6 Steps to Select the Right Coffee Table
If you read my post on choosing the right sofa (here), it’s important to then spend the proper time finding the right coffee table! There are so many shapes, sizes, and materials that can make it overwhelming – especially when you most likely won’t see it in person before purchasing!
Here are 6 steps to select the right coffee table for your space.
Start with Height
Yes, it is possible to go too high or too low. This is an easy rule, though. Find a coffee table that is the same height as the cushions on your sofa or 1-2 inches lower. Any higher or lower and the function is off as you place items on it or potentially eat & prop your feet up.
Nail down Proportions
Now that you know your height, you can nail down width. Generally, it should be 2/3 the length of your sofa.
The ideal distance from the edge of the sofa to the edge of the table is 12-18 inches so that it is close enough to reach for a drink, put an item down, walk through the space, etc. but also not too far to prop your feet up.
If chairs are on the opposite side, follow the same 12-18 inch rule.
For the main traffic pattern, leave at least 30 inches from the outer edge of the coffee table to the console table or tv/entry wall.
Now the fun part! You may already have an idea of this, but now that you have the height and width you can focus on shape. Considering the spacial rules listed above, you will choose between a square, rectangle, round, or oval coffee table.
Typically, a rectangular or oval coffee table works best for small rooms as you get more length. For large seating, square or round works best to open up the conversation and keep it airy. When considering children, the sharp edges can be risky which may bring you towards round or oval.
I don’t mean the literal weight in terms of how heavy. You should think about how the coffee table will balance the room and create space + definition. So, do you want skinny or bulky legs? Drawers or two-tiered? Glass to see through? Light in color to contrast from your dark couch? All of these options are key to balancing out your space.
Think about Function
Think about the space and how you and your family use it. Are you in need of storage? Do you eat in this space too? Do you host here? Do you tend to post up and chill? This will help you decide between a storage piece (trunk, drawered), comfort of an ottoman, or a nice classic coffee table to serve all purposes. A big thing to consider is a child-friendly piece with no sharp edges or glass.
Finally, Choose Material
Now that you’ve figured out what works best for your space and function, think about what material would best suit that. Wood can tend to be the default, but there are so many options that can help achieve a balance of a look you want and your needs.
Acrylic or glass is great for smaller spaces to keep it open. Marble or metal can help bring a modern edge and contrast from your wood floors. Wood can bring a more traditional look. What material is best for hosting game nights or eating your take out? Overall, go for looks here as you want a piece that completes the space and creates a happy home!
Check out my post on Splurge or Save coffee tables here as well as my coffee table styling tips here.
All measurement tips are sourced from HGTV.com