Bet you didn’t know that there are rules for tables, and I don’t mean Miss Manner’s etiquette rules.
Hopefully these rules will help you choose the right table for your room.
#1. Glass Tables
If you’re tight for space you might want to consider a glass or mirror topped coffee table. Glass-topped tables visually enlarge a small space. One with thin metal legs will be functional and still leave the room looking spacious.
#2. Lower Shelves
Coffee tables with shelves can be handy for magazines or books. However, those same shelves can easily become a collector of odds and ends that makes the area look ‘junky’. If you’re going to use a shelf treat it like a store window at Tiffany’s – showcase only a few items and make them relevant.
#3. Size Matters
Your coffee table should be 2/3 the length of your sofa (not including arms). If you’re putting it in front of two occasional chairs instead of a sofa, consider the length of the two chairs to be your length to measure against. The standard height for a coffee table is from 16″ – 18″. A higher table is a smart choice if you entertain frequently so that guests don’t have to bend too much to set down their drinks. A coffee table should be the same height or 1″ – 2″ lower than the seat height of the sofa.
Short on storage – look for a table that has drawers. Unlike tables with shelves, drawers keep items out of sight and go the distance to keep the table clear. Store those items that always seem to go missing like the remote, your reading glasses and coasters.
#5. Parsons/Console Tables
The simple shape of a Parsons table makes it a classic that’s especially at home in modern and contemporary interiors. Its beauty lies in rigorously balanced proportions with a length twice the width. These tables find their natural home behind a sofa or against a wall. Thoughtfully dressed, these tables play a critical role in pulling a room design together.
#6. Traffic Flow
When placing tables keep in mind that you don’t want to block the traffic flow. Rooms need to be open and inviting so that people can walk comfortably around the furniture.
#7. Mix it Up!
Don’t underestimate the dramatic impact you could have by pairing pieces of different design styles. Why not feature a fabulous retro-style coffee table with more contemporary or transitional pieces. Mix it up by using a combination of materials and metals. A clear lucite table can take the ‘stuffiness’ out of a traditional setting and a rustic dark wood trunk a contemporary neutral room.
#8. Double Up
If you’re working with a large area you may want to consider two smaller coffee tables instead of one big one. Best to keep these matching though. Two can be more interesting and fill an area out better without congesting it. They could even offer the option of separating them to use as extra side tables if needed.
#9. Be Creative
If you can’t afford the coffee table of your dream then improvise until you can. Paint an old table, trunk, bench or door a bright colour, add some shapely legs or a glass top. You can find them at yard sales and turn them into conversation pieces. An upholstered ottoman can easily function as a coffee table. Just add a tray to the top and a few decor items to suit your design style.
No matter what style, size or type of table you chose, be sure to finish it off by displaying a few accessories that truly reveal your personality.