Furniture Guides | Coffee Tables

How to Choose a Coffee Table

Coffee tables are the perfect pieces of furniture to help you create a casual, comfortable focal point in your living room. With so many styles, designs, and materials to choose from, how do you know which coffee table will suit your needs?

From a modern city condo to a rustic farmhouse, there’s no shortage of unique pieces out there in the furniture marketplace. Read on to discover how to choose coffee tables that will not just become an important part of your living space, but that will also add to the overall aesthetic of your home.

How Do I Choose the Right Height, Shape, and Size for my Coffee Table?

When you’re perusing the endless sea of coffee tables available, it’s crucial to find one that fits nicely in your space.

  • When it comes to height, ideally, you’ll want to pick out a table that sits right at the same height as your couch cushions or about one to two inches lower. Anything too high will feel awkward and the table could end up overtaking the space. Measure your sofa’s total height at the center seat cushion and bring this information with you or use it when you research the dimensions of the coffee tables you’re interested in buying.
  • The shape is another factor to consider, but you’ll have more leeway when you’re picking out the perfect silhouette for your new coffee table. Long rectangular coffee tables are the most popular choice since they tend to give you more surface space. A round or square table works great in modern and contemporary living rooms to add an artistic element to your home. Make sure you give yourself at least 18 to 24-inches total clearance around the table, and you can pick any shape you prefer.
  • In terms of the overall size, the table should be no longer than two-thirds the length of your sofa. Measure the area where you plan to place your coffee table to serve as a guide as you select the right size for your living room.
Natural Coffee Table
Round Coffee Table
Square Coffee Table
Hexagon Coffee Table
Triangle Coffee Table
Half Circle Coffee Table

What Type of Material is Best for Coffee Tables?

The living room is one of the busiest places in your home, so it’s crucial to choose a coffee table that’s crafted of durable materials.

  • Wood tables are common but can also show water damage from drinks, scratches, and dings. If you opt for wood, just make sure the finish is complementary to your living room décor so that it stands out and doesn’t just blend into the background.
  • Solid wood coffee tables will hold up well to heavy use, however, they tend to lose their finish faster than some other materials.
  • An alternative to wood is a coffee table made of metal like stainless steel or iron. This material is substantial, quite durable, and it will give your living room a sleek, modern look. Metal comes in a range of finishes from classic weathered bronze to modern shimmering gold and bold black.
  • Glass tabletops will make your coffee table look sophisticated. When it comes to materials for tables, glass is a breeze to keep clean with a simple wipe down. It also doesn’t show stains like finished wood will. Look for coffee tables with a tempered glass top so you know it can handle your busy lifestyle. You may want to avoid choosing a glass coffee table if you have young children or rambunctious pets.
Solid Wood Coffee Table
Natural Wood Coffee Table
Gold Coffee Table
Metal Coffee Table
Clear Glass Coffee Table
Glass And Solid Wood Coffee Table

Which Style of Coffee Table is Best for My Home?

Once you’ve determined the ideal size and material for your coffee table, it’s time to consider the style that will work best in your living room. Here are some examples of different styles to help you decide which aesthetic will look beautiful in your space:

  • Select a coffee table crafted of wood with metal hardware on the drawers or legs to give your living space a rustic, industrial, or farmhouse-inspired look.
  • If you adore modern design, consider contemporary coffee tables that feature bright metallic accents, unusual shapes, or that include thick clear glass tabletops.
  • For a natural or rustic vibe, try a coffee table made of wood with a live edge top or one that features an unusual nature-inspired silhouette.
  • Transitional living rooms should use coffee tables in warm wood finishes like maple, walnut, or cherry.
  • A coffee table with a metal frame and legs with a solid stone top is a perfect option for modern décor and for those who love contemporary decorating styles.
  • Don’t be afraid to get creative with color and choose a coffee table accented in a fun finish like a playful blue or charming green.
  • Any table in a unique shape will go well with modern living rooms, while a traditional rectangle-shaped coffee table looks beautiful in any classic space.
Rustic Oak Coffee Table
Tempered Glass Coffee Table
White Coffee Table
Pine Coffee Table
Stone Coffee Table
Crafted Coffee Table

What About Storage Options?

Storage is an important element of any living room.

  • Look for coffee tables that include drawers to enjoy a handy place to hide items like magazines and remote controls.
  • Flip-top tables that have hidden storage compartments inside are a great choice if you need a place to organize extra throw blankets or stray pairs of shoes.
  • You’ll also find coffee tables with a top that can be raised up to use for dining on the sofa or as a work surface.
  • If you just need an extra area to place a few collectibles or decorative items, choose a two-tier coffee table with an open bottom shelf.

Think about the amount of storage your family needs to help you decide which format will work best for your lifestyle.

Gray Coffee Table
Rattan Coffee Table
Manufactured Wood Coffee Table
Hidden Storage Coffee Table
Lift Top Coffee Table
Storage Coffee Table

Best Tips

Choosing a coffee table doesn’t have to be a stressful event. Here are some important takeaways that will help you make the right decision for your home:

  • Select a coffee table that fits in your living room by measuring your living space and then measure the height and length of the table for a perfect fit.
  • Choose tables made of durable materials that not only look great, but that will also hold up to heavy use.
  • Styles can vary from sleek and modern to classic and traditional, so select a coffee table that will complement your current décor.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix things up and pick out a table made of different materials or one that has a unique color or finish.
  • Your coffee table should include drawers and extra storage if you need to keep things neat and tidy in your living room.

Once you have your desired size, material, and style in mind, selecting the right coffee table for your home should be a breeze. Use these tips to guide you in your search, and you’ll have a beautiful coffee table that you can enjoy for years to come.

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