We can probably all agree that the sofa is the centrepiece of the living room, however coffee and side tables are also important living room furniture pieces. Not only are they hugely practical, but they also add to the overall look of your living space and can be multi-functional with additional shelves and storage option. Here are some tips on how to choose a coffee, side or nest of tables.
What do you want the table for?
Will you be using your new tables in a formal lounge? If so, you can indulge in some more delicate materials, such as glass and chrome, that look chic and add light to your room, but can scratch easily. However, if it’s for the family room then go for a sturdier wooden coffee table, perhaps in oak that will not attract finger marks. If you have young children, look out for sharp corners. Are you looking for a centrepiece? A large or full-length coffee table is ideal, so take time to pick one that compliments your other living room furniture in terms of style, colour and material. Or are you looking for a small table that is not centre-stage? Nesting tables are ideal, and you can use as few or as many of the tables as you want. They provide extra storage but take up very little room.
Pick the size of your furniture according to the size of the room, sync it with the other pieces. It plays an important part in how the room will look, feel and work. Some helpful tips are to keep about 18 inches between the coffee table and sofa, to allow easy movement. Look for a similar height to your sofa cushions, or a little bit lower. Length wise, it should be shorter than your sofa, again making movement easy. Side tables, however, can be kept closer to your seating area and higher, so that you can rest your cup of tea close to hand. They are also ideal as lamp tables. Nests can be tucked away and are graduating in height. So, if the kids need somewhere for their snacks, chose the one that is not too big, or small, but just right!
Go for an oval or rectangular coffee table in a smaller room as they are more streamlined shapes. However, if you have the luxury of space then indulge in a large square or round table that everyone can sit around. Out of these shapes, round and oval are the most child friendly as they don’t have sharp corners.
Additional features of your table
Coffee tables with drawers and shelves will maximise the storage and keep your room clutter-free from books and magazines. A square coffee table is ideal for playing board games - especially handy over the summer and Christmas holidays. A glass topped table can double up as a dining table if you are having an informal menu or finger foods. Just throw some cushions on the floor and tuck in. Side tables have handy features too. Tray tables are useful if you are entertaining – use the serving tray when the party is full swing and, when your guests are gone, just fold them up and tuck them away.
Other living room furniture
Once you have chosen your table, complement it with a sideboard or dresser. They will give you even more storage and the top surface can be used to display your favourite ornaments. If you need more display room, a display unit or glass cabinet will give you plenty of shelves to show off your collection, and adds glamour too. If you love the look of solid wood, try matching your coffee table to a wooden TV unit. Our solid wood TV units are both stylish and durable. They come in classic and natural finishes like white, oak and dark pine wood, making it easier to match with our solid wood furniture collections. If you hate losing the remote and need somewhere to keep it, try a storage footstool. Practical in every way and just as stylish, our range comes in fabric, leather effect, knitted and Moroccan – plenty of choice for every décor.
The perfect accompaniment to a coffee table and footstool is an armchair or two. Match that new footstool, with an armchair in fabric or leather and drape a sofa throw over the back to snuggle up in. Ornate mirrors above your fireplace to give your lounge a country manor style. Our living room accessory ideas page will give you lots of tips on soft furnishings, lighting, furniture and everything you need to turn your living space into a haven.