How to Choose a Coffee Table
So you want to add a coffee table to your living room. Often, this piece is only considered as an afterthought. In reality, it is an opportunity to show off your sense of style. It can serve a myriad of functions besides being a place for your drink. Let’s explore all the things you can get from a coffee table.
Mind Your Budget
Budget is the top consideration. A coffee table isn’t something you buy often. To get the most for your money, you need to balance cost with functionality. And a high-quality piece is a better investment in the long run.
You can easily keep your cost in check by opting for alternative and less expensive materials. Choose a table with engineered wood for the sub material. It can significantly reduce the price and is just as strong as solid wood. Cutting back on size is another option.
Pick Materials to Suit the Function
Coffee tables come in a range of materials that serve dual functions. A glass top, for example, can create a sense of openness. It blends into the background rather than screaming for attention. Other features can take centre stage.
A wooden piece adds warmth to a room with a natural look. A rustic table can make the space seem cosier and more inviting. You can also choose a statement piece. Think of a metal, industrial table with a non-traditional design.
Also, consider the pros and cons of each material. Glass looks contemporary and flashy. But it also means fingerprints and extra cleaning. And it’s probably not a wise choice if there are kids in the home. Likewise, wood has a classy feel about it—as long as you don’t mark the surface by skipping the coasters.
Choose a Size That Fits
The standard size for a coffee table is about 120cm by 60cm. But this is only a suggestion. You should choose a table that is no more than two-thirds the size of your sofa. It strikes the right balance between space and enough room around it.
Be sure to check the entire footprint of the table. Some pieces may have splayed legs that extend beyond the top. Also, measure the surface area of the usable space. Height is another important consideration.
The standard height of the piece runs between 40cm and 45cm. It should be at the same height as the cushions of your sofa. You can opt for a taller table if it has extra padding. The goal is that you should place your food or drinks down on the table rather than up and over. Take into account any extra height of a lip on the edge of the table too.
Select a Shape to Complement Its Uses
A rectangular table is the classic form. It works because most sofas are the same shape. And it maximises the space. Everyone sitting on the sofa can reach it easily. It’s a great option if you have a smaller living room.
An oval or round-shaped table doesn’t have the sharp edges that a rectangular or square table does. That makes it an excellent choice for households with kids. The difference in the lines also plays a role with the decor of the room. Hard lines lend themselves well to a classic traditional decor. The curved lines of a French provincial piece add a romantic feel to a room.
Know Your Style
Generally, furniture of the classic traditional or French provincial style will come in standard sizes. You may find some ornate pieces that vary in length and width. A coffee table of the same decor will create order and cohesiveness. But you can use this addition in creative ways too.
Modern or contemporary furniture often breaks these traditional rules. You’ll find pieces in a variety of designs in non-standard sizes and shapes. These tables can act as focal points to add to their value. They can complement the mood you want to create with a single piece.
Interior designers use a specific mix for creating a balance of colour. The 60:30:10 ratio includes 60 percent for the dominant hue of a space. The 30-percent figure represents the secondary colour. Think the wood trim and baseboards of a room. The 10-percent portion is for the accent touches.
Choose a complementary colour to create harmony in a room. To make the most out of your choice, go for a contrasting one. Imagine a blue room with an orange coffee table. It works because it adds interest and pop to a decor. You can get a similar effect by mixing styles.
We started by saying that a coffee table is an opportunity. It’s an excellent chance to optimise your choice with added storage. You can opt for a piece with a shelf underneath the base for magazines or books. Drawers or baskets will give you a place to store serviettes or coasters.
You can also extend its functionality with the space underneath the base. Place old suitcases or a trunk under your coffee table. This will add to the charm of the decor. And you’ll get the benefit of the extra room for bits and bobs.
Consider the Kiddies
Choose kid-friendly options for a coffee table if there are children at home. Rather than expensive materials like leather, pick something that is easy to clean. Make sure the piece is stable enough to handle rough play. A heavier wooden table may offer a better choice than a tall, lighter one than can tip.
Placement of Your Coffee Table
Where you put your table is just as important as its size. Plan on leaving at least 30cm of open space on the sides. There should be about a metre of room at the end of the table that points into the living area.
This clearance is essential. It maintains the functionality of your coffee table. The people seated will have plenty of leg room. Be sure to take into account any added space you may need for opening drawers. There should be plenty of free space all around the table for ease of use.