Here’s how to choose a suitable coffee table – 6 tips for success

A good coffee table gives you the surface space you need and adds the final touch to a living area’s look. Here are a few tips to help you find your sofa the perfect partner.

Ferm Living marble table

Ferm Living's marble table comes in three sizes and looks great in groups.

1. Define your needs

Some people eat by their coffee table or just use it to store their remote controls and other small items. That’s why a coffee table must have enough surface space for your needs.

Muuto Airy coffee table

The Airy coffee table from Muuto features a plywood top with a nanolaminate finish.

2. Measure the height

Measure the height of your sofa’s seat – a good coffee table should be at most the same height or even lower. If the table is too high, it may look clumsy.

Menu NoNo table

Menu's elegant NoNo table is defined by a slender steel frame and an oblong glass top in earthy tones.

3. Decide on the size

The sofa is the star of the show, so the table you place in front of it should be quite a bit smaller. A good rule of thumb is that the maximum size is two-thirds of the sofa’s width. A table that is too small is better than one that is too big, but don't under measure. Note that your path to the sofa should be wide enough and that someone sitting on the couch should be able to reach to pick things up off the table easily.

By Lassen Twin table

A square-shaped side table works well with two sofas or lounge chairs. The Twin table is from By Lassen.

4. Choose the shape

Round, oval, asymmetrical, square or rectangular? A removable tray, wheels or two tiers? Something discrete or a sculptural piece? Your decision will be affected by the shape, style, and size of your sofa as well as the room’s interior decoration. The form of the carpet should be noted as well. If the couch is angular and the rug is rectangular, an oval or round addition brings a soft touch to the ensemble.

&Tradition Fly coffee table

&Tradition's Fly coffee table comprises a lavish marble top and a sturdy oak base.

5. Which material?

Marble, glass, brass, painted metal and wood are trendy coffee table materials at the moment. Choose a material that best suits your needs. If you move the table around often, choose a table that is lightweight. Families with children should pick a material that can handle scratches. A tray-like table is a great place to assemble Lego sets, as the pieces won’t fall on the floor.

Mater Disc side table

The Disc side table from Mater was named after its simple disc-like top.

6. Mix and match!

Arrange a few coffee tables of different heights in a cascading pattern. Combining them looks great and is also handy; when you need extra surface space you can pull the tables apart, and if you need more space in front of the sofa you can push the tables back together. Different sizes of tables can also be of different materials. You can replace one table with a footstool or ottoman that you push partially under the coffee table – that way you’ll always have an extra seat when you need it. You can also put a tray on the ottoman if you need more surface space. Unlike the coffee table, a side table next to the sofa may be taller than the couch itself.

See also:

Coffee tables in Finnish Design Shop >

Text: Laura Brotherus Photos: Manufacturers

This article was originally published in Avotakka.


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