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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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