These five questions will help you to decide what you should be looking for when choosing the perfect coffee table for your home.
How will you be using the coffee table?
It may seem like a silly question to ask, but there are many functions to a coffee table and how you will be using your coffee table will decide which style of coffee table is perfect for you.
Many coffee tables provide added functionality, such as storage space. This may be in the way of drawers, a shelf beneath the tabletop, or other compartments. You could even create your own storage compartments by placing wicker baskets on a shelf beneath. Coffee tables with storage space are popular as you can tidy away things like magazines, remote controls, game controllers, glasses, and other bits and bobs when not in use.
If you intend for the coffee table to be moved around frequently, consider one on casters so that you can move it around the room depending on guests, or keep it entirely out of the way when not in use.
In addition to setting down drinks, phones, books, remote controls, and whatever else, you may even like to put your feet up in front of the TV from time to time! Upholstered coffee tables, or even a firm ottoman, can provide a handy surface as well as somewhere comfortable to put your feet up. An added benefit to an ottoman is that you can fill it with blankets and cushions – perfect for those colder evenings when you want to get cosy on the couch with a good book or a movie!
If you like to sit on the sofa, typing away on a laptop resting on the coffee table, you’ll not only want to think about the height of the coffee table, but the material that it is made from too. If your arms rest against the table as you’re typing, wooden table tops are a lot more comfortable than, say, cold glass or stone.
Also remember that, if you have small children, it’s important to avoid coffee tables with sharp corners or fragile glass surfaces!
Cologne Rustic Oak Coffee Table
Will the coffee table be the focal point of a room?
Though you might not necessarily consider a coffee table to be the most obvious focal point of the room, if it is placed central to the seating then it might just be the star of the show – whether intentional or not. Especially against a fireplace backdrop or a feature wall, the coffee table will have the job of tying the room together thematically. Bright, bold coffee tables can be used to complement the room’s accent colours. Or opt for a high gloss finish to create a contemporary look.
Glass coffee tables can show off a beautiful area rug, to draw even more attention to the living room centre. If you do want to show off a rug, avoid intricately detailed coffee tables. This is why glass works well. Ornate metal finishes or wood cutouts can create too much visual fuss when paired with patterned rugs.
(Read: How To Style A Coffee Table)
How big do you need the coffee table to be?
Smaller living rooms will obviously not be suitable for large coffee tables. Furthermore, high-seated sofas may not be the most suitable for low coffee tables, so you should consider the height of the table compared to the seating around it. It’s not enough to measure just the physical dimensions of the coffee table, but also the space required around it to sit comfortably.
Where the coffee table will be in the centre of a seating arrangement, rather than an arrangement where, for example, a sofa may be on one side with an armchair perpendicular to it, square or circle coffee tables often work best. This caters well toward those more intimate conversations around a coffee table, allowing everyone at the table some personal space. Rounded tables also work well with living rooms with small children, as they present no corners for nasty accidents.
Chunky wooden tables are well suited to larger rooms, and can add more warmth to larger rooms where a sense of cosiness is typically more difficult to achieve.
How much maintenance and cleaning are you likely to do?
Be honest… Not everyone wants to, or has the time to, conduct a thorough furniture clean on a daily basis. Many people are happy with a coffee table that can withstand a simple wipe down every so often, and endure being knocked around a bit. Whilst others aren’t able to stand going a day without a good clean. Be honest with yourself… If you can’t see yourself giving regular TLC to your furniture, then avoid purchasing types of furniture that require it. Cleaning mirrored furniture, or cleaning marble furniture, necessitates far more care and intensive maintenance than cleaning wood furniture.
Do you even need a coffee table?
Don’t fall under the assumption that having a coffee table is a basic requirement for all living rooms. Especially with smaller rooms where you want to leave as much floor space as possible to give the illusion of more space. If having a coffee table is only going to get in the way, and all you need it for is a handy surface for when you’re sitting on the living room sofa, there are other solutions available. Side tables can provide an out-of-the-way surface for drinks, phones, and books.
Penzance Ash Lamp Table