Tips and selection of coffee tables

Designer coffee table - Marina_D, shutterstock

The coffee table is an essential element of the living room furniture. It plays both an aesthetic and practical role. Placed in the heart of the room, it is a real decorative asset and must be attractive. It must be adapted to its location to fully perform its function.

Buying a coffee table: the shape

Buying a coffee table is not as simple as it sounds. Indeed, the choice must be based on many criteria: its function, its place, the style of interior decoration … Placed in the center of the living room, the coffee table must have a good look! The first thing to define is its shape: round, oval, square or rectangular. Each form has strengths and weaknesses:

 

  • The round and oval coffee tables are suitable for small areas and in a home with young children. They agree perfectly with the meridians!

A round coffee table fits perfectly in small spaces - © Miljo A round coffee table fits perfectly in small spaces – © Miljo

  • Square coffee tables are much more practical and easy to arrange with sofas.

These stackable square coffee tables are easy to arrange in a living room - © IkéaThese stackable square coffee tables are easy to arrange in a living room – © Ikéa

  • Rectangular coffee tables take up more space and are suitable for spacious living rooms.

Rectangular coffee table fits larger lounges - © Tikamoon Rectangular coffee table fits larger lounges – © Tikamoon

 

It is important to choose the coffee table according to the habits of the house. Thus, a wide model is suitable if it is used as a table of meals or appetizers to accommodate the dishes. A coffee table with wheels is strongly recommended if it is often moved to avoid scratching the floor or the tiles.

Buying a coffee table: the height

The height of the coffee table varies significantly depending on the seating. Indeed, its height must be equal to that of the lowest seat of the living room. The rule is that the coffee table must not exceed the height of the seats. It is even better if it is a little lower. The whole will be harmonized and the lines of the show will be softer. On the other hand, if the occupants of the house often eat there, the height of the coffee table must be more than 25 cm for a practical question. In general, the height of a coffee table is between 25 and 40 cm.

Coffee table bi-material and two heights - Woud - VerdeCoffee table bi-material and two heights – Woud – Verde

Some coffee table models go in pairs or trios. Very practical, they allow to have an extra table for lunch or for an aperitif. They assemble easily and separate as needed. Stackable models are convenient for small areas, because the second table is deployed only when needed.

The height of the coffee table is equal to that of the sofa - © Maisons du MondeThe height of the coffee table is equal to that of the sofa – © Maisons du Monde

Buying a coffee table: the material

The coffee table comes in plastic, glass, metal, solid wood, laminate, stone … Before choosing, it is better to know the advantages and disadvantages of each material.

 

  • Wood is a natural and noble material. It brings a warm and friendly touch to an interior. Moreover, the wood matches all styles: vintage, contemporary, industrial, Scandinavian … If other elements of the room are already wood, it is better to avoid using several different species to ensure the harmony of the interior decoration. Better to stick to one or two shades.

Rattan is a natural material that adds a touch of conviviality to the living room - © Tikamoon Rattan is a natural material that adds a touch of conviviality to the living room – © Tikamoon

  • The laminate comes in many colors to meet all needs. Resistant and easy to maintain, its price is also affordable. Most of the furniture sold on the market is laminate. These are wood particles covered with a solid layer of plastic. This material does not fear stains and is easy to clean.
  • Metal is usually associated with wood or glass. It is suitable for an interior decorated according to the industrial style.
  • The glass is discreet and elegant, but fragile. It helps to lighten the space and gives an impression of greatness. Cold material, it is often associated with other materials to bring more warmth and friendliness. The glass coffee table is suitable for small areas and all styles of decor. Easy to maintain, the glass coffee table fears shocks.

Glass, though fragile, is easy to maintain - © Monoprix The glass, although fragile, is easy to maintain and visually clutter much less than an opaque material – © Monoprix

  • The stone has full character and brings authenticity to an interior. This material is solid, but also heavy. It is not suitable for all homes.
  • The plastic is durable, lightweight and easy to maintain. This material is ideal for homes with young children. In addition, existing in a wide range of colors, the plastic coffee table can brighten an interior.

 

Buying a coffee table: the function

The coffee table plays primarily a decorative role, because it fills the void in the middle of the living room. However, it can also constitute a storage cabinet. Indeed, some models have compartments to store books, keys, documents … tables with drawers or double shelf are the most practical for storing some business.

These 3 stackable tables are practical because they adapt to all situations - © Maisons du MondeThese three stackable tables are practical because they adapt to all situations – © Maisons du Monde

Buying a coffee table: the map of originality

The coffee table can become the center of attention when chosen in an original design. It is then a real asset deco. Models made with pallets are popular with minimalism and recycling enthusiasts. The solid wood planks appeal to fans of Nordic decoration while modern art lovers are tempted by futuristic models with unusual shapes.

The originality of this coffee table is that it mixes different materials, wood and stone, and different shapes, oval and round - © JoriThe originality of this trundle coffee table is that it mixes different materials, wood and stone, and different shapes, oval and round – © Jori