With the wide variety of contemporary coffee tables available, arriving at the ideal design for your space may take a good deal of time and effort. Typically, size, shape and materials will be the primary deciding factors when you start shopping, so review these guidelines to help narrow your choices down:
Modern Coffee Tables
Round or square, rectangular or asymmetric, our eclectic collection of modern coffee tables features beautiful designs for every contemporary space, guaranteed to garner attention in living room, office or den.
Define your space with a modern coffee table
Modern coffee tables: think scale, not size
While the size of a room and its related space limitations will obviously determine how large or small you finally buy, size (in and of itself) is less of a factor than size in relation to the other furnishings in a room or space. A coffee table that appears to be the perfect size out of context, may not be nearly as impactful when viewed along with the furniture, lighting, and decor already in place, while a central table that appears to be too small may end up looking perfect in your home. So, rather than fixate on size, think about the overall composition of your room first, and how your coffee table will fit into that composition—how prominent or understated a role it will play—and then shop accordingly.
Contemporary coffee table shapes: there are no rules
Square, round, hexagon, asymmetrical. There’s no such thing as a perfect shape for because shape is specific to a table’s design features and the personal preferences of its owner. Whether or not a particular shape is better for your space is impossible to predict, so don’t get too invested in shape over other more important things, like quality, style, and how it fits into the room’s overall design scheme. Consider the rest of the elements in your room or space, how decorative or practical you want your table to be, and, of course, how passionately you feel about a particular design.
To help you choose the perfect pieces, we've answered a few of the most frequently asked questions about coffee tables.
Q: How big of a coffee table should I get?
To choose the right size coffee table, you’ll want to use your surroundings as a guide. For proper scale choose a table that is around two-thirds the length of your sofa or chair to ensure proper balance within your space. For height, the coffee table should be the same height or one to two inches shorter than the top of the cushions on your surrounding furniture. This ensures the coffee table is never out of reach and there is ample space to move around the room.
Q: Should I get a round or rectangle coffee table?
To determine the right shape coffee table for your space, take into consideration the size of your room. Oval or rectangular coffee tables are best for smaller rooms or for a space with two sofas facing each other. Square or round coffee tables tend to take up more surface area and therefore are better for larger furniture groupings or rooms where a sectional is the main seating option.
Q: What Size Coffee Table is too big?
A coffee table should never overwhelm your space or make it hard to move about. Choose a coffee table that fits with the size of the room and matches the size of the furniture as well. The larger the furniture, the larger your coffee table should be. Whether you decide on a square, round, or rectangular table, be sure to leave about 17 inches of space between your furniture and your coffee table to be able to comfortably move about.
Q: How should I decorate my coffee table?
Coffee tables are about form as much as they are about function. You don’t want to clutter your space, but properly placed accents and decor go a long way to elevate a space. Stack coffee table books and top with decorative objects such as a vase of flowers or bowl to act as a catch-all. A marble or leather tray adds a layered look and creates the perfect place to hold coasters, remotes, and a stack of your favorite magazines.
Unique coffee tables: pay attention to materials and maintenance
From marble to glass to wood, steel to plastic, the material choices for coffee tables is almost limitless. But remember that like a sofa or favorite chair, the hard working coffee table tends to see a lot of use. Unlike other pieces of furniture, though, these tables tend not to fall out of fashion easily, making the investment in a well-designed, piece worthy long-term investment.
Expensive contemporary coffee tables, which are made from precious materials or are one-of-a-kind designs, may be visually arresting, but may also require extra care and maintenance. The key is to focus on how you expect your coffee table to be used, and which materials make more sense for your particular needs. Glass, certain metals (like aluminum), concrete, stone, ceramic, and plastic composites typically are low-maintenance materials, requiring little more than a wipe with a damp cloth, while polished, high-quality wood like walnut, oak, maple, ash, teak, and birch may be easily marked by liquids, for instance, requiring coasters or other maintenance considerations. When shopping for designer coffee tables, simplicity, quality and longevity remain good guidelines—as they do for all modern design.