7 Coffee Table “How To Choose” Rules – Things To Look For In A Coffee Table


Just like you can notice from its name – 7 Coffee Table “How To Choose” Rules, this post is created to show you some really useful tips on how to pick the right coffee table for your living room.

I don’t know about you, but in my case, I remember a few years ago I had a really hard time choosing a certain coffee table for my home…The reason? I don’t know, I just had the feeling that any of the ones I saw would never look good in my living room.

So I started searching for advice in magazines and on the Internet, and I finally made up a list with 7 things that you should look for in a coffee table.

You might have been in my situation too (or you may be right now), that’s why I decided to write this post and show you the 7 rules you need to follow in order to choose the right coffee table.

7 Coffee Table "How To Choose" Rules


1. Choose a legged coffee table if you have a small living room

That’s one of the most important rules for furniture when it comes to narrow rooms. In many cases, people whose living rooms are smaller than usual have a very hard time choosing the right pieces. And that can be easily noticed in the final decor.

7 Coffee Table "How To Choose" RulesFor this reason, if your living room belongs to this category, the best thing you can do is choosing a coffee table with legs.

That’s because furniture pieces with legs tend to enlarge the space and make your room seem larger than it actually is, so you will get the feeling that your living room got bigger in a few minutes.

This rule is available for any furniture in general, so you don’t have to apply it exclusively for coffee tables.

Instead, if you’re dealing with a very narrow room and you want to make the most of the space you have, remember that legged furniture is a great start. 😉


2. The coffee table should be at most 2/3 as tall as the couch

A very common problem people face when choosing a coffee table is that they don’t pay too much attention at its height. I used to have the very same concern, as I would choose any coffee table without looking at its height.

I used to think that any height would be fine, because it doesn’t matter too much.

But it does, actually. Imagine a really low sofa with a tall, heavy coffee table next to it. Would that look well, in your opinion? I bet it wouldn’t…

So the maximum height in general cases would be around 2/3 of the height of the sofa.

For example, if your couch is about 40 inches height, you should pick a coffee table that would have at most 26-27 inches height.

But of course, you are free to choose one that is even lower, the only thing that matters is to stay under that height. 

Therefore, the next time you buy a new coffee table, make sure it follows this rule and it’s not as tall as the sofa. As an example, I can show you my favorite piece – Emerald Chandler Coffee Table.


3. Don’t forget to leave some space around the table

I know that this shouldn’t be the biggest problem when choosing a coffee table, but you should know that it’s essential to leave at least 20 inches between the coffee table and the other furniture pieces, like the sofa or the eventual chairs.

I know many of us have the tendency to leave much less space between those pieces, like 10-15 inches, but remember that at least 20 inches are really necessary. That’s in the worst case, of course, as the more space you leave in between, the better.

So if you never thought about it until now, keep in mind that leaving some space can make a difference between a successful coffee table decor and a really bad one.


4. Go for a neutral coffee table if you have a brighter room

That’s another really useful piece of information, as I know many people experience problems when having to choose a color for their coffee table.

You may have heard this in other of my previous articles, but I have to say it again: neutral shades tend to draw the attention from them, so in a room with a strong decor this is exactly what you need.

For example, a room with red walls, dark furniture pieces and a bright colored carpet would always need something lighter besides, in order to draw the attention on those strong shades and also tame them a bit.

Plus, you don’t want to overcrowd the room by adding a strong colored coffee table, do you?

And I guess that if you have a bright, creative decor in one room you wouldn’t really try to hide it, right? It’s exactly the same here.

So if your room is colored in a bright shade and decorated with a lot of original things, a coffee table in a beige or white color would be right the thing you need.


5. Wooden coffee tables make a great focal point

This tip is made especially for those living rooms that have a light, simple decor, without too many decorative objects or colored stuff.

7 Coffee Table "How To Choose" RulesIn fact, wooden coffee tables are considered extremely original and high-quality, which means that they could anytime be the central point of the room. After all, a wooden furniture piece would always be able to shine by itself, do you agree?

That’s why it would make the perfect choice for a room with a simple decor. This great piece would immediately draw the attention on itself and it would turn your boring living room into a very stylish place.


6. Elegant fabric is better for a coffee table

Except the case when you have a Bohemian decorated living room, I really advise you to choose a coffee table made of a heavier fabric, like marble, wood, metal, glass or any other material that has a solid construction.

Why do I say this?

Because solid coffee tables tend to look much more stylish and elegant than the ones made of cotton, for example. Because there are enough made of cotton, believe me…

Generally speaking, I try to avoid non-solid coffee tables as much as I can. In my opinion, they look rather as seating than as real coffee tables. But that’s just my opinion, of course…

On the contrary, solid tables look much better anywhere you place them, plus that they give you room a different air, much more glamorous than non-solid ones.


7. Keep an eye at the style of your living room

Although it may not seem that important, the style in which you decorated your room is such a big piece of this puzzle!

Just imagine, how would a pallet coffee table look into a Minimalist decor? What about a glassy table in a Rustic room?

I guess we agree here, the final aspect of the room wouldn’t be the best, would it?

For this reason, try to choose a coffee table that would suit your living room’s style. Many times this can be a very simple thing to do, as most living rooms don’t follow a certain style but contain a combination of several styles.

This means that there aren’t very fixed criteria and that usually, what seems suitable really is so. In other words, you can choose any coffee table that seems to be matching you living room, as most people’s instinct is generally good.

So unless you don’t have a certain style that you really want to respect in your living room, you should feel free to choose the coffee table that seems the most suitable. As I said, usually you can’t be very wrong at this chapter.


Summing up

7 Coffee Table "How To Choose" RulesNow that you’ve seen which are the most important 7 rules that would make the choice of a coffee table a very simple thing, let me try to summarize them up a bit, so that you can remember them more easily.

  • Get a piece with legs if you have a smaller room
  • Make sure your table isn’t more than 2/3 of the sofa’s height
  • Leave some space around it
  • Choose a neutral coffee table if your room is bright
  • Or go for a wooden one if you have a simple room
  • It’s better to get an elegant fabric than a non-solid one
  • Choose the table according to your room’s style

Once you follow these 7 rules, I can promise you that the coffee table you will get will be just what you need in your living room.

It won’t be a very easy choice, but I’m sure these rules will make it easier for you. If you need some more recommendations about choosing the right coffee table, you can see some here.


What does your coffee table look like? Does it follow at least 3 of these rules?

Let me know your answer in a comment. Anne 😀

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