Quite recently I found myself in the position where I had to specify how tall I want my coffee table to be. Until then I didn’t even think about it….the height of the coffee table was just standard and I took it for granted. Right then I realized just how important this detail was not just for the table but for the entire living room and everything in it. So what is the right height for a coffee table? Well…it depends.
It’s very important for the overall proportions of a coffee table to be right. If the table is too large or too small, the whole room will feel off. If the furniture is out of proportions the ambiance is simply not right and you can’t achieve the desired look or feel. So you see, the height of the table is closely linked to a series of other details like the length or the placement.
In general, the proper height of a coffee table is one that matches the height of the sofa cushions. If the cushions are extra think, the table can be 1 or 2 inches lower than that. This usually means that the coffee table is somewhere around 40 to 45 cm tall. When determining the height you should take into consideration not only the proportions of the sofa (or armchairs) but also the design of the table. For example, if there’s a storage shelf underneath, consider that as well.
The primary function of the table is equally important so think about how you’re going to be using this furniture piece. If you plan on relaxing on the sofa in the front of the TV and putting your feet up on the coffee table, make sure it’s not too high or too low for that. If you plan on playing board games on it then make sure it can be comfortably used by everyone. Also, if the kids will be using the table, make it accessible and child-friendly.
The placement of the sofa can directly influence its proportions. Regarding that, there should generally be around 12 to 18 inches of space between the coffee table and the sofa and the seating surrounding it. Obviously the design matters too. A coffee table can be simple, ornate, made of wood, with a glass top, round, rectangular and the list can go on. The key to a perfect design is finding the right combination of characteristics and knowing what to prioritize. Figuring out what the right height should be is definitely a priority.