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How To Choose The Perfect Coffee Table

Choosing a coffee table for your living area sounds like it should be fairly easy. Start by visiting your favourite stores, in-person or online, and begin the search where you're presented with an abundance of options in various shapes, sizes, and finishes. Each option looks appealing in their mock-up space but will it work for yours? Plus, these curated rooms look great but haven't been lived in or stood up to the challenge of accommodating take away in front of the television and managing drinks, remote controls, tech devices, treasured trinkets, or game nights. 

At this point, to narrow your search, you may seek help and receive several different opinions. Then the Google algorithm kicks in and starts sending a variety of coffee table options you never even knew existed. It soon becomes apparent that there are so many styles, sizes, and options for coffee tables, and the once easy task becomes daunting.  

No matter what side of those scenarios you find yourself in, you may require some guidance or inspiration while shopping for a coffee table to find the perfect size and shape that compliments your living area. We've put together a guide and a few tips to make the process easier when choosing a coffee table that’s perfect for your living space.


Coffee Tables Dublin - Spatial Awareness (Proportions)

First, and foremost, the coffee table should fit well in your space for scale and circulation. The size and proportion of the coffee table has to play well with all existing or planned furniture. Take a look around the room to assess how much space you can dedicate to the coffee table. Ideally, a coffee table should have a length of one-half to two-thirds the length of the sofa for balance—for instance, an 213.36 cm sofa pairs well with a coffee table that's 106.68 to 142.24 cm long. 

After you've figured out the length you're looking for, look at how wide of a coffee table your space can accommodate. There should be 30.48 to 45.72 cm between the coffee table and sofa. A good rule of thumb: maintain at least 60.96 cm between the coffee table and the TV stand, or fireplace, for circulation. 

Size guide on how to pick the perfect coffee for a sofa

Mind the Height - Coffee Tables with Storage

When a coffee table is too low or high, you'll immediately notice it feels “off”. To ensure comfort for everyday use and guests, opt for a coffee table with a height 2.54 to 5.08 cm lower than the height of the sofa seating. Not only does this help with balance and scale, but it also allows a high level of comfortability for all guests. For instance, if you have a lower height sofa, a low lounge table works well but will look off with a traditional sofa. While a lower height table supplies a great lounge look with a lounge-like sofa. 


Writer Desk Coffee Table



Now that the size and shape are figured out, it's time to choose the perfect shape for your coffee table. More often than not, narrowing the selection between a rectangle, round, square, or oval coffee table is significantly reduced by the length and clearance required, which we've already figured out. 

Consider rectangle or oval if you have a sofa or a sofa with a chaise so everyone can have easy access to the table no matter where they sit. Rectangle and oval are great choices if you have a narrow space with minimal walk-around clearance. 

Consider a round or square shape coffee table with a sectional sofa, ensuring balance, scale, and ease of access to the table.

Most rectangular and oval-shaped coffee tables can almost be interchanged, depending on what kind of flow you're looking for—the same goes with round and square.

Balanced Style

Another item to consider is the "weightiness" of the coffee table. The table should complement the other furniture in the room. For the room to feel more open, choose a table with high skinny legs or space between the floor and the bottom of the piece. If you want the room to feel more grounded, choose a coffee table that's solid all the way to the ground. 

Sycamore live edge coffee table


Before selecting a coffee table, narrow down a few materials that work well with your lifestyle. Consider unique materials that elevate and complement your style.

Wood - Wood coffee tables are extremely popular due to their durability, practicality, and versatility. Plus, after a few years, it can easily be upcycled by sanding it down, priming it and refinishing it. 

Glass - While glass is more fragile and delicate, it does help trick the eye into thinking a room is airier and larger than it actually is. Plus, if you have a cool rug you want to show off, glass doesn't cover it up. Keep in mind, glass may not be ideal for families with small children due to its fragility and sharp edges. 

Batik coffee table

Lucite/Acrylic - For a smaller space, a "see-through" coffee table could be an excellent option to visually de-clutter the room and make the room appear more spacious than it is.

Stone - Extremely durable and adds visual texture to space. If you have hardwood floors, add contrast with a complementary material, e.g. marble or travertine.

Metal - Similar to wood, metal on coffee tables is solid and long-lasting. The bonus, it's pet-friendly and forgiving of scratches and bites!

Upholstered - A fabric covered ottoman is excellent for kicking legs up, extra seating, and an ideal choice for households with kids due to its soft edges. 

 Ricco table

Chest Coffee Table

Finally, consider the lifestyle of your household to help narrow down the choices for the perfect coffee table. For a tech-savvy family, with an abundance of remotes or tech cords, tables with functional drawers or areas to conceal devices and cables. If you often eat your meals at the coffee table, a lift-top coffee table comes in handy to avoid hunching over your plate. If you require extra storage for pillows and throws, consider pieces with storage. If you want to encourage extreme flexibility and comfort by allowing feet up on the coffee table, an ottoman may be the best option.

Trunk storage coffee table