How to Choose a Coffee Table That’s Just Right for You

Living room makes the biggest style statement in your home. The modern living room is much more than just a place for the family to gather as they watch their favorite shows on TV. In fact, the famous days of everything in the living ‘pointing towards the TV’ seem to be quickly fading away like age-old photographs.

Today, you have a more connected world with hand-held devices which keep people occupied almost endlessly. It is in this rapidly evolving environment that the living rooms finding new dimensions and expressions. And yet, some classics in here manage to still stay as relevant as ever!

wood coffee table and side table for the modern living room
Image: Elad Gonen

In the living room, it is the sofa that gets the most attention and rightly so. It is the central piece around which rest of the room’s layout works. But the second most essential piece of this beautiful decorating jigsaw is undoubtedly the coffee table.

No living space is complete without a gorgeous coffee table at its heart – one that allows you to put your feet up, place your latest magazines along with your gadgets and directs traffic around the room with its mere presence. But, how do you actually choose the right coffee table for the living space? From the correct size to the apt style, this is your complete coffee table buying guide –

Ideal Coffee Table Height and Length

Start off by understanding some of the most basic aspects of choosing the right coffee table for the living area. A lot in terms of its dimensions depends on the size of the sofa itself. The longer your living room sofa, longer will be the coffee table.

Of course, you do not want one that stretches more than 60-percent the length of the sofa. Ideal coffee table height is no more than one inch above the sofa seat height and should not be less than three inches below the sofa seat. This makes for comfortable sitting and provides the perfect optics.

discover the right height for the coffee table in the living room
Image: Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects
contemporary living room with a stylish coffee table that sits in well with its relaxing appeal

Coffee Table Shape

Shape of the coffee table plays a role that is as essential as its height and dimensions in creating space within the living area. In homes with limited square footage with kids running around, we suggest a round coffee table without edges that creates a sense of spaciousness and is far safer than square or rectangular coffee tables.

The square coffee table is great for the corner L-shaped sofa while nesting coffee tables offer additional side tables when needed.

the tufted coffee table is much safer with kids around the house
Image: Lovejoy Interiors

Style of the Room

Make sure that the style of the coffee table fits in with the rest of the rom. In the modern living room, a contemporary coffee table with refined edges is the perfect choice. In the traditional living space, a coffee table in wood with more traditional lines is a great choice.

The live-edge coffee table in the living room adds organic appeal to the space filled with artificial surfaces while a cool coffee table from the local flea market is ideal for shabby chic and eclectic living rooms.

let the coffee table bring something different to the living room
Image: Studio Sven

Enough Space Around the Table

Even if you have a large couch in the small living room because of your needs, do not feel the urge to match it with an equally large coffee table. Consider the space on offer in the living area and make sure there is enough clearance space between the couch and the coffee table for undisturbed movement.

A minimum of 14 to 16 inches of gape between the coffee table and all the surfaces around it is an absolute must. Anything beyond that is definitely a luxury.

gorgeous peekaboo coffee table for the space-conscious living room
Image: CB2

Also Read: 10 Best Glass Coffee Tables You can Buy in 2022

Finding the Right Material

From the style and the size of the coffee table, we move on to picking the material of choice and here there are plenty of options offer. Wood is the traditional, durable and elegant option that cuts across styles with ease. It adds a sense of natural warmth to the room while glass coffee table bring visual lightness and spaciousness to the living area. If you are worried about glass, then acrylic is a fine alternative here.

marble top coffee table brings an air of luxury to the space along with sparkle
Image: Homedit

Metal coffee tables add sparkle and a touch of eccentricity to the living area with coffee tables featuring marble tops ushering in an air of luxury. Each of these has its own sets of pros and cons and yet ultimately it comes down to the style of the room and individual taste.

Easy to Move

Not everyone needs a coffee table that is bulky to move and those happy to quickly move around furniture to create some space in the living room can try out coffee tables on wheels. On the other hand, you also have nesting tables and smaller coffee tables that can be moved around easily and without much hassle, making them a delight for those who host guests on weekend.

industrial style living room with coffee table on wheels
Image: M/I homes
coffee table with wheels and storage for the small living room
Image: Houzz

Additional Storage and Seating

Thinking of adding an additional coffee table that dos much more than just add a surface to place things on in the living room? The tufted coffee table that also doubles as an ottoman is great for those who live comfort and the option of having an additional seat at home.

It also is a smart choice for those with little ones at home while a coffee table with storage space or one that features a lift top and converts into a laptop table is perfect for the busy professional.

twin gray tufted ottomans replace traditional coffee tables in here
Image: Chang & Co

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