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Why Coffee Tables Are A Critical Piece Of Living Room Decor

coffee tables are industrious pieces of furniture. They perform all sorts of different tasks: a a place for your mail, a place for your two-dozen remotes, a place for your feet, and – of course – a place for your coffee! But coffee tables have the potential to be so much more than another drop zone for your accumulated stuff. They are an absolutely critical component for your living room’s aesthetic. And they’re an essential companion for your sofa. Learn the best ways to choose a coffee table for your own home!

Size Matters: Height

Most coffee tables are between 12″ and 20″ tall. That’s intentional since the height of a coffee table is directly correlated to the seat height of the average sofa. A sofa’s seat height is the measurement from the floor to the top of the seat cushion. When searching for the right coffee it’s advised to choose a coffee table that is the same height as the seat height of your sofa. You can also choose a coffee table that’s a couple inches shorter than your sofa’s seat height, but if you go too low then you start to lose the functionality of the coffee table. Leaning way down to pick up things off your low coffee table gets old fast. On the other end of the spectrum, a coffee table that’s too tall will never quite look or feel right in the space. It should never be taller than your sofa’s seat height. You definitely don’t want the coffee table to obstruct any sight-lines while sitting on the sofa.

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Size Matters: Depth

In this case depth not only refers to the actual size of the coffee table, but also its distance from the sofa. Ideally a coffee table is between 12″ and 18″ away from the sofa. This is a good distance because it helps ensure that you don’t slam your shins into the edge of the table (not that that’s ever happened to us…). Any closer and it’s a squeeze. Any further away and your coffee table will feel like it’s on its own island.

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The depth of the coffee table itself is not the most essential dimension. A big, square coffee table is fantastic if you have the room for it. If you have a sectional sofa with a chaise then you can use the same rules for width to determine a good, balanced depth for your table. The coffee table should be about 2/3rds the depth of the chaise portion. The key is to find a coffee table that feels like it belongs with your sofa. The size is essential for achieving that goal.

How to Style Your Coffee Table

Now that you have your coffee table it’s time to think about decorating it. The coffee table provides an incredible opportunity for showcasing your design skills. Start out by splitting your table into equal sections. Each section should feature items of varying heights and textures. Again, striking a balance is the goal. But why read about it when you can watch this video tutorial from Kyle Schuneman? He explains the design theory for rectangular coffee tables and round coffee tables.

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WHAT SIZE SHOULD MY COFFEE TABLE BE VERSUS MY SOFA?

Your new coffee table deserves to be shown off in the very best light — and ensuring it is the correct size, shape and height for your living room will do just that.

When choosing a new coffee tables If your coffee table size is nothing more than afterthought, it will be glaringly obvious, and you run the risk of it either dwarfing your sofa or rendering your coffee table unnoticeable., one of your main considerations should be its size in relation to the height, width and length of your sofa.

Coffee Table Size Guide

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Although there is no standard sofa size, depending on how many your new sofa is going to seat, common sofa sizes range from around six to eight feet.

Likewise, there is no standard coffee table size, but the general school of thought from designers is that your new coffee table should be roughly half to two thirds of the length of the sofa.

Although this is a good guide, you also need to take into account the size of the room — a small living room might look great with an oversized sofa, but could be better suited to a pair of side tables rather than a central coffee table.

If you have two sofas or a large living room with lots of seating, a pair of matching coffee tables can work better visually than one large coffee table.

Before you buy a coffee table, take a note of its measurements then mark it out using masking tape on the floor — this will give you an idea of how its position will affect the surrounding living room furniture and the space you will have to move around it.

Coffee Table Height

Coffee table height is really important — even if the other proportions of your coffee table are spot on, getting the height wrong will ruin the rest of your living room furniture layout as well as affecting the way you can use it.

Your sofa height, or the height of the armchairs nearest the coffee table, should act as your guide. Aim for a coffee table height that sits level with the top of the seat cushions of your sofa, or just an inch or so lower, but never higher.

Coffee Table Positioning

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In terms of the distance between sofa and coffee table, 16-18 inches usually works perfectly. This distance gives enough leg room whilst still allowing the easy set down and pick up of drinks and the like from the table top.

Aim to leave at least 16-18 inches all around the coffee table for ease of manoeuvring around it. In smaller spaces, a coffee table on wheels is a good flexible option.

Coffee Table Shape

Finally, the shape of coffee table you choose should reflect the size and layout of your living room too.

Round coffee tables are easy to navigate around and work well in living rooms with lots of seating. They also provide a practical solution to those with young children who are prone to bumping themselves on furniture, with no sharp edges.

The classic rectangular coffee table is a good choice in front of a long sofa, whilst a chunky square coffee table makes a good central focal point.

Start the Conversation

WHAT SIZE SHOULD MY COFFEE TABLE BE VERSUS MY SOFA?

Your new coffee table deserves to be shown off in the very best light — and ensuring it is the correct size, shape and height for your living room will do just that.

When choosing a new coffee tables If your coffee table size is nothing more than afterthought, it will be glaringly obvious, and you run the risk of it either dwarfing your sofa or rendering your coffee table unnoticeable., one of your main considerations should be its size in relation to the height, width and length of your sofa.

Coffee Table Size Guide

No Caption Provided

Although there is no standard sofa size, depending on how many your new sofa is going to seat, common sofa sizes range from around six to eight feet.

Likewise, there is no standard coffee table size, but the general school of thought from designers is that your new coffee table should be roughly half to two thirds of the length of the sofa.

Although this is a good guide, you also need to take into account the size of the room — a small living room might look great with an oversized sofa, but could be better suited to a pair of side tables rather than a central coffee table.

If you have two sofas or a large living room with lots of seating, a pair of matching coffee tables can work better visually than one large coffee table.

Before you buy a coffee table, take a note of its measurements then mark it out using masking tape on the floor — this will give you an idea of how its position will affect the surrounding living room furniture and the space you will have to move around it.

Coffee Table Height

Coffee table height is really important — even if the other proportions of your coffee table are spot on, getting the height wrong will ruin the rest of your living room furniture layout as well as affecting the way you can use it.

Your sofa height, or the height of the armchairs nearest the coffee table, should act as your guide. Aim for a coffee table height that sits level with the top of the seat cushions of your sofa, or just an inch or so lower, but never higher.

Coffee Table Positioning

No Caption Provided

In terms of the distance between sofa and coffee table, 16-18 inches usually works perfectly. This distance gives enough leg room whilst still allowing the easy set down and pick up of drinks and the like from the table top.

Aim to leave at least 16-18 inches all around the coffee table for ease of manoeuvring around it. In smaller spaces, a coffee table on wheels is a good flexible option.

Coffee Table Shape

Finally, the shape of coffee table you choose should reflect the size and layout of your living room too.

Round coffee tables are easy to navigate around and work well in living rooms with lots of seating. They also provide a practical solution to those with young children who are prone to bumping themselves on furniture, with no sharp edges.

The classic rectangular coffee table is a good choice in front of a long sofa, whilst a chunky square coffee table makes a good central focal point.

Start the Conversation