By Dervin Houston on December 19 2018 19:02:03
Coffee tables come in thousands of different shapes and sizes, as do living areas. When making your purchase you need to find the size and shape that will best match your room whilst still looking and functioning how you require. Some people consider the look of a coffee table their number one priority and may prefer a very large coffee table for maximum visual impact. Others prefer to maximize the amount of floor space available for other uses. As a general guideline it is preferable to have a minimum of two feet around each side of the coffee table and it should be reachable, without standing, from each of the seating areas.
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.
A coffee table does a lot of work. It needs to hold books, magazines, drinks, food — even games on game night. You might want to put your feet up on it, or the kids might need a place for coloring. Plus it’s usually smack dab in the middle of the room, where you can’t miss it — so make sure it’s a good one. Sculptural wood coffee tables tell their own story and can add a natural element and warmth to a room with multiple upholstered pieces.
Keep an upholstered ottoman 18 inches from a sofa or chair, so you can easily put up your feet, and make sure the height is consistent with the surrounding seats. If you get a tufted ottoman, consider the depth of the tufts — especially if you expect to eat on it. Crumbs will find their way into the tufting and are not always easy to get out. Round coffee tables aid circulation, especially where there are many available seats, as in this example. If not every seat can reach the table, make sure there’s another surface at hand. Using a vintage object for a coffee table adds a bit of history — a story — to a room, and is one of my favorite things to do.
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