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Home Styling | Choosing the Right Coffee Table


A little interlude from Copenhagen content (I will endeavour to space it out), it's time for another Home Styling post today. Since giving our downstairs living space a refresh, it has been missing one vital element - a coffee table! The one I used for the shoot was on loan from BoConcept, and while I was a little sad to give it back, I'd like to take some time to select a new piece. Being a chaise lounge style sofa, and a compact room, it's important that the coffee table works well spatially, without competing with the sofa. While ideas have been slowly brewing, I thought this might be a topic that some of you need guidance with too. I've put together a few key points to think about when choosing the right coffee table for your space, and rounded up some examples.

The beautiful home of Grand Relations, designed by Liljencrantz Design, photographed by Erik Lefvander

— Shape — 

We're currently seeing a lot of sculptural furniture designs (more on this topic in my last home styling post) including coffee tables with rounded edges and organic shapes. Curved tables are a good option if you have small children - I still have a scar from running into a the sharp edge of a coffee table as a toddler and needing stitches! I'm sure that's why I opted for an upholstered pouffe instead of a coffee table when our kids were little! I recommend looking at the the size and proportions of your space to determine a shape that works harmoniously. Our downstairs living room is best suited to a rectangular table, so that's a good start! Other options include round, oval or square.

My styling from earlier this year for Dulux x Homestyle

— Size —

When choosing the size of your coffee table, it's important to take in to account the height and length of your sofa (and armchairs if applicable) as well as the size of your space. I'm currently loving low-level plinth-style tables in textural stone finishes like marble or travertine. The solid shape grounds the space and provides a beautiful contrast to softer, rounded sofas. On the other hand, you may wish to pair a coffee table with a lighter silhouette and narrow legs with a heavier sofa, and vice versa. Getting the proportions right will help achieve an overall sense of balance.

Our main living area with two coffee tables / Styling and photography by Michelle Halford for TDC

— Functionality —

Your living space should reflect the way you like to live, so factor this in when deciding on the style of coffee table. How much room do you need on your coffee table surface for day to day use, or alternatively when entertaining? Do you need additional storage for books and magazines? We have two coffee tables in our larger, main living area, one with additional storage underneath the table top. I love having this extra space for books. Having two tables works well in that there is one within reach of each sofa. There's also enough space between the two to walk through - and for the kids to sprawl out on the floor on cushions, as they sometimes do!

Kinuta Terrace Project by Keiji Ashizawa and Norm Architects

— Finishes —

There are lots of options here, including stone finishes which I mentioned earlier such as marble and travertine. I can't go past natural materials and for longevity, I would love to own a beautifully crafted, solid timber table. Being transparent, glass coffee tables give a light and airy finish, making them a good option for smaller spaces. I love our Montana Panton Wire tables, and cane and wicker are popular choices right now for bringing a natural, relaxed feel to your living space.

I've rounded up some beautiful options from local design stores, and further afield for my global readers.

Clockwise from Left

And in case you missed them, here are a few more local designs recently featured on TDC, all of which I love!
  • The Atlas Table by Nathan Goldsworthy, and the Pivot Coffee Table by Tim Webber, both featured here
  • The Mini Malibu table and M coffee table by Daniel Boddam, which you can read about in this post. 

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