First think about what you need your coffee table to do for you or what your room is missing then pick a table that provides the solution. Before buying a table mark the footprint with painter’s tape so you can see the scale of the piece in the room and how that affects the surrounding furniture. If you have a very large room and a large coffee table you can break up the scale of the table by flanking it with pairs of ottomans or benches as in this example. When there’s a party they can be moved out of the way for better circulation but for everyday use these extra seats help connect the sofa at one end and the pair of chairs at the other end. Be sure to use a pair of ottomans — not just a single one. When you have two sofas or any larger seating arrangement a big coffee table might seem like the obvious solution. But also consider a pair of matching coffee tables. They will keep the focus off one large piece of furniture and let your eye move around the room more easily. One classic coffee table size is 48 by 24 inches so you can plan on that when thinking about your furniture arrangement. A large coffee table is often double that: 48 inches square.
Coffee tables serve a variety of uses. Whilst some are used only for the display of ornaments in many homes they have replaced the family dining table. What functions your table must fulfill should be one of the key considerations when you are selecting it. You must decide whether you need storage and if so whether you want the items you are storing to be on public display or hidden from view. Lift top coffee tables sound like a good idea but are only really useful if you intend to keep the surface clear. Otherwise each time that you need to remove or replace an item you have to clear the top of the table first. Often a coffee table with a drawer or shelf can be a more convenient choice. A coffee table will be a key purchase for your living space. It is worth investing the time and energy into choosing a table that will meet both your aesthetic and functional needs and be something that you will use and love for many years.
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