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Coffee Tables: Why They Are a Living Room Must-Have

Castlery   |   Feb 20, 2023

Although your sofa may be the largest piece of furniture in your living room, your coffee table could well be the most important. Forming the focal point of your seating area, your coffee table helps to anchor your living room layout and provide visual balance to the space. In fact, a lot of living rooms would look incomplete without one.

As well as being important from an aesthetic point of view, coffee tables are endlessly practical. Giving you somewhere to put your drinks and snacks while you binge on your favorite boxsets, and somewhere to store your TV remote, magazines and display books, your coffee table is a very hard-working piece of furniture. Invest in a design with built in storage to up the versatility of your coffee table even further.

Choosing the right coffee table for your living room

If your living room is currently lacking a coffee table, or if you think your existing table could do with an upgrade, there are a few things to consider before you buy. The most important are:

  • Style
  • Size
  • Materials
  • Shape
  • Storage

Get these right, and your new coffee table will work perfectly with your existing décor and add to the functionality and look of your living room.


A rustic coffee table with storage has a bouquet of flowers and a candle atop. @thevintagevision adds a vintage touch to the Seb Coffee Table with Storage with a bouquet of flowers and a matching sofa throw.

Style is arguably the most important thing to consider when buying a new coffee table. An attractive coffee table that complements your interior and matches your side table, TV units, and shelving units will anchor your design and add to the overall look of your living room.

Most coffee tables fall into one of four main design styles. These are:

  • Modern
  • Marble
  • Mid Century
  • Farmhouse

Modern coffee tables often have clean, sharp lines and are made from materials like marble, glass and metal. Perfect for contemporary interiors, modern coffee tables can add a light, fresh feel to a space and tie a room together.

Marble coffee tables have a naturally luxurious aesthetic. As marble is a timeless, classic material, it can be used in both modern and vintage coffee table designs. Because they’re partly made of stone, marble coffee tables are generally fairly heavy. They also need to be well-cared for to ensure the surface doesn’t stain, chip or degrade.

Mid-century coffee tables are ideal for living rooms with a retro feel. Available in a wide choice of shapes and sizes, mid-century tables are often made primarily of wood, though some may also have metallic, glass or marble features.

Farmhouse coffee tables have a slightly more rustic feel. Chunky and homely, they’re a good option if you want a solid, grounding piece in the middle of your living room.


Size is crucial when it comes to selecting the right coffee table. Go too big, and your new table will dominate your room. However, go too small, and you might not have enough space for all your drinks, snacks and electronics.

A weaved rattan coffee table complements the wooden legs of the sofa. The Mico Rattan Coffee Table offers a Danish modern style that complements the Tana Chaise Sectional Sofa.

The ideal dimensions of your coffee table will be largely dictated by your sofa. In most cases, coffee tables look their best when they’re around two-thirds the length of your sofa. If you have an L-shaped sofa, the coffee table should be two-thirds the length of the sofa section only.

When it comes to height, you’ll probably want to choose a table that’s roughly level with the seat of your sofa. If it’s any more than 1-2 inches lower, you may find it more difficult to reach your drinks and snacks.


The most common materials used to make coffee tables are wood, glass, marble and metal. Of these, wood is probably the most popular. The material you choose will have an impact on the look and feel of your space, so think carefully about what will work best with your existing furnishings and interior design theme.


Coffee tables now come in a variety of different shapes. From large oval tables to round and square designs, you can choose from a selection of different looks when furnishing your home.

A coffee table set in a dark walnut shade complements the legs of the sofa. *@lovinglittlehalls matches the Vincent Coffee Table to the walnut legs on the sofa for a mid century modern vibe.

If you want to maximise the surface area of your table, opt for a rectangle coffee table. These generous tables will give you plenty of space for drinks and snacks, as well as electronics like remote controls and laptops.

Round or oval tables are the perfect choice if you want to retain as much floor space as possible while still creating a useful table-top area. A square table is also a good space saving option if you want a more angular look.


A coffee table with a rotatable storage functionality is decorated with books and a candle. *The Andre Coffee Table with a rotatable storage functionality steals the show in @cassierandolph's home.

Investing in a coffee table with built-in storage is a great way to boost the functionality of your living room. Drawers and cupboards can be used to store books, coasters, laptops and anything else you want to tidy away but maintain easy access to. This can help you keep your lounge neat and clutter-free.

Occasional coffee tables

If you don’t have space for a coffee table, or need to be able to increase your table space at short notice, Ottomans can be used as handy occasional tables. One of the great things about using Ottomans as coffee tables is that they add a splash of colour to the space. Choose a black, white, gold or red Ottoman and help your interior to really pop.

Coffee tables are an absolute living room must have. Learn more, and find the perfect piece for your home, by taking a look through our beautiful collection.