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

Castlery|Mar 20, 2024

When it comes to designing the perfect living room, there are a few essential furniture pieces that simply cannot be overlooked. Among them, the coffee table stands as a versatile and indispensable element that not only enhances the aesthetics of the room, but also serves various practical purposes.

But do you really need a coffee table for your living room?

In this article, we discuss some reasons why coffee tables should have a rightful place as a must-have item in any living room. Let's dive right in!

Why do I need a coffee table?

The heart of your living room

Even though your sofa might serve as the centrepiece of the living room, a coffee table acts as a focal point that brings everything together.

Placed strategically in front of your sofa or seating arrangement, it becomes a hub for conversation, relaxation, and socialisation. Its prominent position allows it to effortlessly tie the room together, creating a sense of harmony and balance.

Aesthetics and style

Coffee tables come in a wide array of designs, shapes, sizes, and materials, making it easy to find the perfect match for your living room decor. Whether your style leans towards modern, contemporary, rustic, or farmhouse, there is a coffee table out there that will complement your overall theme.

With their appealing aesthetics, coffee tables contribute to the overall visual appeal of the room. They can add a touch of elegance, sophistication, or even a playful vibe, depending on the design you choose. Additionally, coffee tables can be a great opportunity to showcase your personal style and taste by selecting a unique piece that reflects your personality.

Practical versatility

Apart from their decorative role, coffee tables are highly practical and serve a multitude of functions. One of their primary purposes is to provide a convenient surface for placing drinks, snacks, and remote controls within arm's reach. No more awkwardly balancing your cup on the armrest or reaching too far for your favorite book or magazine.

The Cupid Coffee Table has a sculptural base that doubles up as a visual art piece and display storage. Also pictured: The Owen Chaise Sectional Sofa.

Coffee tables also offer storage solutions, which can be a lifesaver for those with limited space. Many coffee tables feature drawers, shelves, or hidden compartments where you can stow away items like magazines, coasters, board games, or even extra blankets for cosy movie nights.

Space for expression

Coffee tables offer an opportunity to express your creativity and showcase your personality through their styling. By adding decorative elements such as vases, candles, books, or artwork, you can infuse your personal touch and create an inviting atmosphere. These small accents can transform a simple coffee table into a captivating display that sparks conversation and intrigue.

Creating a gathering space

In today's fast-paced world, the living room has become a space for quality time and connection. Coffee tables play a vital role in fostering this sense of togetherness by providing a central space for people to gather, share stories, enjoy a cup of coffee, or engage in board games or puzzles. They encourage a cosy and intimate atmosphere where friends and family can come together and create lasting memories.

How to choose the right coffee table


@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. Consider the overall style and theme of your living room and choose a coffee table that complements the existing furniture and decor.

An attractive coffee table that complements your interior and matches your side tables and TV stands will anchor your design and add to the overall look of your living room.

Size and proportion

Finding the right sized coffee table is crucial to ensure a balanced and harmonious look.

Measure the available space in your living room to determine the appropriate size for your coffee table. Consider the dimensions of your seating furniture and ensure that the table is proportionate to the surrounding elements and available space. You don't want it to be too small and get lost or too large and overwhelm the space. 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 sectional sofa, the coffee table should only be two-thirds the length of the sofa section.

Consider the height as well, ensuring it aligns with the height of your seating furniture for comfortable access. If it's any more than 1 to 2 inches lower, you may find it difficult to reach for items.


Coffee tables are available in a range of materials, each with its unique characteristics. Common options include wood, glass, metal, and acrylic. Of these materials, wooden coffee tables are probably the most popular as they are durable and gel well with almost every interior design style.

Do consider the durability and maintenance requirements of each material. For example, if you have children or pets, you may want to steer clear of glass tabletops as they are fragile and require more care. The material you choose will have an impact on the look and feel of your space, so think carefully before purchasing a coffee table.

Shape and layout

Coffee tables come in various shapes, including rectangular, square, round, and oval. Consider the layout of your living room and the flow of traffic when selecting the best coffee table.

@lovinglittlehalls matches the Vincent Coffee Table to the walnut legs on the sofa for a mid century modern vibe.

A rectangular or oval coffee table works well in a long and narrow room. They also provide ample surface area for drinks, snacks, and electronics.

On the other hand, round or square tables make the perfect choice if you want to retain as much floor space as possible while still having a functional table-top area.


The Andre Coffee Table with a rotatable storage functionality steals the show in @cassierandolph's home.

Determine your specific needs and how you plan to use the coffee table. If you require additional storage space, consider tables with drawers, shelves, or hidden compartments. These can be useful for storing magazines, remote controls, coasters, or other small items, helping to keep the tabletop clutter-free.

Coffee tables are much more than just a piece of furniture in your living room. They are a reflection of your style, a functional centerpiece, and a catalyst for social interaction. By carefully selecting the right coffee table that aligns with your taste and meets your practical needs, you can elevate your living room to new heights of elegance and comfort. Embrace the charm and versatility of coffee tables and create a space where memories are made and shared.

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