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5 Tips to Choose the Perfect Coffee Table for Your Living Room
Remember These Tips For When You Buy Your Coffee Table!

If you’re in the process of designing a new living room -- or maybe just wanting to refresh your current décor -- you may have realized the pivotal importance of one key piece of furniture: the coffee table.

The coffee table is typically the final piece of the puzzle of décor.  After you’ve chosen all your seating and established the layout of the room, you’re now left with the task of choosing just the right coffee table to complete the look.

Even design experts struggle with picking the perfect coffee table because the choices can seem endless.  Do you go with a glass top or a wooden top? Round or rectangular? Drawers for storage or no drawers?

If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, you should rest assured knowing there is no one single right choice when it comes to coffee tables.  In fact, many homeowners end up choosing a few that they love and rotating them out to keep their living room design feeling continually refreshed and renewed.

There are, however, a handful of simple rules you can follow to make sure each coffee table you bring into your living room will be a good fit with your design.  Here are 5 tips to keep in mind:

The 18-Inch Rule. 

The first question you should ask about any potential new coffee table is: will this fit it my space?

Many homeowners go wrong by choosing coffee tables that either doesn’t leave enough room or leave too much room between the table, the seating, and the other items in the room.

Professional designers often go by the 18-inch rule.  This principle suggests that your coffee table should be 18 inches away from any seating.  18 inches is close enough that you will be able to put down a drink or pick up a coffee table book, but far away enough that your legs won’t feel cramped.

Also, make sure your coffee table leaves at least 24-30 inches of walking space between any walls, media cabinets, or large decorative items so that there is plenty of room to pass by.

Match the Height of Your New Coffee Table to Your Seating.

Standard coffee tables are generally 16-18 inches high.  But you need to make sure your coffee table height matches the height of your seating.

Ideally, the surface top of your coffee table should be 1-2 inches lower than your seats.  This will make it easy for you and your guests to reach whatever is on the table.  If your sofa seating is higher than average, you should seek out a taller table.

Do You Need a Kid-Friendly Table?

If you have kids or plan to have guests with small children in your living room, you may want to consider a round or oval shaped table. Sharp corners can be potentially hazardous, especially when they’re at eye-level with an energetic toddler.

Most families with young children also tend to prefer coffee tables with drawers, as extra storage and an easy place to hide away living room clutter is frequently useful to keep the living room organized and tidy.

Look for Complementary Colors and Materials.

Coffee tables come in all sizes, shapes, and colors.  To find a good fit for your living room, look for one that will complement your existing décor.

This doesn’t necessarily mean an exact match.  If your room is already filled with bright colors, a neutral table will probably bring the best sense of balance. If you’ve already decorated with many wooden elements, a metal table might bring a charming contrast. A glass table top is an excellent choice if you have a beautiful area rug underneath your table that you would like to showcase.

Less Can Be More.

While a coffee table can be a striking accent or an instantly noticeable conversation piece, sometimes less can be more.

If you already have bold patterning in your rug or sofa set, it’s probably best to choose a simple coffee table free from intricate detail.  Decide which element in your room will be the statement piece, and if it’s not the coffee table, then make sure to choose a coffee table that won’t compete for attention.

For more coffee table design inspiration, check out our collection at Going Décor.  Here are some popular choices you can currently get for less during our Spring sale:

Steinworld 611-013 Bridgeport Round Cocktail Table

Steinworld 679-016 Nantucket Cocktail Table

Steinworld 12970 Orbit Cocktail Table