Coffee table in the living room: what should you consider?


Choosing a coffee table is not that easy. In addition to the aesthetic criteria, there are quite a few technical details to take into account. And because this piece is in the center of a leisure area – the place for gatherings in any home, it must be both functional and well thought out. That’s why now is exactly the time to look into the matter!


1. The shape

There is something for everyone: round, oval, square, rectangular, triangular, indefinite in shape. This is not just a matter of taste, each shape has its advantages and disadvantages.

– Round and oval shapes are more suitable for children and for more restricted spaces, because they can easily be bypassed.

– Square and round shapes are more user-friendly for meals with friends, for example, because everyone is at the same distance from the center of the table.

– Rectangular and elongated shapes are preferred for spacious lounges, ideal between two large sofas facing each other.

2. The height

We often think that a coffee table’s height is standard, like that of a dining table. Yes but no. In a living room, the height of the seats can vary greatly, and this will influence the height of the coffee table. The rule of thumb is that a coffee table should be at the same height as the lowest seat in the living room.

If your coffee table needs to do a little more or a little less than this measurement, let it better be a little lower. Obviously, it’s also a question of use: if you eat all your meals on your coffee table, there is no point in breaking your back while eating 20 cm from the ground. But if discussing the purely decorative spirit, this decision looks more aesthetic and harmonious, allowing not to overcrowd the space and soften the lines.

3. How many of them?

You don’t have to limit yourself to one coffee table, our specialists always recommend having a second small side table to put down your book, a small mood lamp or your glass of wine on, when you are a little far from the main table.

This side table can be completely different from the coffee table, in another style, another material, another color, and also a little higher, at armrest height, for example.

4. The material

Raw wood, laminate, glass, metal, plastic, etc. The possibilities are numerous. There are, however, a few things to know to help you decide:

– Wood is a natural material, it immediately brings warmth and authenticity to a room. It is the easiest material to combine, it goes with all styles: Scandinavian, bohemian, country, rustic, industrial, vintage, contemporary;

– Metal is often mixed with another material ( wood or glass). By its color, it will either have a rather industrial / loft connotation, or a more chic and elegant spirit (especially with gold and brass);

– Laminate is the main material of most commercial furniture. It is less chic, but also less expensive, super resistant and easy to maintain,  if you have children who draw on tables, a husband who regularly spills his glass of wine, or a cat who uses their claws where they shouldn’t;

Glass: perfect for lightening a space. It also gives an elegant touch, especially when paired with metal;

– Stone gives character to a room. This material is perfect for adding marble chic or some concrete industrial vibes.

5. Storage capacity

A coffee table can also be used as storage space, especially for a stack of magazines, or all those little things that you never really know where to store (remote controls, batteries, take-away menus, duplicate keys.

So, of course, it would be handy to have a drawer or a shelf under your coffee table. Still, avoid turning it into a full-fledged storage unit. Not only because your table risks being very massive and making a bit of a concrete block placed in the middle of your living room, but also because the more room you have to store, the more you store, you accumulate … and you become messy .

So choose a model with one drawer or a double tray to be able to store a few magazines, or use a pretty box, but keep in mind that your coffee table is the center of attention in your living room.

6. The originality

Think outside the box! Can’t find what you are looking for despite all these tips? Well that’s good! Look beyond the pages of coffee table catalogs, and invent your own: a large plank of raw wood placed on metal feet, casters screwed under an old pallet, a composition in wine boxes, cut wooden logs at the right height, a bench found in an online catalog like, a large ottoman, a chest. As long as there is a flat surface, and you like it, it works!


The armchair has its blanket, the sofa has its tribe of cushions, the sideboard has its little decorative trinkets … your coffee table also deserves a little attention!

It can be 2 or 3 pretty books placed in a pile, a small series of candles, a bouquet of scented flowers, or a beautiful trinket.

We advise leaving 2 or 3 small objects lying around, because you’ll need the extra space for practical and user-friendly reasons! If you have several tables: take the opportunity to leave one completely free.

We hope these little ideas have helped you in your choice. !