Here's a foolproof formula for arranging a coffee table.

Entertaining guests is what Southerners do best. We love to host friends, family, neighbors – and even strangers – in our living rooms, refilling their glasses with sweet tea and showing them hospitality. If you're hoping to entertain in a space that could use some pizzazz, try out these simple tips for styling a coffee table.

The Coffee Table Decor Formula:

Using these elements, you can apply designer Phoebe Howard’s chic and simple method to dress up any space or tabletop.

1. Start With Something Tall 
Hurricane vases or candlesticks are great because when you light candles, they add sparkle and make everything festive.

2. Place One Oddball Object 
Choose something that’s sculptural and quirky to express your personality. Some ideas: a piece of coral, a glass orb, or a small ginger jar.

3. Incorporate Something Fresh 
A nice pot of ivy, a fern, or some freshly cut flowers add life and easy-to-change color to the room.

WATCH: Coffee Table Decorating Tips

4. Show Off A Stack of Books 
Use a few large, pretty art books to make a stack, and top it off with something decorative.