6 criteria for selecting a coffee table

Choosing the right coffee table for a living room can sometimes become a real puzzle.
Selecting this furniture is not something that should be taken lightly, since a bad choice
will have consequences on the layout of your decor. The coffee table must integrate
various parameters to blend perfectly into the living room and to create harmony.
Between the round, square, rectangular, wooden, glass and other models…it’s really hard
to figure out which one is the best for your house. However, the following few parameters
can help you find the ideal coffee table for your living room. 

1- The main uses

what functions do you expect from your coffee table?

A- Do you need additional storage space? :  In that case, you should opt for a low table
model which offers one or more storage possibilities. For example, there are low chests
or low tables that possess a second tray below the main one or that have extra drawers
or even storage lockers.      
B- Will it be your main table that will serve as a dining table, as well ? :  If this is the
case, you should look for a functional coffee table that offers both a practical shape
and dimensions that allow you to move around it easily and have access to each of
its corners without having to move the whole way round.
C- Do you plan to receive regular guests for the aperitif ? : In that case, it may be
necessary to choose a coffee table with generous dimensions, in order to be able
 to present your guests with a buffet and some drinks, as well as to be able to
provide a seat to your guests all around it, so that everyone has access to it.
Alternatively, you could think of buying a side coffee table that will not take up
so much of your space.      
D- Is the aesthetics your main concern ? : If the aesthetics of your living room matters
a lot to you, then you should choose a coffee table that is in total harmony with the
style of your living room. You should also, have in mind that your coffee table will be
the central element of your room.  

2- The space dedicated to the coffee table

Before you make your final decision concerning the coffee table, think about the
other elements you will place around it: a corner sofa or armchairs. If you don’t pay
attention to those elements, you will of course, have a nice living room, but it would
really be a shame to crack on a superb coffee table and no longer have the freedom
to move around. So, consider the available space and be careful not to interfere
with the passage.
 Two golden rules
  • Keep a free space of 12 to 18 inches between the coffee table and the sofa.
  • Leave a free space of 24 to 30 inches between the coffee table and the television stand.   

3- The shape

A- Round and oval shapes : they are more suitable for children, since the chances of
hitting the corners are more limited on a circular surface and they are also, ideal for
smaller spaces, since they can be easily bypassed. 
B- Square shapes : they are more friendly for an aperitif with friends, for example,
because everyone will be seated at the same distance from the center of the table.
C- Rectangular and elongated shapes : those shapes are preferred for a spacious
living room, because they let you connect the different seats, armchairs and sofas,
but they are also, ideal for being placed between two large sofas, positioned face
 to face. 

4- The height

 The choice of the coffee table and especially its height is not something innocuous.
In fact, it must respect the way you live in your living room. To avoid taking the risk,
think carefully of the height of the coffee table in relation to:
A- The height of the sofa : there is a rule that says that the coffee table should never
be higher than the sofa. The ideal scenario is to choose a coffee table that is 1 to 2
inches lower than the seat of your sofa.
B- The aesthetic of the seating area : what style will the height of your coffee table
give to the rest of your living room ?
C- Your comfort of use : what are the main uses of your coffee table? If it’s to snack
on a TV set, you’ll prefer it rather high; if it’s to put glasses out of reach of small
children, who have just started to walk, you’ll want it even higher. On the other hand,
if your coffee table is just there to discreetly exhibit your favorite magazines, a really
low side table will be more appropriate and it will clutter the view less.

5- The style

The style of your coffee table should match the style of your living room. The new
table will imperatively have to adapt to your existing decor. Whatever shape you
choose, either square, rectangular or round, you must take into account the furniture
that will surround it. If you are a fan of the modern spirit, straight geometric shapes
with a neutral color palette are recommended. If you are a fervent lover of traditional
design, the best approach is to head towards a coffee table that is made of durable
and comfortable materials, like wood.   

6- Price and quality

While the average prices for low tables are affordable for all budgets, it is important
to consider this question before purchasing them in order to determine the desired
lifespan of the product. You will have to define the available budget and correlate it
with your requirements, your desires and your needs. This is important because most
of the times, the price we invest in a piece of furniture also, determines the
quality of the materials that make it up, and therefore its resistance to shocks,
displacement and time. Another aspect you should take into account is the maintenance
of the furniture, since it highly depends on the quality of the materials used.