What to look for in a coffee table, and where to put it when you’ve got it
- Credit: Archant
A coffee table is a fantastic way to tie a room together and is a fun piece of furniture that treads the line between function and decorative statement
If your sofa is the meat, coffee tables are the potato in any home interior casserole. They add vital substance in creating a balanced and delicious dish.” So says interior designer Carly Madhvani of NW3 Interiors.
The coffee table can act as an anchor in a more formal entertaining space, a focal point for a grouping of seats as well as somewhere to rest coffee cups and show off your sophistication and erudition via a careful arrangement of objects and glossy reading matter.
As Madhvani adds: “A coffee table adds to those precious luxury moments of peace and quiet. It can provide somewhere to put a phone, books, magazines, provide a surface for children to play on, or sit near the end of a sofa as a vehicle for a hot drink and a biscuit.”
It can also be a statement piece in its own right. A glass design will allow the pattern to shine through from a rug or flooring, while Jason Lipman of Hampstead Garden Suburb’s Avant Interiors suggests leaving transparent tops bare to show off a statement base.
“It all depends on what kind of look someone’s going for,” he says. “There are no rules, it depends how minimal or warm you want your room to be.
“Some people prefer something simple, or you can get lovely trays that you can accessorise with various ornaments.
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“That said, be wary of clutter because it’s a table first and foremost. You don’t want to have to move things on and off whenever you actually want to use it.”
If you’ve got a gap in your reception room and are looking to fill it with a low table, what should you pick and where should you place it?
“The shape and size of your table will depend on the room size and style,” says Madhvani. “To get the right proportions I suggest using a rectangular table in front of a long sofa and a round table in a bay window.
“The size of the coffee table should be roughly half the depth of your sofa, though it really depends.”
She recommends placing the coffee table approximately 50cm from your sofa – close enough that you can put your feet up on it but leaving enough space to sit down easily. Since most sofas are around 90cm deep, this will also follow the size ratios you’re using, creating a geometrically balanced room, albeit in a loose, creative way.