Choosing a coffee table is a decision that has a big impact on the feel of your living room. Will you go for something that meshes with your design style, giving you a strong coherent look? Or will you try to incorporate two or more different styles in order to heighten the interest and contrast?
Since a coffee table is often a large purchase, both in size and cost, you want it to work aesthetically as well as functionally, tying a room together while it invites guests to gather round. It’s important to take stock of the design style you’re working with so you can consider a full range of visual and textual options.
Let’s walk through some popular design styles, showing how a coffee table can either blend in or stand out, depending on the effect you’re looking for.
Source: Designs by Laila
Go For the Glam
A glamorous feminine style incorporates shiny pieces, plush furniture and pillows, and soft furry accents. When it comes to a glam coffee table, consider something mirrored, glass, or Lucite with a gold or silver edge. You can soften your coffee table by choosing a round shape, or look for a square table with inlay.
Another approach is to go with a fabric ottoman. Place mirrored trays on top to hold books and ornaments. A soft furry throw adds the glam finishing touch.
Simple, Natural, Rural
Most commonly known as rustic, you might also call this design style beachy or New Ruralist. Whatever the name, this style incorporates a pared-down aesthetic by using wood floors and reclaimed furnishings, as well as linen and other natural textiles. There’s a sense of unpretentious elegance, of bringing the outdoor feeling inside.
When choosing a coffee table for this space, consider an old steamer trunk, a rough textured wood table in a simple style, or even a low cart with wheels. The style traditionally uses colors borrowed from nature such as browns, beiges, blues, and greens.
Source: Angie Hranowsky via Southern Living
Traditional brings to mind carved furniture, handwoven rugs, wallpaper, and layers of fabric and pattern. This style doesn’t have to present as old and musty, though. Just a few antique pieces or an amazing Persian rug can firmly establish the traditional mood.
The best coffee table for a traditional space is often the simplest. Choose a basic, unembellished shape in a standard material like wood or glass. Stay away from ornately carved or heavily textured coffee tables, since these can clash with your other antique or traditional pieces.
Source: S&K Interiors
Modern Is Never Out of Style
In a modern living room, you’ll find steel, chrome, harder edges, bright colors with black & white, leather, and fur. Building materials like brick and concrete can also work in modern spaces.
Glass and chrome is always a good choice for a coffee table in a modern room. For newer trends, look at concrete and Lucite waterfall tables. As with all design styles, don’t forget to consider your space needs and functional requirements. Instead of one large coffee table, two or three smaller tables together can give you more flexibility.
Source: EcoChic Lookbook
Rustic + Modern
This style mix is a big favorite at EcoChic. Take the sharp edge of black iron or chrome, as well as natural or white framing, and combine it with wood and bright paint that’s been weathered and textured. The Rising Tide Coffee Table is an exciting partnership of these two styles, striking enough to anchor an entire room.
Source: Amber Lewis via Real Simple
Rustic + Traditional
Here the patterned ottoman adds a burst of color to a very clean space. The ottoman works as a coffee table and a foot rest, while adding a strong visual design element to the room.
Whether you’re hewing to a single style or combining different elements to create your own unique style, choosing a coffee table that’s just right really sets the stage.
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