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Much more than simply a place to perch your cup, coffee tables are an important site for conversation and relaxation in the home, a place to gather, unwind and connect with family and friends. That’s why it’s important to choose a table that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also feels right—for the space, and for your family. We’ve compiled a few key questions to consider when in the market for a beautiful yet functional coffee table. What style of coffee table should I buy? Coffee tables come in myriad shapes, sizes and materials, which can make choosing the perfect piece difficult. Consider what will work best with your existing space and furnishing style, and how your family might use the piece, day-to-day. Here are some of the characteristics of three different coffee table styles. Glass coffee tables A glass-topped coffee table can create a sense of openness, blending into the room and allowing the other features of your room to take centre stage. They’re also a great option if you have a gorgeous statement rug and don’t want to block it from view.
Wooden coffee tables
A wooden piece adds warmth to a room with a natural or even rustic look, which can make the space seem cosier and more inviting. You can also choose a statement wooden piece, such as one paired with metal for a more industrial aesthetic.
Round coffee tables
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Round coffee tables work well with irregular shaped and sized furniture, and aid circulation in a room, allowing access to the table from a number of available seats—great for accommodating larger families or when entertaining guests over a glass of wine.
Can a coffee table be higher than a couch?
While there are no hard-and-fast rules, ideally your coffee table will be equal in height to the couch's cushions. This is not only practical, making it easier to place your drink down, but also because the other furniture in your room is generally the focus. You want your eyes to be drawn to the couch, chairs, and other design elements rather than an overbearing coffee table. If you're having trouble deciding on the exact height of your coffee table, we recommend no more than a 4-inch height difference between the seat of your couch and the coffee table.
How large should a coffee table be?
When selecting your coffee table, you want to consider the negative space in your room along with the proportions of the rest of your furniture. If you choose a piece that is too small, it will be dwarfed and look out of place. On the flip side, if it is too large it will dominate the room, plus you’ll have trouble moving around the room freely. An easy way to work out the right size is by measuring the space of your room and marking the table footprint with painter’s tape before you commit, so you can see the scale of the piece in the room and how it compliments the surrounding furniture. If you have a very large room and a large coffee table, you can break up the scale of the table by flanking it with pairs of ottomans or benches, as in this example.
If you have a larger seating arrangement, a big coffee table might seem like the obvious solution. But also consider a pair of matching coffee tables. They will keep the focus off one large piece of furniture and let your eye move around the room more easily.
How do I match a coffee table to a sectional sofa?
Sectional sofas are a great alternative to a more traditional sofa, but they can prove tricky when decorating a room. When a sectional is not paired with the right coffee table, the result can be off-putting and have a major effect on the overall look and feel of your room. To make your space feel balanced, choose a coffee table that feels proportionate to the size and scale of your sectional. For L-shaped sectionals, make sure your coffee table doesn’t extend beyond the arm of your sofa on either end. If one of the sides juts out past the sofa, it can block the flow of traffic. This sofa style looks best complimented with a rectangular or oval coffee table to fill the elongated negative space.
Round coffee tables are a great option to pair with sectional sofas, particularly U- shaped sectionals. Their circular shape creates space in tight quarters and is easier to navigate around, especially when surrounded by seating. They also create a visually pleasing juxtaposition of shapes between the furniture in your living room space.
Square or corner sectionals are a popular option, and typically come as a three- piece set. With this style of sofa, we suggest using a round, or square coffee table to nicely offset the sofa’s layout.
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