A coffee table is a vital piece when located within a living room, den, or family room setting. It is the playing field, the surface across which all interaction takes place.
They tend to stand out, dominating an environment, while also defining it. Seating, entertainment settings, and all other aspects of the room must by nature fit in around this central piece, and so it is important that you choose wisely when making a selection.
The first thing you should consider is the size of the space relative to the size of the table. You want to ensure that wherever you put the piece, there is plenty of room to make your way around it. On the other hand, if you surround the table with couches, you don’t want the seats to be so far apart that people have to shout at one another to communicate.
Leaving about two to feat of walking space around a coffee table is generally a good rule of thumb. That ensures that you have plenty of room for the environment to flow naturally, while not isolating the piece in the center of a void.
Another consideration is whether you want a round, square, or rectangular piece for the room. Round tables generally take up less space, since they don’t have corners. They also flow better with soft rooms, consisting of a lot of oval shaped pieces. This is often associated with more classical designs.
The strategic benefit of a square or rectangular table is that it can be butted into a corner to create space. However this often results in the focus of the room butting into dead space, and so should often be avoided. Instead use square and rectangular cocktail tables to flow naturally with straight lines and boxy contemporary pieces.