Coffee tables can be both beautiful and useful. Excellent for entertaining, displaying, playing games, and for storage, a good coffee table is a multifunction piece that lends charm and utility to your living room, rec room, porch, or wherever. Consider these features to look for in a coffee table when you start shopping for one.
Space Is the Place
The prettiest coffee table in the world will look out of place if it doesn’t properly fit the room. A general rule of thumb is to keep the table in reach of the sofa or chair, no more than 12 to 18 inches away. If there’s a television or fireplace or similar focal point, keep the coffee table about a yard away from it. Above all, ensure there’s enough space to move around and about the room. What that in mind, make sure your table doesn’t visually dominate the space. It shouldn’t be longer than your couch. Consider how its supports look in comparison with your other pieces. Some pros suggest that when your couch and chairs have high, exposed legs, you should have a table that’s closer to the ground.
More Than a Table?
A coffee table can be more than a place to rest coffee mugs. Think about how you can best use the space it occupies. Is the room a place where people hang out at parties or on lazy Sunday mornings? Pick a table with enough space for food, drink, and more. Is it for a family room? Consider a table with a bottom shelf, drawers, or a hidden storage area for holding games, toys, and other entertainments. Enjoy making floral arrangements or have a few knickknacks that would look better out in the open than on a sideboard or shelf? Pick a table that provides the right space for a lovely display.
The Right Look
The variety of coffee tables is a stumbling block on its own. Formal or casual? Wood or metal? Mission style or modern? It all depends on what best complements your existing pieces and décor. If you’re going for a more rustic or rugged look, consider the natural beauty and colors of a live edge wood slab coffee table, customized to your personal specifications. Do you have small children in your home? Keep safety in mind; don’t have glass or marble-topped tables. Overall, wood tables bring greater warmth to a room, provide a homier feel, and stay fashionable longer—especially if you pick a simple, classic style.
Keep the shape of your space in mind as you ponder features to look for in a coffee table. Shapes can subtly influence the look of a room, and some work better than others. Are you furnishing a more bijou room? Design pros suggest oval and rectangular tables for small spaces. Square and round coffee tables are excellent within a sectional or rooms with more seating. Finally, keep the kids in mind by cutting corners, so to speak. Round and oval tables are less likely to cause injuries.