Whether they are a secluded retreat, part of your entertaining space, or the family hangout spot, our living rooms see some of the most significant traffic in the home. While your couch may be the most prominent piece of furniture in the room, don’t pick your coffee table as an afterthought. When selecting it, the decisions you make can make or break the functionality or aesthetic you want.
If you are looking to add or upgrade your home’s coffee table and are unsure how to start selecting a new piece of furniture, we have a handy list of items that can help. We can’t pick a table for you. But we can get you on the right path to selecting the perfect one.
Five Tips for Finding the Perfect Coffee Table
Our top five tips get you to consider:
- How you use your living room, and what functions the coffee table needs to perform
- The space you have available to fit a table nicely in the room layout
- How to determine the durability of the material you need
- How to accent your existing living room decor and furniture
- The best places to shop for quality furniture
1. Begin With Utility
Starting with a decision on how you intend to use the table is an essential first step in finding your perfect coffee table. We all use our living rooms differently. It may be tempting to go for something that looks great, but if it isn’t functional, it doesn’t matter how beautiful the furniture is; it will just be dead space.
If you are the type just to kick back and watch a game or movie, you may only need a coffee table that can support drinks and snacks. Someone who utilizes it as an office might need a lift-capable top that can function as a work desk. And if you have pets, kids, or happen to be someone who crafts while watching TV, a more storage-based table might be the best choice to stash supplies and toys out of sight.
2. Figure Out the Space
Determining just the correct dimensions you need is essential before even thinking about shopping for a coffee table. It doesn’t matter how much function a piece of furniture has if it doesn’t fit your available space.
A single piece being too large or too small can make it and the rest of the room seem comically disproportional.
If you are starting from scratch or replacing other furniture in the room, you may want to hold off so you can take more accurate measurements. If you have an existing coffee table, you can use that as a reference. Are the dimensions just right? Or do you think it would be better if it were bigger or smaller?
Height will primarily depend on how you intend to use the coffee table. If you are looking for a coffee table that doesn’t need to do anything fancy, aim for something around the same height as your sofas cushions.
But when you take the width and length measurements, make sure you are still leaving room to navigate around the table comfortably. You don’t want to be constantly knocking into it. One easy way to trial a few different sizes is using cardboard shipping boxes to lay out the footprint.
One helpful tip if you are working in a small room, or have a habit of knocking into table corners, is to consider going with a style with rounded corners or an oval shape. Even a slight curve on the edge can free up vital legroom. Going with a design other than rectangular is also an easy way to add a visual pop to the room, as they are a far rarer shape to see.
3. Don’t Skimp on Durability
Tables see a lot of use, so you will need to consider the durability of the materials used to make them. Wood is a tried and true material that can take quite a beating. While susceptible to scratches and water damage, it is easily resurfaced for repairs.
Opting for something with a metal base is essential for those who need a table that can take a little more weight or resist damage by pets. The reasons to choose metal are many; its strength is unparalleled, and coupled with its near imperviousness to environmental changes, it will be with you for a lifetime.
Even if you want to incorporate a rustic or natural component like wood or stone, you can. Most metal-based furniture gives you the flexibility to select the topper that works best with your style or needs.
The table is going to see a lot of use. Paying a little extra at the outset can keep you from needing a new table in a few years.
4. Match Your Style
It may seem odd putting the appearance of the coffee table this far down, but for tables, functionality and durability are critical. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a piece that you love and that fits into your style. Furniture should be as beautiful as it is functional.
Coffee tables are an excellent opportunity to balance out other furniture decisions. Use your table to add a pop of color to an otherwise subdued room or as a natural break if you have a colorful couch or throw rug. We recommend going the opposite of your sofa as far as ‘weight.’ If you have a chunky sofa, pick a coffee table with thin legs and a thin profile, or pair a more solid design with a slim sofa.
5. Shopping Around
Now that you have your list of specifications in hand, it is time to get shopping. Nowadays, you can find just about every shape, size, and material for a coffee table. Browse around online to see what options are available within your budget.
But nothing beats seeing a piece up close. If you have a furniture store or dealer nearby, pay them a visit. Even if you end up ordering online, you’ll get a much better idea of what all those dimensions look like in person.
Handcrafted Metal American Furniture
For over 40 years, Johnston Casuals has designed and manufactured handmade metal furniture right here in North Carolina. So if you think you may want the durability of metal in your home or a statement piece, give our selection a look. We have furniture pieces that fit into any room or style.
You can browse our catalog online or visit one of our nationwide furniture dealers. Every piece we build is beautiful and meant to last a lifetime.