Many people with small children prefer a round coffee table as they consider the lack of sharp corners a safer option and less likely to cause accidents. Round tables can be difficult to fit into smaller rooms and can take up more floor space than other shapes. They can be very social however and are a good choice if you regularly sit around playing cards or board games. Consideration should also be given to whether you prefer a coffee table with legs or one that is solid to floor level. Raised coffee tables that allow a clear view under the table can help to create an impression of space; however solid coffee tables can often look more expensive and substantial.
Coffee tables come in thousands of different shapes and sizes, as do living areas. When making your purchase you need to find the size and shape that will best match your room whilst still looking and functioning how you require. Some people consider the look of a coffee table their number one priority and may prefer a very large coffee table for maximum visual impact. Others prefer to maximize the amount of floor space available for other uses. As a general guideline it is preferable to have a minimum of two feet around each side of the coffee table and it should be reachable, without standing, from each of the seating areas. Some people also suggest that your coffee table should be no larger than sixty percent of your sofas length. The height that you choose very much depends on what you intend to use it for. Modern coffee tables are often very low; however this may make using it for eating difficult. It is often a good idea to place an item of a similar size and shape to any table that you intend to buy in the room. This will give you a feel for how it will work with the space that you have.
On the other hand, perhaps you want your space to look cozier (and you need some storage). Stash baskets, trunks and old suitcases under simple legged coffee tables to ground spaces that are otherwise too open. Solid tabletops usually have a very square corner. If you have little kids or the circulation is tight, allow extra space at the ends so it’s easier to get around the corners without hitting your shins. Go for color with an upholstered coffee table, as it will draw people to the surrounding sofas and chairs. Top it with a tray to hold books and other items. Choose your fabric wisely, since people may want to put up their feet (and shoes). Outdoor fabrics can be smart; steer clear of linen and fabrics with high amounts of rayon or viscose. Take a swatch home and test it out with dirt, red wine or whatever you think your coffee table will encounter, to make sure your fabric choice can handle it all.
A lip edge or tray top on a coffee table is always a smart choice if you have a tendency to spill your coffee or have kids that will be using the coffee table for snacks and drinks. They’re also good if you entertain often and don’t want to worry about red wine getting spilled on your carpet. Coffee tables should be the same height as the surrounding seating, with 18 inches being a good average (although it will depend on your furniture). If you select a coffee table with a lip, make sure the lip isn’t higher than the adjacent seating, or you’ll end up hitting your drink against the lip when you try to set it down. The idea is to put your drink down, not up.
Keep an upholstered ottoman 18 inches from a sofa or chair, so you can easily put up your feet, and make sure the height is consistent with the surrounding seats. If you get a tufted ottoman, consider the depth of the tufts — especially if you expect to eat on it. Crumbs will find their way into the tufting and are not always easy to get out. Round coffee tables aid circulation, especially where there are many available seats, as in this example. If not every seat can reach the table, make sure there’s another surface at hand. Using a vintage object for a coffee table adds a bit of history — a story — to a room, and is one of my favorite things to do. Make sure the piece is stable and all the connections are secure. If you need to refinish the piece, ask the vendor precisely what it’s made from, as this will help in the refinishing process. Another consideration is how it will sit on your floor or rug, and if it will damage those surfaces. Splintered table legs or rusty metal bases can scratch or stain the flooring. Secondhand stores sometimes leave those areas unrefinished, so be sure to check.
Coffee tables are frequently the central focus of a living area and therefore have a tremendous impact on a rooms decor and ambiance. A wise choice can create a feeling of style and harmony whilst a poor choice can make a room look disordered and can overwhelm the other furniture, making the room look smaller and feel less unified. The choices that you make regarding the size, shape, cost, material and style of the coffee table are thus vitally important to making your living room a welcoming space and setting the tone that you desire for your home. Before beginning your search for the perfect coffee table you should therefore work out what it is that you want from it. Do you want it to be purely ornamental- to create a modern and stylish statement, or are you more interested in its functions- do you plan to eat from it, place drinks on it, store magazines in it or use it as a display cabinet? You also need to consider the cost of any piece that you plan to purchase. It is often a good idea to set a maximum budget before you begin your search. This should prevent you from even considering purchases that you may later regret. Coffee tables can be bought as cheaply as twenty dollars, however they can also cost in the thousands. It is a good idea to have an idea of your budget so that you do not fall in love with a table that is far out of your reach.
Rectangular coffee tables are the most popular shape on the market currently and come in a variety of heights and forms. They can be used in small or large rooms and can often make a large impact in a big room where a very large coffee table is required so as to be accessible from all of the furniture. Similarly square coffee tables are excellent in larger rooms although they can overpower smaller spaces when not chosen with care. If you are buying a square coffee table be sure to mark out the floor area that will be covered to make sure that it will not overwhelm the room.
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