Every living room needs a coffee table, but how do you find one that fits? It’s more than just measuring your space — you want coffee table ideas that express your design vision and personal style.
This guide will help you pick the right coffee table for your space and decorate it in a way that enhances your living room and home. We’ve included styling tips and coffee table ideas to point you in the right direction. It’s time to get inspired.
Coffee table ideas: Finding the perfect fit
Your living room is the focal point of your home, and the coffee table is usually at the center of it all. As such, coffee tables can influence your space’s interior design and vibe. They’re some of the most versatile pieces of furniture you can add to your space, so finding the right fit is key.
This central tabletop in your family room can serve as a DIY project station, impromptu dining table, party buffet, holiday display, and even footrest (much to the dismay of moms everywhere). They’re also great for providing storage space for remotes, coasters, and books. Here’s how to find the right shape, size, and style for your living space.
Coffee tables come in many shapes, and you want one that will work well with your sofa and the layout of your living room. Options usually include:
- Rectangle or square: These coffee tables work well with L-shaped sectional sofas and standard living room seating arrangements (e.g., a sofa and two accent chairs).
- Round or oval: These coffee tables help soften your home decor in the living room and make the space easy to move around. Oval and round coffee tables also make small spaces feel larger.
Consider how the shape of your coffee table will impact your home decor and the layout of your living room. If you’re not sure, use masking tape to test the shape in the room before you buy.
The dimensions of your coffee table will impact how well it works with your living room and how much space it offers for different coffee table ideas. Consider these factors:
- Height: Ideally, you want your coffee table to be approximately the same height as the seat of your sofa, give or take a couple of inches.
- Length: Balance the length of your coffee table with that of your sofa so that it’s helpful no matter where you’re sitting. Half to two-thirds the length of your couch is often ideal.
- Placement: Keep at least 14 inches between the edges of your coffee table and your sofa to ensure you have space to walk around. Carefully measure your available square footage.
We recommend that you pick your sofa before purchasing your coffee table so that you can check the dimensions against your existing living room setup.
Your coffee table’s material will influence how it looks in your space and its impact on your home decor. For example, a wooden coffee table will have a much different effect in your room than a glass-top modern coffee table. Here’s what to consider:
- Glass: Glass top coffee tables create an open, airy feel ideal for small spaces and minimalist home decor.
- Wood: A wood coffee table will bring warmth and natural texture to your room. The exact effect varies based on your choice of wood. For example, you might opt for live-edge wood, which maintains the natural edge of the tree, for a distinctly rustic style.
- Marble and stone: Marble and stone provide a simple, modern look perfect for glam, sculptural, and minimalist spaces. These coffee tables often work well as the centerpiece of your living room.
- Metal: Metal coffee tables offer outstanding durability and a fashion-forward look. They also come in a wide range of finishes.
- Upholstery: Pouf-style coffee tables and other upholstered options create an inviting look while offering a soft surface for little ones.
Choose the material for your coffee table based on the theme of your home. If you have a farmhouse-style space, you might want a farmhouse coffee table made from a tree stump or a refinished thrift store find.
Your coffee table needs to meet the needs of your space and family, so look for features that will make your life easier. Here are our favorite multitasking elements:
- Hidden storage or drawers: Tables with hidden storage space and drawers provide a minimalist look while giving you somewhere to store remotes, books, toys, and anything else.
- Open shelves: Some coffee table ideas rely on lower storage shelves with open designs. For example, you might use a lower shelf to display coffee table books.
- Nesting: Nested coffee table designs come in various shapes, and they work well for providing an extra surface area in small spaces.
Consider which features will work best for your household and choose your coffee table accordingly. For instance, if you have plenty of storage space, you might prefer a set of nesting tables in place of hidden compartments.
Coffee table decor ideas
Decorating your coffee table is half of the equation — even the most unique coffee table will look better when styled. Trays, candles, coasters, books, indoor plants, vases, and decorative accents are all examples of home decor you might use to bring your tabletop to life.
Here are some coffee table ideas that’ll help give your living room the makeover it deserves:
- Flowers and a tray or book: For a simple look, opt for a tall, sculptural vase of dried, silk, or fresh flowers and pair it with a tray or coffee table book. This combination of tall and short will add visual interest. For extra decor, try adding a candle.
- 4×4 grid: For a versatile look that can change with the seasons, divide your tabletop into a 4×4 surface and put something different in each section. For example, your quadrants might include a planter of succulents, a stack of coffee table books, a trio of candles, and a bowl of decorative accents that match your color scheme.
- Large tray: Upholstered coffee tables work well with a large serving tray that holds books, vases, plants, candles, and anything else on the surface. This is also ideal for coffee tables that double as footrests or homework stations.
These formulas can help you style your coffee table for any space. For the best results, we recommend looking for accents and pieces that match your living room’s color scheme and theme.
DIY coffee table ideas
Sometimes a DIY coffee table is just what the interior designer ordered as a temporary placeholder. Or maybe you’d like DIY decor to personalize the tabletop for your family. Either way, here are a couple of DIY coffee table ideas:
- Pallet coffee table: If you can’t afford a new coffee table right now, try finding some free or cheap pallets from a local business and make your own table. You’ll need some woodworking and crafting skills for this one, but you’ll have a placeholder until you can buy a new coffee table.
- Tabletop decor: If you splurge on a coffee table and need some DIY decor ideas, you’ll find tutorials for a wide range of decor ideas. You might keep some for years and replace others in a few months, but you can guarantee you’ll have fun making them.
We recommend using your budget for a new coffee table and opting for DIY decor ideas for styling. After all, decorations are more affordable and easier to make than coffee tables, especially if you’re not experienced with woodworking.
A few coffee table ideas to get you started
The first step to bringing your coffee table ideas to life is finding a table you love. Here are some of our favorites to help inspire your living room makeover.
2-Piece Round Nesting Tables
This two-piece set of Round Nesting Tables features a weathered elm finish and a relaxing, minimalist design. The tables have a slight industrial appeal thanks to the metal elements with a matte black finish. You can store the set nested to save space and pull out the second table for family night or guests.
Black Coffee Table with Hidden Storage
This Black Coffee Table with Hidden Storage features a versatile brown finish with a black metal base. It’ll transform your living room into a work-from-home paradise, offering a versatile lift top and space to store office supplies and small items. Of course, it would work well in a modern rustic or farmhouse space.
Round Glass Top Coffee Table
This Round Glass Top Coffee Table features a sleek chrome-finished base with a marble-style center shelf. The glass top creates a soothing, airy appeal and allows you to view decor items placed on the shelf below. It would make an excellent centerpiece in a mid-century modern living room.
Express your style
These coffee table ideas can help you express your style through your home decor. It all starts with the right table as the foundation. Then you’ll bring the look to life by styling the tabletop with decor that matches your space.
If you haven’t found the coffee table of your dreams yet, check out our full selection of coffee tables with over 100 options. Once you’ve found the one you love, head to the Coaster Furniture store locator to find a convenient retailer nearby.
Rodrigo 2-piece Round Nesting Tables Weathered Elm
Byers Black Coffee Table with Hidden Storage Brown Oak and Sandy Black
Cadee Round Glass Top Coffee Table White and Chrome
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