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How To Select a Coffee Table

A coffee table is a piece of furniture that often does not get a lot of attention in the furniture selection process, and yet it will likely become one of the most used pieces in your living or family room.  You’ll want to go through a careful thought process before deciding on the right coffee table for your room.

  • As is the case with any big furniture decision, measure the space.  Allow for 15″ between any seating and the table.   Coffee tables can range anywhere from 11″ to 25″ in height.  If you plan on eating in the living room and setting dishes on the table, then opt for the highest height possible.  If your room is extremely contemporary, then a low 11″ table can be a stunning look.
  • Consider the amount of traffic that will be circulating throughout the room. If your living room is always filled with people and action, then you will need to pick a durable table rather than an antique.  A sturdy wooden table with built in storage can be a great option for a busy family.  A large upholstered is perfect if you have family members who like to prop their feet on their coffee table; it can also work in anywhere from the most casual room to a formal living room.
  • If you have a stylish rug or beautiful flooring that you want to show off, a glass coffee table will do a wonderful job of showing that off.   A glass coffee table reflects light and makes the space seem bigger as well.

  • Go with the opposite look of the other pieces of furniture.  If your sofa and chairs have exposed legs, then an upholstered ottoman can be the best look.  If the sofa and chairs are skirted, then a glass table with metal legs or a wooden table with defined legs will look best.
  • Typically, rectangular tables are the most functional.  However, in a space where the other furniture is square and sharp at the corners, a round or oval table provides a nice contrast.  In a particularly large room, a square coffee table provides a huge amount of space for placing books, plates, and glasses.

With a decision based on size and function, as well as materials that best complement the look of the room, your coffee table will become a focal point rather than simply a holding place for books and drinks.

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