The Best Coffee Tables (and how to pick the perfect one for your space)
I went down a dark, dark rabbit hole last month. I talked about it a little bit in my Serena and Lily look for less post.
I was on the hunt for the perfect coffee table for our living room and it was not a easy hunt. There were many times I thought I was going to give up.
But I didn’t give up and I can now tell you about that painful experience (and make sure you don’t go through what I went through.)
But first, let’s talk about a few reasons why my hunt was so painful.
It’s called rules. Yes, there are some rules you should follow when selecting a coffee table and we’ll go over them.
Do I think these rules are set in stone and that you absolutely have to follow them?
But it will help to give you an idea of what you should be looking for in a coffee table.
The cliff note version of the rules is this:
1.) Your coffee table should sit about the same height as your sofa (give or take a few inches)
2.) Your coffee table should be at least half the length of the sofa (but not much bigger than that)
3.) The shape on your coffee table (round, square, rectangle) should be in relation to your couch set up
See, that’s it. Only three rules…and I got hung up on the last two rules
The third rule is what you should start with when beginning your coffee table search. So let’s discuss more with pictures.
Coffee table layout with sofa only
In this case, you can use a rectangular or oval coffee table (or two square ottomans). The length of your coffee table should be about 1/2-2/3 the length of your couch.
If your couch is 84″ long then you should be aiming for about a coffee table 42″ long.
Coffee table layout with L-Shaped Sectional
For a L-shaped couch, I would consider a round OR square coffee table in this situation.
Coffee table layout with two sofas
Again, I would use either a square or round coffee table in this situation. This set up mimics the setup as a L-shaped sectional
I used a square coffee table for my living room with two sofas
Coffee table layout with a sectional with a chaise (or sofa and a loveseat)
A rectangle or oval coffee table would be best but you can probably sneak by with a round coffee table if you wanted to.
I have an odd shaped sectional in my family room and used a rectangle coffee table and it fits perfectly in the space.
Now back to the rules.
Once you figure out what shape you are looking for, you need to zone in on the dimensions. This rule was a doozy for me. This might be a rule real designers follow; however, the furniture stores must not be aware of this rule.
Finding large scale coffee tables (on a budget) was a hard battle…and I lost the battle.
You would never know it though. My ottoman/coffee table in my living room is a tad bit too small for the space. My couches are about 86″ wide and my coffee table is only 39″ wide.
The world will not come to an end because my coffee table is too small. And it looks fine. And, most importantly, if I looked at one more coffee table, my eyes were going to run away from my head. I had to end the search.
And since I looked at every coffee table under the sun, I’ll share some of my favorites with you.
Rectangle Coffee Tables
This is the most popular coffee table style and the easiest to find. My favorite rectangle coffee table is the one I have in my family room
Why is it my favorite? Because it is the perfect size, affordable and can be painted or stained. I left my coffee table unfinished though because that is color I was looking for in my space
Click on any image to shop:
Round Coffee Tables
Round coffee tables are a pretty popular pick. This one was a top contender for my space. But I really had a hard time finding a round coffee table I did not like. Make sure to check the dimensions though. The round coffee tables seemed to be smaller in size than the other coffee tables.
Click on any image to shop:
Square Coffee Tables
My favorite coffee table from my family room also comes in a square form. And yes, I almost purchased it for my living room but I was really trying to think outside of the box.. I ended up getting the ottoman coffee table for this space and I really do love it.
If you are looking for a tad bit bigger ottoman coffee table this this one is a good option. I have it grouped with my rectangle coffee tables though so be mindful of that
Square coffee tables are a tad bit harder to find but I tried to help you out.
Click on any image to shop
Oval Coffee Tables
I’ll have to say, I didn’t realize how many oval coffee tables are out there. I was pleasantly surprised with the selection. I was at one point looking for an oval coffee table until I realized I wasn’t following the “rules”
Click on any image to shop:
Other coffee tables ideas
Make you own
I am not talking about making your own from scratch. You can do that but I can’t tell you how. Pinterest can though.
BUT I will tell you to keep your eyes out for small wood dining tables or even wood bistro tables. The coffee table we used to have was our old kitchen table that I stole from my parents. I had a hard time parting with it so I took the legs off and cut them down, painted the table white and voila, I had myself a coffee table.
Use benches or cube ottomans
If your space is a bit on the narrow side or if you need the extra seating, a long bench or two cube ottomans work well as coffee tables. I see inspiration pictures of that all over Pinterest.
I hope this little post helped and your coffee table search isn’t as exciting as mine was!
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