Welcome to the world of coffee table dilemma – every home needs one, the living room wouldn’t be complete without one, but do have an idea how to select one? Nope.
A coffee table is usually brought in right towards the end, at which time, it has to fill the gap between the sofa and the chairs. That’s when we discover that the one we selected is either too small or too big or just not suited to the dimensions.
Choosing the right coffee table is a stumbling block for the best of designers. There’s just so much variety available in the market – so many options, so many sizes, so many designs, so many colors – how do you clear through all that noise and bring home that ONE coffee table that fits perfectly into your decor?
Well, we’ve got some pointers that you might want to pay attention to, and some questions you might want to answer …
What’s your purpose?
Defining the purpose is the starting point that puts you in the right direction when it comes to coffee table shopping.
- Planning on using it as a footrest when you’re sitting on the sofa? You need an ottoman-style coffee table that’s just the right height so that your feet can rest on them.
- Want to use it as a makeshift dining table? Go in for something you can slide your feet under and sit comfortably.
- See yourself doing a lot of socializing? You will need a hardy coffee table that can accommodate drinks and snacks for a large group of people.
- Want your coffee table books to be the center of attraction? A glass topped table would be the best choice for your living room.
Think long and hard about how you’re going to use the coffee table and once you’ve got that sorted, the choice will become a lot easier for you
Looking for added functionality?
If you want a coffee table that sits pretty in your living room, the choice becomes fairly straightforward. But if you’re looking something that goes above and beyond the call of duty and does more than what’s expected of it … well, that narrows down your choices quite a bit. Here are some additional features you can enjoy:
- Neat freaks who’re looking for order in the living room should consider a coffee table with drawers, shelves, and compartments.
- Extra storage on your mind? Consider trunks and ottomans as quirky stand-ins for the regular coffee table.
- If you’re going to eat or work in the living room, look for tables with surfaces that can be easily raised when you want.
- Finally, if you see yourself moving the table from one room to the other, look for something that has casters and wheels, so that you don’t have to lug that weight all over the house.
The best kind of furniture is the one that’s multi-functional and coffee tables are no different. With innovation in design, you’re sure to find something suited to your specific requirements
Living room or family room coffee table?
A living room coffee table will have a more formal design, but a family room coffee table is slightly trickier to pick. It will see a lot of rough use. Think scratches, smudges, finger marks, and spilled snacks.
You’d be better off with something that has a scratch-resistant surface and capable of taking all the beating your kids are able to throw at it. And a table with drawers will always be welcome to stash away those toys you keep tripping over. However, don’t pick a coffee table with glass tops or sharp corners – they’re unsuitable for families and, around children, just accidents waiting to happen.
What’s your choice of shape?
The shape of your coffee table is an important factor that a lot of people tend to overlook. For example, if you have a narrow room, it won’t accommodate a round coffee table. But this same coffee table will fit perfectly into a family living room with children, because it has smooth edges.
Here’s a low down of the different shapes you can expect to find in coffee tables and the kind of settings they’re likely to fit into …
- Circular coffee table: A great option for those who like to entertain since they allow everyone to gather around. It also pairs well with L-shaped sectionals and loveseats. They also help soften a room that have long, harsh lines.
- Rectangular coffee table: Best paired with long sofas and a great choice for large joint families that need a central gathering spot for all their get-togethers.
- Oval coffee table: Got a long sectional, but want an alternative to the rectangular shaped table? An oval one will fit right in.
- Square coffee table: Not the best choice for compact rooms, since it can amplify the small room effect. But they’re great for unifying spacious rooms.
What material will you choose?
When it comes to coffee tables (or any other item of furniture) wood is the ‘default setting’ around the world. And why not? They’re solid and sturdy, they can hold everything from tired feet to stacks of books; and they’re versatile enough to be included in a wide range of décor styles.
However, you don’t need to restrict yourself to wood alone when looking for a coffee table. There are plenty of other options for you to choose from.
- Acrylic and clear glass: The perfect choice for making a small room look more open, acrylic and glass top tables take up little to no visual room. The smooth surface is easy to clean and fairly scratch-resistant. However, glass tables can have sharp edges and they’re prone to breakage, making them unsuitable for homes with little children.
- Wicker and rattan: Lightweight and laid back, both wicker and rattan are your material of choice if you want an eclectic, boho vibe. They can be easily moved around the house and can even double up as outdoor furniture when the weather is nice. However, the woven fibers of the table make for a great trap for crumbs, so don’t go too snack heavy around it.
- Upholstered: Upholstered ottomans do well in homes that have children. They’re soft, have storage options, and can even work as an extra seating option if you want. To pull double duty as a table, all you have to do is add a few trays for the food and drinks.
As you can see, buying the right coffee table isn’t easy. It involves a lot more work than picking up the first thing you lay your eyes on. But once you’ve given the above pointers some thought and looked over the options you have, we’re confident that you’ll bring home something that isn’t just stunning, but also tailor-made for your home and requirements.
Img Courtesy: Dering Hall.