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Buyers Guide: Choosing the Right Coffee Table

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Your sofa may be the most important piece of furniture in your living room, but you might argue that it’s nothing without a great coffee table. It’s true that a coffee table is a key part of your living room décor, but choosing one can be a tricky process. If you’re struggling to find the right coffee table for your space, while you make do with a rickety old version that should have been retired a long time ago, read on for the ultimate buyers’ guide.


Size is a key consideration when buying a great coffee table. You will need to find a table that is about the same height as the seat of your sofa, about half the length of the sofa (or 44 to 48 inches if in doubt), and whether you go for square or oblong, you will need about two feet all around the table to ensure comfortable use of space in your living room.


Weight is something many people don’t think about when choosing a coffee table, but it’s an important factor. You want to get a table that’s heavy enough so it doesn't move easily if bumped accidentally, but not so heavy that you can’t move it without injuring yourself! Most solid wood and metal and glass coffee tables fall into the weight sweet spot, but most quality tables will do too. There’s no hard and fast rule here, but if you’re talking about hollow core self-assembly particle board, it’s probably not weighty enough.

Form and Style

The next thing you will want to consider is form and style. What will the piece look like from a design perspective? Do you like rustic or ultra-modern? Do you want natural wood with the grain showing, or is a painted and lacquered finish more your style? Your coffee table doesn't need to match your other furniture, and it’s a great place to add interest or a splash of colour. It should match the overall style and tone of the room though. Take photos and swatches along if you’re redecorating the whole room, so that you can compare the pieces you like to the finishes and items you’ve already chosen.


Coffee tables are for more than just coffee. They’re also a place to store things that you use frequently in your living room, and that’s where you will keep things like magazines, remote controls and other items that you frequently use in the living room. If you have many items to store, then a coffee table that incorporates “hidden” storage, like a chest or a unit with drawers or doors as well as shelving, may be a good idea. Be sure to take account the use of the coffee table when you shop.


The final thing you need to take into account is the finish on the coffee table you purchase. Even though they’re called coffee tables, most wooden coffee tables don’t do well when they’re exposed to liquids. If you have kids who spill frequently, it’s therefore a good idea to choose a finish that can stand up to that sort of thing, or to make minor alterations to the use of the table. Stylish coasters or a sheet of glass with polished edges can make even the most delicate of wooden finishes impervious to liquids. Just make sure you take those things into account when you are shopping, and bear in mind any concessions you need to make.

Most importantly, when you choose a coffee table, make sure that it’s a piece of furniture that speaks to you, that works with your style, and that will work for your lifestyle, whether that means including a shelf for a cat bed, being sturdy enough to put your feet up on, or complementing your floral centrepieces. All of the furniture in your home should be a reflection of who you are, and if you achieve that, then everything else should fall into place.

Lacey Grey Fabric loveseat Pallucci Furniture | 32 E Broadway Vancouver, BC | V5T 0B6 | Phone: (604) 568-4855 | Google+

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