Coffee tables come in just as many unique shapes and sizes as any piece of furniture, which is to say the options are as infinite as personal style!
They can be round or rectangular, simple or statement pieces, and large enough to center a room or small enough to hold just the necessities. Like any piece of furniture, a coffee table has the potential to make or break the style and functionality of your room, whether it’s a reading nook or a living room.
While there are no strict rules dictating exactly which coffee table should adorn which style of room (yours!), there are a few tips and tricks to help you find the right one for your space. If you’re starting to browse, a good place to start is in picking what size coffee table you want in your space, then narrowing down what shape, style, and color would make up the perfect piece!
Related: Coffee Table vs. Cocktail Table
Picking The Right Size Coffee Table For My Room
If you’re looking for just a coffee table as a new addition, start by measuring your existing furniture and open space. If you’re refurnishing entirely, you can start by looking up the measurements of incoming furniture.
Or, if you have your eye on a coffee table already, start with its measurements, and pick the rest of your furniture based off of that sizing!
How Tall Should a Coffee Table Be?
The most important measurement for a coffee table is the height, particularly as it relates to the rest of the furniture in the room. Most coffee tables fall into an average height between 16″ and 18″.
This is a fairly standard height, but to find the ideal height, pick one that is an inch or two shorter than the height of your couch or armchair cushions. This makes it easy to grab or place items while sitting.
Should a Coffee Table Be Long or Short?
The ideal length of a coffee table depends on what function and placement you have in mind for it. It’s simplest to center a rectangular coffee table with a sofa, which helps tie a room together.
In this case, you want a table that isn’t so long that it overwhelms the sofa, but isn’t so short as to be overwhelmed by the sofa — look for a coffee table that is about two-thirds the length of your sofa. These proportions “help your living room look more balanced.”
Coffee table width is another thing to consider. For this, it’s best to choose a table that accents your space, but doesn’t take up so much room that it’s difficult to walk or move around it.
What Shape of Coffee Table Should You Have?
The simplest and most common type of coffee table is a low, rectangular one. Of course, the size varies depending on the needs of the room and other furniture, and even then, rectangular coffee tables are by no means the only option!
Many times the sofa isn’t the only other furniture in the room. While this may sound like it complicates things, it actually opens up your options! With the sofa being the main feature, it’s standard to opt for a rectangular coffee table. But if you have other items like armchairs, shelving, or even plants or artwork, it’s easier to play around with coffee tables of different sizes and shapes.
For example, you could opt for a large round table in the center of the room, or a small, oblong table between two armchairs. Other shapes of coffee tables can complement some spaces better than a classic rectangular table. Shapes like square and round coffee tables add a strong sense of style, while oblong and free-form tables can bring in a real touch of creativity and openness without compromising on surface space.
Round and Oval Coffee Tables
Round coffee tables are a great choice for a condensed seating arrangement. They’re great if your couch is short, but be careful, as longer sofas can make round coffee tables look smaller than they are — if you have a long couch, but like the look of a round table, you can opt for an oval coffee table to preserve the look.
Round tables are also a good choice if you’d like to avoid sharp corners, particularly if you have small children or pets, or are prone to bumping into things!
Square Coffee Tables
Similarly, square coffee tables are a good choice for condensed seating, or any furniture arrangement that is closer to a square shape than a rectangle. Square tables help to fill the space in the middle, where a rectangular table in the same room might appear small.
Free-Form Coffee Tables
Free-form tables are another excellent option, especially if your style is outside the box! Free-form coffee tables can take almost any form, from geometric to abstract, and they’re a great way to bring style into your room.
They’re also a good option to consider if your room or furniture arrangement is an unusual shape or size, like a particularly long room or a room with a curved wall, since they can shift attention away from the limitations of the room and take advantage of unusual layouts. In general, free-form is a great way to add shapes and lines to a room!
When it comes back to it, no matter what shape you decide to go with, there are tons of different styles that can help tie together a room, from rustic to modern and sleek.