Choosing the Perfect Coffee Table

Choosing the Perfect Coffee Table

In a living room, a coffee table can be a work horse. It provides a place for you to prop your feet up after a long day at work. It can store your television remote, books, and DVDs. When you host a party, the coffee table can double as a small buffet or table for cocktails. Since the table has a number of important roles, you want to choose one that is perfect for your style and the room it will live in.


The perfect coffee table should be made out of materials that coordinate with the rest of the living room’s decor. For example, if you have a sleek, black leather couch, choose a sleek coffee table make out of glass and metal or even black leather. If you want to add contrasting texture to the room, try pairing a slightly rough-hewn wooden table with a leather couch. Also consider the durability of the materials. A wooden table may look lovely, but if you have children or teenagers, it can be worn down quickly when they put their feet on it or place drinks on it without a coaster. A large leather cocktail ottoman may be a better option if you want something that will last and withstand the rigors of family life.


A coffee table can be a neutral piece of furniture in a living area. For example, a simple glass table will blend in with almost any decor. If you wish to use your table to tie the colors of your room together, choose a painted table or fabric covered table in a color that appears throughout the room, such as red or green. You can also decide to pick a table that matches the other furniture in the room. For example, if the wood in the room is cherry, choose a cherry table.

Size and Shape

A coffee table that is too large will easily overwhelm the room. Allow for about a foot or two of space between the front of your couch or chairs and the table. In terms of length and width, you want a table that is no larger than half the length of your couch. The coffee table’s height should be the same or an inch or two lower than the height of your chair’s seat. A table that is higher than the seats will look awkward.

A rectangular or square shaped table is traditional and the easiest to work with. The four-sided shape works with almost any style of couch. A round or oval shaped table is trickier to work with. If you have a very boxy couch, the table will look out of place in your living room. Only choose a rounded table if your furniture is soft and slightly curved.

Storage and Design Options

Some people prefer to use their coffee table as a storage center. If this is the case for you, choose a table that has adequate storage to meet your needs. You may only need a single shelf attached below the table top to hold a few books, magazines or remote controls. If you need more storage than that, or prefer to conceal your clutter, look for a table with built-in drawers. Some coffee tables are designed like a mini chest of drawers and have drawers all over. Others have a single draw just below the table top. A few coffee table models allow you to use the table top as a design element or to create a display. If you collect a lot of small knick-knacks that you wish to display, you can arrange them on table top, then cover that display with a pane of glass.

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