Would you believe that, in the 1950s, coffee tables were popular because you can place them in front of the TV without obstructing your view from the couch? You didn’t see that coming, did you? Well, we bet you are now wondering how tall is a coffee table.
In this article, we will address not just one but seven questions relating to coffee tables. If you haven’t thought about them that much, then this post should simply serve as good-to-know information.
Coffee tables are those low and long tables you usually in living rooms, in front of or near a sofa or upholstered chairs. They are traditionally used to support beverages, books, magazines, and other ornaments or decorative things.
In the late 1800s, coffee tables started to emerge in England. However, these were far from being low tables as they were about twenty-seven inches in height. It was then believed that the low table concept came from the Ottoman Empire. On the contrary, it was also said that low tables were common in Japan, which was then also considered to be the source of the low, long table concept which we now know as coffee tables.
Now, regardless who had the first idea or concept of the coffee table, we know one thing is for sure; coffee tables are simply brilliant pieces of furniture. It is a pretty sight to behold—not to mention useful—when used as a centerpiece amongst any home.
Ideally, a coffee table should be at level with the cushions of your sofa, or about one to two inches lower. This allows you to place stuff on the table without obstructing your view from the sofa.
If you are wondering why coffee tables are designed this way, then allow us to enlighten you. Coffee tables encourage socialization and serve the purpose of setting an environment to get people engaged. The low tables would give an unobstructed view of everyone around the table and easy access to the food items, coffee, and other beverages. This also seems to be the case for magazines, books, photo albums, and other conversation pieces as they can be easily viewed and shared with your peers from this low table.
Of course, height is not the only thing you should consider when selecting a coffee table. It is equally important that your coffee table is approximately two-thirds of the length your sofa. A 40-inch long couch would be best paired with a 26- to 27-inch long coffee table. This measurement is sufficient to allow the coffee table to serve its purpose while not taking up too much space, making your living room look crowded.
Now that we have settled the coffee table’s height and length let us move on to the shape. What about it?
Your coffee table’s shape has to match your interiors, too! Simply put, the shape of your coffee table should follow the theme of your sofa. A small rectangular coffee table would fit your three-piece sofa set perfectly. However, if you place it at the center of a sectional L-shaped sofa, it would be dwarfed. In such case, either a large round or square coffee table is your best option. If you are aiming for a little old-fashioned theme, then circular tables are great!
We have established the proper dimensions of the coffee table, let us now look at the bigger picture. Ideally, you want a space that is not only nice to look at but also comfortable enough that you can move freely without breaking a vase or in worst case scenarios, bumping your knees and injuring yourself. Thus, it is also essential that you choose the right size of sofa for your living room.
Unfortunately, we sometimes fall in love with a certain piece of furniture and insist on keeping it even if it doesn’t fit our space. We’ve all made that mistake one way or another, but it is never too late to do the right thing, and we can start all over with the coffee table.
Preferably, the space between your coffee table and the surrounding seats is between 12 to 18 inches. A 30-inch distance from the TV would be nice, too.
There is no strict distance requirement, what we are trying to achieve here is that there should be a balance among the sizes and spaces of these pieces of furniture so that your living room won’t look cramped or bare.
Yes, your living room will survive without a coffee table. Depending on your preference and usual activities, a coffee table may not be necessary or will just be an obstacle. However, if you look beyond the aesthetics and see what a coffee table can do for your home, such as setting up an environment that encourages socializing, it can make a huge difference! Not only will it make your living room more aesthetically pleasing, but it would also be a functional addition.
Now, all these information may seem overwhelming. With these in mind, setting up your living room may not be as easy as you imagined it to be. However, you just have not realized it yet, but all these good-to-know details about coffee tables have just taken your interior designing game to a whole new level! Well, sort of.
What we are merely trying to say is that coffee tables may seem small and insignificant, but the truth is, they were made for a purpose, which we have discussed above. So do not buy a random coffee table just for the sake of filling up space. Make it worth your while and try to have fun by looking into different sofa and coffee table style combinations from the Internet or magazines. Let it bring out the creative side of you. Happy browsing!