The coffee table, although not impressive in size, is the focal point of the whole living room. It usually sits in the center and it’s the element that unites everything else around it. So how do you choose your coffee table? Well, color is one way to go.
Black coffee tables, for example, can be very versatile and they basically go with everything. But there are lots of different ways in which to integrate them into the décor. So what is your design?
How to choose the right coffee table
Finding the right coffee table can help to complete the room and to tie all the other elements together. So what is the right type of coffee table? That depends on a variety of factors. Here’s a few important ones that you should focus on when making a decision:
Pick the right size
Size is important for every piece of furniture. A coffee table needs to be just right. Too small and it will look out of proportion and it won’t be a good fit for the sofa and the rest of the furniture in the room. Too big and it will make the whole room seem small plus it will make circulation difficult.
The height of the coffee table is a particularly important detail to take into consideration. Usually, coffee table are between 16’’ and 18’’ high but that can differ based on what type of sofa or couch you choose. Typically, the table height should be within 2’’ of the height of the sofa. Of course, if you choose poufs, bean bags or floor pillows instead, you should also pick a table that matches this style.
Choose a shape that suits the room
Another important aspect is the shape of the coffee table. There’s a few common ones to choose from but, as always, you also have the option of choosing something unique and special. There’s plenty of cool-looking tables with organic and free-form designs as well as some interesting ones with unusual geometric shapes. The most common options however are the following ones:
Rectangular coffee tables – these go really well with most types of sofas and couches, especially the longer ones. They also pair well with sectionals. You might also want to go with a rectangular table for aesthetic reasons, in order to complement a décor that has a lot of soft curves and smooth lines.
Square coffee tables – they’re great for small living rooms and seating areas and they’re similar to rectangular tables but tend to be smaller in size. It’s possible to pair two or three square tables in order to create a modular arrangement or to make an extra long rectangular table.
Round coffee tables – these tables are really great if you don’t want furniture that has sharp corners or if you want to soften the décor by introducing some smooth lines and curves. Round tables typically fit well in small and compact seating arrangements and don’t really suit long sofas or sectionals. Of course, there’s always the option to have more than one table so don’t dismiss this style just yet.
Oval coffee tables – they offer a lot of the advantages that round tables do but they have a more elongated shape. This allows them to look better when paired with long sofas or sectionals. Also, oval tables are less common compared to the other types and this helps them stand out more.
Pick a suitable material for the coffee table
Coffee tables, like other furniture pieces, can be made from a variety of different materials. Since the coffee table is often considered a statement piece for the living room, there’s some interesting options to choose from when it comes to materials. Here’s a few of them:
Wood – this is the most common material not just for coffee table but for furniture in general. It’s a solid and safe choice if you want to create a cohesive interior design. Wooden tables are also versatile and there’s a higher chance you’ll be able to keep them for a long time even after you renovate or remodel the room.
Glass – this is a really good option if you have a small space and you don’t want the coffee table to stand out too much. Glass coffee tables blend with their surroundings more easily which allows the room to seem bigger and more airy. They also look quite elegant.
Stone – there’s plenty of variations to choose from in this case. Marble, granite or slate are some common options and they pair well with other materials, in particular with wood. Such a coffee table would definitely make a statement.
Metal – this may not seem like a great material for a coffee table but actually it’s more common than you think. Moreover, metal furniture is a really great fit for retro or industrial interior decors. There’s also the option to choose a combo table design which is made out of metal and a contrasting material such as wood.
Acrylic and plastic – these materials offer a few notable advantages. For example, plastic and acrylic coffee tables are lightweight and easy to move around which makes cleaning a lot easier. They’re also require minimal maintenance and they come in a lot of different shapes, styles and colors.
Consider extra features
Apart from the obvious elements like shape, size and material, there’s a whole lot of other details that you should keep in mind when shopping for a new coffee table. For example:
Some coffee tables have built-in storage. They can include shelves, drawers or they can have hidden storage compartments underneath the top. This can be very useful in a small space.
You can have more than one coffee table. Instead of a single large table you can choose to have a set of two or three smaller ones. This adds modularity to the design and allows you to use each one dependently plus it means you can combine more than one size, shape or color.
There’s also the option of getting an upholstered coffee table. In some ways it would be similar to an ottoman which is great if you enjoy putting your feet up when you’re watching TV. It’s also a good choice if you don’t want any sharp edges and corners.
To make it easier to move the table around when you’re cleaning or when you’re reorganizing the room, you can choose a coffee table with casters. These can also be added later on or to an existing table.
Design around a black coffee table
A colorful rug.
by Lincoln Barbour
A black coffee table would look great placed on a colorful rug. The black and red combination is common and classical. If you choose a rug with a red print, include a few their matching details throughout the room.
byJames Tse Photography
Although the coffee table is basically the star of the living room décor, it doesn’t necessarily have to stand out. In this case, for example, the table closely matches the wall unit which also includes a fireplace. The glossy finish on the table reflects the flames.
