When you first consider it, selecting a coffee table for your living room appears to be a simple undertaking. You stroll into a store you like, pick your favorite piece, and take it home (or have it delivered), but there are a lot more decisions to make when choosing the appropriate coffee table than meets the eye.
First and foremost, it must have the appropriate size—both in terms of height as well as length and width. It must have the proper scale and proportion for the room, as well as work with all of your present furnishings. The material must be appropriate for your lifestyle and function effectively in the space. It must also meet the needs of your family, whether that means being kid-friendly or having sufficient storage for TV remotes and other random goods.
Only once you’ve answered all of these questions can you begin your search for the ideal coffee tables for you and your home. So, how do you go about selecting a coffee table from beginning to end? Before you commit to a coffee table you’ll adore, here are five rules to keep in mind.
Keep in Mind the Height
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Nothing is more inconvenient than a coffee table that is too high or too low. Choose a coffee table that is the same height as your sofa cushions or one to two inches lower to ensure that you are comfortable in your living space. If you add any more, the area will start to look and feel strange.
Pay Close Attention to the Ratios
In the same way that you should look for a coffee table that is the perfect height for your sofa, you should look for one that is the right length. The length of your coffee table should be roughly two-thirds that of your sofa. For a 96-inch sofa, for example, you should seek for a 64-inch long coffee table.
Understand the Rules of Clearance.
After you’ve determined the ideal height and length for your coffee table, it’s time to decide on the best shape. The length and clearance necessary around a coffee table often determine whether it is square, rectangular, round, or oval. Traditionally, your coffee table should be 12 to 18 inches away from your sofa; anything closer or farther than that may feel uncomfortable. You should leave at least 24 inches to 30 inches between your coffee table and your TV stand or fireplace to allow for movement throughout the room. To get the width of your perfect coffee table, subtract 42 inches from the length of your sofa and TV stand.
Strike a Good Balance
Another useful criterion to consider while selecting a coffee table is its “heaviness.” To put it another way, it should balance and proportionately complement the other furnishings in the room. What does all of this imply? Consider a table that is substantial all the way to the ground or has shorter chunkier legs if your sofa has high slender legs. If your sofa has no visible legs, on the other hand, pick a coffee table with higher, skinnier legs. When a room feels too “leggy,” it doesn’t feel as anchored, according to an interior designer, and I’ve never forgotten it.
Consider your own requirements.
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Of course, your lifestyle should be taken into account while selecting the perfect coffee table for you or your family. Do you require an item that has a lot of storage space? Consider purchasing a storage item. Do you spend a lot of time in your living room playing board games? Make sure it’s a cozy spot to congregate around. Do you like to watch TV with your feet propped up on the coffee table? Perhaps an ottoman would be a better choice for you.
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly coffee table, look for one that doesn’t have any sharp edges and isn’t constructed of glass. There have been enough horror stories of children shattering glass tops to know that this is not a smart idea.
OXO Coffee Table by Mark Tuckey
Finally, choose a few materials that will complement your lifestyle and your environment before going shopping for your ideal coffee table. There are a plethora of materials to choose from, so don’t limit yourself to wood. Now that glass is no longer a choice for families with small children, consider other solutions that might suit your needs. If you have a tiny area, a lucite coffee table may be a fantastic way to avoid visually cluttering the space. If your hardwood floors are a mid-tone color, avoid using wood and instead opt for a complementing material like marble or travertine. Consider whether you’d prefer to be able to move the piece around easily or have it firmly anchor the space. All of these inquiries might assist you in selecting the ideal coffee table.