You don’t have to look far (thanks, Pinterest) to see that the coffee table is giving the fireplace mantel a run for its money in the objets d’art category. Like most furnishings, the coffee table has evolved from a strictly functional piece to a blank canvas for artful arrangements. The once reliable trifecta of flowers, trays and books are slowly giving way to succulents, glass cloche bell jars and carefully curated (even colour coordinated) art books. Whether its purpose is holding the remote or creating a personalized collection of objets, the coffee table is often centre stage so choose wisely. We’ve narrowed down four considerations when choosing the right one for your room.
1. Style. Square, oval, rectangular, oval…the shapes are about as infinite as the finishes. What you need to look at is the preexisting shapes in your room to conform or create visual contrast. Stylistically, if you have a lot of straight edges in the room you may want to choose a counterpoint with curves to break up the straight lines. Or if symmetry is your thing, you may want to mirror the shape and style of the other furnishings in the living room. Round coffee tables aid circulation, especially when considering a small space. If the safety of toddlers is a particular concern, a rounded table with gentle edges may be a wise selection. The EQ3 Ynes Coffee Table (above) is a bold addition to your living area with a sophisticated white or black marble top option. Comes in a more compact end table option.
2. Function. How you use the coffee table will help inform your decision. Will it hold your treasured holiday beach finds or do you need a two-tiered shelf to pick up the stacks of children’s books lying on the floor? Inspired by midcentury design, the EQ3 Kacia Coffee Table is made from solid acacia wood and is available as a side table. The Kacia table’s throwback feel gives it a timeless appeal while its unique shape adds dimension to your living space.
The Trivia Coffee Table by EQ3 is constructed from solid oak legs and a powder coated white or charcoal metal surface. Perfect for either modern or traditionally styled living rooms, the Trivia adds a light aesthetic to many spaces. Resistant to chipping, scratches, fading and wear than any other finish, the powder coated Trivia Coffee Table is a smart choice for the hard wearing family.
The Real Coffee Table by Calligaris is a rectangular coffee table made entirely out of tempered glass. It has a clean, linear design adding to the airiness of a room and keeping spaces visually light. Metal bases with glass tops are another good choice to keep rooms feeling open. Tempered glass is also a clever way to show off your special area rug and want to keep views unobstructed. Keep your glass cleaner handy, though, as there is no way around fingerprints.
The Scout Functional Coffee Table boasts a utilitarian design with a top that lifts up for living room meals and easy access to the interior storage. There is also a side drawer for even more practicality.
3. Scale. Scale can be broken into proportion, length and height. The proportion of the coffee table needs to consider both the size of the living room and the scale of the surrounding furnishings. We don’t like a lot of rules in design, but a generally accepted rule of thumb when pairing a classic rectangular coffee table with a sofa is that the table should run from one-half to two-thirds the length of the sofa. The height of a coffee table should be no lower than 1-2 inches from the seat of your couch. The standard height for a table is 16-18 inches and pairs well with a typically sized couch. A higher sofa requires a taller table, one that is 20-21 inches in height.
4. Small Groupings. Ideal for displaying house plants or other decorative items, the Peggy Side Table by EQ3 is a fun addition to any room in the home. To bring a modern and dynamic feel to your living room, try a collection of tables. For an interesting look, place two sets of identical nesting tables next to each other and pull out each table to expand the surface area while staggering the table tops too. If your space is wide and you have not found a table you like, place two tables next to each other and create one larger table. If you can’t commit to a full size coffee table, another option is to curate several smaller end tables as a coffee table solution.
The Calligaris Island Tables are available in three different versions that can be used alone or together to create different heights. They are versatile tables with rounded beveled edges that give this series a distinct look. Available in four different finishes.