The coffee table is the soul and centerpiece of your living room. Activities surround it, whether you use it to place your drinks and hors d'oeuvres during social gatherings, or magazines, photography books, flowers, artwork, and other conversation pieces. Maybe it's just a place to leave the remote, as you lounge on a lazy weekend. A perfect coffee table must be functional, sturdy, and stable with a good aesthetic. A good Japanese or mid-century modern coffee table itself can play the role of an artsy conversation piece!
Choosing the right coffee table often requires a lot of consideration. What size should you choose? What shape? Will it have shelves or storage? Will it fold and be easily moved? Will it survive through years of daily wear and tear, or will it fall apart and end up waiting for the trash men on the curb? Is it made from sustainable, strong, environmentally-friendly materials?
One important thing to consider, while choosing your coffee table, is exactly how much room you have available. How much foot traffic passes through your living area? A coffee table that is too close to your couch can trip you up, yet, if it's too far away, it may be uncomfortable to reach when you're going for a sip of coffee! Having a tape measure handy, before you choose your coffee table, can save you a lot of hassle. Generally, about 18 inches from the sofa will allow the average person enough walking and reaching space. Knowing the dimensions of your room can influence whether you'll need a folding, more compact coffee table, or whether you have more negative space with which to experiment. Filling up negative space can make a room feel cozier, but it can also take up the room needed for exercising or a place where young children might play. Will your coffee table need wheels, so you can easily move it aside?The configuration/height of your other furniture is also important to consider. Generally, a good height for your coffee table is about level with the seat cushion, perhaps one or two inches below. Perhaps you have an L-shaped couch in a corner. Two smaller coffee tables, side by side, or in a matching L shape, might afford you some space or make it easier to serve guests. Multiple tables of varying heights might just be the artistic choice needed to “bring the room together.” Coffee tables shouldn't be so large that they overwhelm the other furniture, and not too small to serve their purpose. A coffee table by itself might need to be two-thirds the length of your sofa in order to allow for enough room to move around it while giving every seat access.
Rounded or oval coffee tables have multiple benefits. Homeowners with young children are often concerned with sharp corners that may cause injury. Rounded coffee tables are often ideal for confined spaces when corners might occupy the legroom. Aesthetically, a rounded coffee table is also good for breaking up the flow of lines in the room and adding a bit of pleasing variety. Mix and match textures. When you have a lot of boxy or squared shapes in your living space, oval, circular, or even octagonal shapes might be just the thing to break up the boxes and add some character to the room.
How brightly colored or decorated is your living room? Will your coffee table be the focal point, or will it accentuate or compliment something else? If your room has a lot of bright colors, the toned-down colors on a coffee table won't compete or take attention away from other decorative items you'd like to show off.
How is your living room used? Does your spouse work from home? Do you have children who may do homework there? Do they play video games? Does your family have an inclination for board game nights, where you would be gathered around the coffee table? You may need a coffee table with a little bit of storage to keep extra pencils, paper, books, instructions for your entertainment center, or video game controllers, where they are accessible, but also neatly out of your way. Perhaps your children, and their friends, are not so respectful toward furniture, and you may need something durable.
What types of materials are best for your coffee table? A glass coffee table can help brighten the room and make it look less cluttered. Glass can often make a room seem bigger, which is something to consider if your furniture is bulkier or thinner than usual. For those larger families with high-traffic living rooms, the function might be preferable to form. A simple wooden coffee table might be the best choice, due to its sturdiness and durability. A coffee table that lasts longer may reduce waste, unlike some cheaper furniture that may easily fall apart and end up in a landfill somewhere. Quality sustainable furniture is more likely to stand strong, increasing in character from years of use as it ages.
A coffee table is a hub of important activity in your home, and it is so important to find the one that fits your home and matches your daily activities and style. Hopefully, you've been given multiple sustainable ideas that can make your living room perfect!