Another option you can choose if you have a black coffee table in your living room is to surround it with white furniture and accessories. This living room has two matching white sofas and white curtains covering the walls. The curtains get reflected into the ceiling and it looks like they’re covering the entire room.
byLinda Oyama Bryan
If you’re not using color to highlight a piece of furniture then the alternative is to use its actual shape. This elegant coffee table features a geometric design with clean and simple lines. It has a square shape which matches the design on the ceiling.
byStudio KW Photography
Usually there are two main colors used in a décor. Black is a dark and cold color so a nice pair for it would be a light and warm color such as beige or gold. Color can come in the form of a rug, accent wall or accessories.
byEric Scott Photography
Speaking of great color combinations, a great color palette is composed of black, white and yellow. Take a look at this stylish living area. The black coffee table sits on a white carpet and yellow accents are spread throughout the room.
The coffee table, in this case, is the element which brings together a series of modern and traditional elements such as the fireplace mantel, the ceiling trims and that beautiful dark floor. The table is simple and elegant and it has the best of both styles.
A dark detail in a bright décor.
As you’ve seen in the previous examples, a coffee table, especially if it’s black, can easily blend in and disappear into the décor. But you can also make it stand out if, for example, the rest of the room is decorated in light colors such as these shades of gray and turquoise.
Most often, the coffee table doesn’t impress with its size. It’s why it could be refreshing to break the pattern. This is a coffee table with a shape and design similar to dining tables. It was wonderfully chosen for this décor as it matches the sofa and the shape of the room.
byPaul Finkel Photography
This type of design is reminiscent of the French furniture. The curves give the table an elegant and classical look and the way it sits in the center of the room and everything else is organized around it makes it stand out even more.
A sleek base.
The key element tables in general take advantage of is the base. There’s not much room for innovation when it comes to the tabletop. The base, however, is another thing. There are many intricate designs out there but sometimes it’s the simplest choices that impress the most. Just look how sleek this coffee table is, especially with that carpet underneath.
byBrandon Barre Photography
Sharp corners and angles can make a décor feel less inviting. It’s why this living room looks so welcoming and comfortable. The round coffee table is the star but there are numerous details which contribute to this balanced design.
byChristina Bull Photography
Symmetry in an interior décor is usually the design of a traditional, outdated look. However, this contemporary living room has nothing to do with that. Even the coffee table features a sharp and symmetrical design.
Attention to details.
Simply selecting the furniture for a room is not enough if you wish to create a beautiful ambiance. You also need to pay attention to the little things. Display a nice sculpture on the coffee table, artwork on the walls or maximize the views.
DIY Coffee Table Ideas
Building your own coffee table from scratch can be a great idea when you have something very specific in mind in terms of design or if you just want something simple and with character for your living room. Farmhouse-style tables are easy to make and have a lot of charm. You can use wood which is very accessible and you can stain in so it matches the rest of your décor. There’s a tutorial on lovegrowswild that you can follow if you enjoy this style.
You can also make a wooden table that has a farmhouse-industrial aesthetic and it wouldn’t require a lot of resources. In fact, the design featured on cherishedbliss is great because it’s very simple and easy to put together. The frame contrasts with the top which is a nice little detail but that of course be modified if you prefer a different combo.
Coffee tables with built-in storage are really cool because of the added functionality. Of course, if you’re building it all from scratch that complicated the design and the plans. If you’re up for a challenge, check out this detailed tutorial from morelikehome which explains exactly how to make this elegant table from start to finish.
If you want to you can also make your coffee table a bit more interesting by including a few interesting details in its design. This table, for example, has a round top and an interesting base. It’s made using PVC pipe pieces. These are attached to the round top and painted to match it and they provide a sturdy base with a really unique twist. Check out the project on francoisetmoi for more details.
More Black Coffe Table Design Ideas
A sophisticated twist.
The coffee table is the centerpiece of this room and not just because of its central position. The design is elegant, with curved legs and decorative details that help to add a sophisticated vibe to the entire space.
A textured finish.
It’s not just the size or shape of a coffee table that matter but the little details like the finish or texture as well. Something simple but unexpected can really help a piece stand out. The contrast between the table and the rest of the furniture pieces and design elements is relevant as well. Here’s an inspiring example by studio Great Neighborhood Homes.
Try a matching pair.
In some situations a single coffee table just doesn’t make sense. Here for instance the fireplace marks the central axis of the room and the area is configured in a symmetrical manner. There’s a couple of matching sofas and a rather big space in between, big enough for two small sofas instead of a single large one. This living room was decorated by True Design Studios. Try a similar design if you have a large living room that allows you to include more than one sofa or to have a diverse seating arrangement.
A glass top.
Glass coffee tables are excellent for small living rooms and seating arrangements because they maintain a spacious and open aesthetic while still being functional. Here studio Diamond Custom Homes opted for a wooden table with a glass top and a generous storage shelf. It’s an elegant combination of materials which gives that feeling of openness while still looking solid and sturdy.
A square table.
Coffee tables with square-shaped tops are not as common or as versatile as rectangular or round tables. However, they go really well with small sectionals. You can see such a combo in this open-concept living room designed by studio Scott Edwards Architecture. The table has an elegant pedestal base which suits the overall aesthetic of the room and in particular that of the sectional sofa.