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How To | 3 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Coffee Table

In many ways, the living room is the heart of every home. It’s the center of daily life, accommodating everything from family time in the evenings to relaxation with friends on the weekend. Decorating this space is an important task. It should look stunning, of course, but it should also be functional.

One of the most important furniture choices in your living room will be the coffee table. The good news is that there are coffee tables in every shape, size and material you can imagine. This can also be bad news for those who are indecisive about decor choices. Shopping for a coffee table can be agonizing if you don’t know where to begin. Don’t despair, however! Simply take a deep breath and keep reading. From size to materials, this article will help guide you through the steps of picking the perfect coffee table for your home and your life.

Start With Size

The most important consideration when shopping for a new coffee table is size. If your living room is the heart of your home, it’s also often a high-traffic route to and from any given area. The most-traveled path is usually in between the television and the coffee table. Be sure to leave 76 centimeters between the television stand and the coffee table. If you have a small living room, leave 61 inches at a minimum.

Another good rule of thumb is that you’ll need 30 to 45 centimeters from the edge of your sofa or chairs to the coffee table. This ensures that you are sitting close enough to comfortably grab a drink but far enough away to have ample leg room. For the ultimate comfort, your coffee table should be the same height as your sofa cushions or 3 to 5 centimeters below it.
Unsure of how a potential sofa will measure up? Grab a roll of painter’s tape and mark off the measurements of any sofa you’re considering.  If you have an extremely large living room, don’t be fooled into thinking you need a gargantuan coffee table. You can also pair two smaller, matching tables for an elegant flair.

Design Matters

Your next choice will be how a new coffee table will affect the overall look of your living space. A coffee table can be used to contrast and help balance out the vibe of your sofa. Pair a brightly-colored coffee table with a more muted sofa and chairs. If you have a large and plush sofa, accent it with a sleek coffee table made of metal and glass. When it comes to lounge room decor, opposites can attract!
Also consider how your coffee table will add to or take away from important elements in the rest of the room. Glass-top coffee tables put focus on the rest of your living room space. You’ll be able to admire the gorgeous rug underneath the table. A glass-top coffee table won’t pull a viewer’s eye away from expensive artwork or the grand piano in the corner. If you’d like the coffee table itself to be more of a focus, opt for a solid one. For a high-end look, a marble coffee table is the perfect choice to elevate the style of your lounge room

Lifestyle Factors

Beyond aesthetic style, lifestyle is also an important consideration in purchasing a new coffee table. Do you have young children? If so, a coffee table with sharp edges can pose a safety risk. Instead, opt for one with kid-friendly, rounded edges. Cleaning and maintenance must factor into your decision. A table with a textured surface will be more likely to catch debris and crumbs. Meanwhile, a wooden tabletop will be prone to developing rings if cold, sweaty drinks are placed on them. A round coffee table with a glass top is kid-safe with no pointy edges and can simply be wiped clean.

If your home is short on storage space, a coffee table that doubles as a trunk can be a strategic place to stash away games and toys. For smaller living spaces, this kind of coffee table can be bulky and overwhelming. If this is the case, opt for a more open coffee table style that features drawers or storage underneath.

Hopefully, this quick guide helps make the path to a new coffee table a bit more clear. By narrowing down your choices one step at a time, you’ll find the one that will suit your home and your family for years to come.

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