The unsung hero of your living room

Courtesy of One Kings Lane

Hey all, I know what you are thinking??  The unsung hero of your living room… what the heck is that?!  Well let me tell you, it is the coffee table.  Honestly most of the time this guy isn’t even thought of when designing a room.  If he is thought of he is aftermath thought or a creative burnout, can’t make any more decisions, just pick one, thought.  Even better this may not be something you even have to think of as you may have Aunt Blanche’s hand me down coffee table that has stood the test of time but not the test of style, (don’t get me wrong Aunt Blanche we are thankful).  Then, of course, there are the people that do plan and know they will need to have a coffee table because honestly who doesn’t??  This piece serves as a multi-functional table for just about everything.  Sometimes she may be the dinner table, (you know we all do it), or that footrest after a long day, she may be the kid’s obstacle course or their coloring station.  The list goes on, she is the keeper of the remotes, beverages, and books as well as the game hub on family nights.  I am telling you all… MULTI-FUNCTIONAL!!  So why not make this hardworking piece beautiful and just right for the space.  Let’s talk style, sizes, and shapes of coffee tables.


I have never been one to like “rules” and honestly, when choosing a coffee table there are no rules, maybe just some guidelines.  Let’s go over a few general things to keep in mind so you can have a good flow between your sofa and coffee table.  Your coffee table should be at least half the length of your sofa but no more than 2/3 the length.  The coffee table should stand to the same height as the sofa seat give or take a few inches.  If you have a sectional with a chaise, placing your table in the L-shaped opening the sofa creates, the size guideline refers more to the length of the horizontal seat rather than the full length of the sofa.  Here is a quick graphic by Emily Henderson Design (LOVE her).

Which brings us to our next guideline or better yet, information so that you can make the best design decisions for your space.  The scoop on shapes; round, square, oval, and rectangular.

Courtesy: Living Spaces

Round: Small spaces are the perfect setup for round coffee tables.  I would like to think you are cutting corners literally to save space.  This is also a good option for a sectional with chaise as round can fit into that “nook” beautifully.  This is purely opinion, but I believe round tables are a bit more sculptural fun.  I have found a few of my favorite round coffee tables to share with you.

Anthropologies Silas round coffee table- $600 (on sale now)!
Serena and Lily round table $1,998
Courtesy of

Square: There is not much to say about square other than it fits into any configuration easily.  It is great for the middle of your chat zone with a sofa and a couple of chairs facing each other.  Or perfect for those L-shaped sectionals, really this is almost a win-win situation, therefore, getting the most bang for your buck.  Whether your style is traditional, modern or contemporary the square shape plays along nicely with all.  Check out a few of my favorites below:


CB2 Spin rotating coffee table- $800
Courtesy of West Elm

Oval: This Oval shape is great if you are designing for a high traffic flow space.  This shapes really helps to have some visual flow, breaking up any angular shaped sofa’s.  Oval is also really good for the little’s as they won’t have any sharp ends to contend with (same with the round shape).   Behold some oval inspiration below:


West Elm Reeve coffee table- $800
World Market oval glass coffee table -$350


Courtesy of Article

Rectangle: Rectangular coffee tables are a great choice if you are working with a narrow space with little walking clearance.  A bonus of the rectangular shape is for the ease of everyone reaching their beverage or snacks.  This shape works well for standard size to larger sofas.  Look below for some awesome rectangular coffee tables:

Amazon Haven Home Zane table – $259
Serena and Lily Blake Raffia table -$1198

So there you have it, some easy guidelines to help you along the way so that you may choose the best coffee table for your space and design.  Create the perfect vignette for your coffee table (more on that in a later post) and let this shining star come to life.  Give some love and attention to this hero of the room and you will never regret it.   If you have any questions or problems trying to figure what’s best for you space please comment as I would love to help out.  I love a challenge!! Hope everyone is having a good hump Day!!



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