A coffee table does a lot of work. It needs to hold books magazines drinks food — even games on game night. You might want to put your feet up on it or the kids might need a place for coloring. Plus it’s usually smack dab in the middle of the room where you can’t miss it — so make sure it’s a good one. Sculptural wood coffee tables tell their own story and can add a natural element and warmth to a room with multiple upholstered pieces. Sealers and of course coasters can help protect the surface from water damage. Sometimes a coffee table that isn’t the standard height or width is exactly what a room needs. In this instance a very low coffee table creates a crisp horizontal plane in the foreground offsetting the long horizontal line of the credenza in the background. A higher table would have blocked the view of the credenza and competed with it; the varying heights add interest.
If you don’t want the coffee table to be the focus of the room choose one with a glass top and a finish that blends with others in the room as in this example. This will keep the eye interested in all the items in the room not just one layer of the design. Metal bases with glass tops are another good choice to keep rooms feeling open. They’re also great when you have a special rug and don’t want to block views of it. Keep your glass cleaner handy though as there is no way around fingerprints. Keep in mind that with most glass tops — if they are not inset — you’ll see a green tint on the sides. You can order a speciality glass that doesn’t have this tint but it’s more expensive.
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