch with your decorations — nor will they make your home look like some cold, sad version of the holiday spirit. It's absolutely possible to decorate for Christmas in a way that's both minimalist and warm.

Less is more
Just because Christmas tends to be over the top when it comes to decorations doesn’t mean you have to follow suit in your home. Creating an elegant and modern Christmas living room doesn’t mean stuffing every ornament you possibly can on every open surface. A Christmas tree and a natural mantel decoration should do the trick if your decor is modern.

Read more
How to get a maximalist vibe with your Christmas decor (while avoiding kitsch)
Try these tips when decorating this Christmas for an eclectic, maximalist look
Colorful pink Christmas ornaments in a box

Maximalism is all about being bold with color, pattern, and design. As a maximalist, your Christmas decor is no exception! This year, maximalism has taken the interior design community by storm, emerging with its playful color palettes, unique textures and fabrics, and an optimistic approach to clutter and authentic decor.

However, as Christmas approaches, the risk of your design becoming too kitsch is ever-present. So, we’ve gathered some essential tips to avoid excess clutter or mismatched styles when decorating for the holidays.

Read more
Maximize your tiny apartment: Creative Christmas tree solutions for small spaces
Ideas to try this season for your smaller space that still needs a Christmas tree
Small spaces Christmas decor

Small apartments introduce many problems, but nothing is more frustrating during the holiday season than trying to find space for your Christmas tree. No matter how much you seem to maneuver your decorations, fitting a traditional tree in your home can feel impossible. So, whether you lack the additional space or you’re simply looking for more apartment-friendly ideas this holiday season, we have some creative Christmas tree solutions for small spaces that are sure to get you into the holiday spirit.

Decorate with mini trees
One of the best ways to decorate your small apartment this holiday season is to use mini trees. Skip the giant Christmas trees that take up your entire living room, and instead, opt for miniature solutions.

Read more