In the beginning, buying a coffee table for your living room may seem like an easy task. It seems relatively simple to enter a store, pick your favorite piece, and have it delivered (or brought home), but upon closer examination, there are quite a few things that you might want to take into account before making this decision. 

To begin with, it should be the appropriate size. Ideally, it should be the correct size and proportion for space and should complement your existing furniture. A good coffee table needs to be convenient for your family, whether this means accommodating small children or offering enough storage to hold TV remotes and other items.

It’s only after answering all these questions that you can start to look for the perfect coffee table for you. The following five rules can help you find a coffee table you love.

Be aware of the height

A coffee table that’s too high or low is simply unattractive. For an enjoyable living space, select a coffee table that is one to two inches lower than the cushions on your sofa. Anything more can make the space look unbalanced.

Proportions are Important

Just like finding the right height for a coffee table, you should ensure it has the right length when measured against your couch’s width. You should have a coffee table that is about two-thirds the length of your sofa. 

 How to Choose the Best Coffee Table for Your Space

Become familiar with your clearance rules

Having decided on height and length, it’s time to pick the shape of your coffee table. If you’re choosing between a square, rectangle, round, or oval coffee table, then the length and space around it play a significant role. 

Coffee tables should be positioned about 12 to 18 inches from your sofa. Anything more or less will feel uncomfortable. It’s advisable to leave at least 24 inches to 30 inches between your coffee table and your TV stand or fireplace to move around the area comfortably. 

Subtract 42 inches from the length between your sofa and TV stand to find the ideal width of your coffee table.

Getting the balance right

Another useful rule to follow when purchasing a coffee table is seeing how heavy it is. It should look proportionate and balanced with the other furniture in the room. Think about getting a table that has chunkier, shorter legs or that has solid legs that go all the way to the ground if your sofa has tall, skinny legs, advice from Castlery. If your sofa does not have any visible legs, you can choose a coffee table with higher legs that are skinnier. 

Think about your own needs

If you are looking for the perfect coffee table for you or your family, take your lifestyle into account. Are you one of those people who spend most of their free time in the living room playing board games? Get yourself a piece that is comfortable to sit around. Are you prone to putting your feet up on the coffee table when watching TV? You might prefer an ottoman if that is the case.

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