Choosing the right coffee table is one of the most important things you can do to give a room a cohesive, completed look. While it may have been fairly easy to decide on a sofa, love seat, sectional or occasional chairs as they all have the same family feel to them, a coffee table can make quite a statement on its own.
Choosing the right coffee table isn’t haphazard, however. It takes as much thought, and perhaps even more thought, than the rest of the room, since there are literally thousands of coffee tables out on the market. This is particularly true if you try choosing the right coffee table online, as online retailers carry thousands of pieces in stock since they aren’t limited by the square footage of their stores.
However, with just a little homework and planning, you can be choosing the right coffee table just like the pros do. That’s because everyone uses the same basic criteria when choosing the right coffee table.
Size. Scale is an important consideration when choosing the right coffee table. You don’t want the coffee table to be the focal point of the room. As you probably know, every room has a focal point, the one thing in the room that all eyes focus on when a person first enters. You want your coffee table to be roughly two-thirds the length of the sofa or sectional. For example, a nine-foot sofa would have a six-foot coffee table. You don’t want to go any longer than that or visitors may have trouble getting around the table in the traffic areas, which should be 18 inches between the coffee table and the sofa, love seat or sectional.
Shape. This is also an important decision when choosing the right coffee table for your room. Coffee tables come in a wide variety of shapes, from rectangular and square to round and oval. The latter are more informal pieces while the square or rectangular ones feel more formal. That said, if you have an L-shaped sectional you may want to stick with square or rectangular no matter what, since it provides visitors with easy access to the table, no matter where they are sitting.
Style. Of course, any coffee table you choose should fit your overall style. That means matching the table to the style you’ve selected for your main furnishings. If you have end tables the coffee table should match these as well, particularly in terms of wood, color and general architectural and design details.
Here are a few other things you want to think about when choosing the right coffee table for your home:
1. It’s far better to err on the side of selecting a coffee table that’s a bit too small than one that’s too big.
2. Most coffee tables are 16 inches high but they can be as low as 11 inches. Ideally, the coffee table should be level with the cushion tops of the sofa, love seat or sectional.
3. If your coffee is to double as a footrest, consider getting a model that has a padded top or is wood. Sweaty feet can damage delicate veneers and glass tops can crack or break, even if they are tempered if you put too much pressure on them. You can even get some coffee table with reversible tray tops that have a cushion on the reverse side.
4. If you have a leggy sofa, go with a leggy coffee table. If your sofa or sectional is blocky go with a coffee table that is blockier in style.
5. If you like to eat in front of the TV a lot, consider a lift top coffee table that cantilevers up and over to create a table.
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