When it comes to coffee tables, there are endless options! I usually first choose the coffee table shape based on the space size and the other pieces in it. When we work on a design project the first thing we do is the floor plans and furniture layout, which will ultimately help us decide which coffee table will work best in the space. This gives us an overhead view of the room and allows us to see what visually works best in the space and is most functional allowing the most seating. Here are a few of our most commonly used layouts that help us figure out both the space and the coffee table we should use!
As you can see in the layout above, one design we use quite often is two chairs facing a fireplace or center focal point and two sofas on either side. This is a common layout because it keeps it open, symmetrical and provides the most seating.
In this layout, you can see the two coffee tables that work best are the round and the square shapes.
Here is another example of a layout we love: one sofa with two chairs on either side facing one another. For this layout, a rectangular coffee table works best. It fills the space appropriately and allows access from all three pieces of furniture.
The last example is using a sectional. Typically we are working with L-shape sectionals so I'll show you a couple options that work. We like to use round and square coffee tables, both play off the shape of the two rectangular sofas and allow some variation in shapes.
Here is an example of what doesn't work. We inserted a rectangular coffee table and you can see how it mimics the shape of the sofas so there is no contrast and it is not wide enough to fill the space to allow the best functionality.
Don't be afraid to try out a few different layouts until you figure out exactly which one fits your style and home the best.
Choosing the Material
Now that I have determined the shape of the coffee table, next I choose the material. This is usually based on the other materials we have going on in the space and functionality.
Start by asking yourself a few important questions:
Are your side tables wood? Then a woven coffee table would provide nice contrast.
Are your curtain rods iron? Then an iron base coffee table base would tie into them for cohesiveness.
Working with a smaller space? A glass or acrylic coffee table may be a good option to keep it feeling more open.
Have kids? Ottoman coffee tables are very popular with this crowd because they are soft and climbable! Plus, we also cover them in performance fabrics for durability.
Here are some of my favorites we have used in client's spaces:
Glass & Acrylic
When it comes to coffee table styling, we have different tips based on the shape. For a round coffee table, you are typically working off of 3 areas, a rectangular coffee table has 2 and a square coffee table is 4 styling areas. Here are some examples of how we like to mix and match accessories to create a collected and complete look:
We hope this guide answers all of your questions regarding the layout, material, shape, and proper size of your coffee table. There's a lot of thought that goes into each of our designs, but once you figure out a few of the key elements, the whole space will seamlessly begin to come together!
You can shop all of our favorite coffee table styling accessories and books in our shop. We are adding new items every week, so keep checking back and follow along on Instagram for updates!
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