A coffee table is an important focal point in any living room space. A wood coffee table in particular is a way to capitalize on the textural interest and timeless appeal of wood for this all-important piece of furniture.
Wood is a versatile and durable material and can be created into coffee tables that complement a variety of styles. In this article, we are going to detail the uses of a wooden coffee table and the many different styles for this piece of furniture.
Wood coffee table: Definition of terms and styles
In general, a coffee table is a low table placed in a convenient area to store items for general use like books, magazines, remote controls, toys, and items for display. Further, most coffee tables are found in the heart of the living room and are used for homework, incidental dining, family game nights and more.
Wood coffee tables are crafted from a variety of wood. They can be solid or veneered and are constructed in countless design styles. In short, this piece of furniture is one of the most important items in the living room and a piece that can define the style of the room.
Wood coffee table styles
- Industrial – This style coffee table utilizes raw and rustic wood with metal accents. It has a simple and straight style. These coffee tables look at home in a factory or loft setting.
- Mid century inspired – These wood coffee tables display a design style that was popular in the late 1940s and 1950s. Many of these tables have molded plastic elements and angular wood frames. This style has a minimal finish in order to show off the natural beauty of the wood.
- Contemporary – This style features the elements that are popular in the current day. Many wood coffee tables of this style have a metal base or glass top with complementing wood elements.
- Rustic – Rustic wood coffee tables use raw and distressed materials in their construction. They look perfect in a mountain lodge or country home. A reclaimed wood coffee table works well in this laid back design style.
- Farmhouse/cottage – These coffee tables have rustic stained and distressed paint finishes. Most of these tables have a more substantial presence than more sleek modern style coffee tables.
- Traditional – Many traditional style wood coffee tables are considered formal in their styling with intricate ornamental detailing. They look at home in historic and classic design styles.
- Transitional – These wood coffee tables have a causal and functional style somewhere between contemporary and traditional. These work well in a variety of settings.
- Parsons – This popular coffee table is simple in design and style. It has a rectangular or square shape with four solid square legs that are as thick as the tabletop. Designers created this style in the 1930s.
Decorating your coffee table
Styling a coffee table can be very personal; however, there are a few tips that will give you some ideas about where to start.
- Consider the shape of your coffee table. If you have a circular table, think about an arrangement of three things on the table. If you have a square or rectangular table, divide it into sections of two, three, or four. Arrange items within these quadrants.
- Make sure when you are thinking about what to put on your table, that you include the essentials you need in the room like the remote and a set of coasters. Think about ways to keep these items organized like a large bowl or decorative boxes and trays.
- Add in items that are decorative or personal for a unique look. This is the chance to bring out that set of vases that you bought in Thailand or the lacquer tray from China.
- Vary the height of objects on your coffee table. Try to think about a vertical triangle and add one tall item like a plant or vase of flowers, a medium item like a stack of books or small sculpture, and a short item like a wide bowl or candle.
- Consider how to add storage to your coffee table. Some wood coffee tables have an extra storage shelf or drawer for built-in storage. For others, you can add low baskets beneath the table to store extra throw blankets, toys, and other items you need while sitting on the couch.
Wood Coffee Table Ideas for Every Style
There are some amazing wood coffee tables out there. Some are unique in their styling and use exotic wood and shapes to achieve a dramatic look. Others are just as beautiful though more understated in their design.
We have rounded up wooden coffee tables of every style for you to consider. They may inspire you to reflect on how to use something similar in your own home.
This trio of live-edge coffee tables is both stunning and practical. The elaborate curved edges are balanced by the simple metal legs. This type of set is perfect when you are entertaining as these tables can be moved around to the perfect spot because they are light and sturdy or grouped as a dramatic centerpiece.
Rustic tree trunk
The designer of this coffee table crafted it from a single tree trunk. While it might look imposing, it lacks ornamental detailing that would make it ostentatious. It would look right at home in a mountain cabin or with modern rustic decor. Either way, it is a focal point that will not be forgotten.
Marble top wood table
If you are interested in a more refined style, try a wood coffee table with a marble tabletop. This is a transitional style coffee table because it works with so many styles as it contains just the right amount of traditional and contemporary styling.
The wood base of the coffee table is delicate in design. While marble is a beautiful addition, it is too high maintenance for some settings.
Small rustic coffee table
Some of us do not have a large living room but still want the benefits of a coffee table. Try an option like this that is large in style but small in size. It creates the perfect perch for drinks, a book, and the remote without taking up valuable floor space. Add to that its stunning beauty and it is a win, win!
Drum coffee table
The drum coffee table has become very popular in recent years because of its simple and sleek design that complements a variety of styles.
The natural finish on the round wooden coffee table blends well with modern, Scandi, or boho-style living rooms. Drum coffee tables have low or no legs.
Further, the body, base, and top of the coffee table are integrated together for a seamless look.
Industrial wood coffee table
This is an example of a refined Industrial style wood coffee table. It features the presence of a spare, matte black metal base with a textured wood top.
While this table works well in a loft or warehouse space, it also looks great in a transitional or modern farmhouse style living room. Increase the functionality of the table by placing baskets within the metal frame for the storage of blankets and toys.
Natural wood finish coffee table
Despite its unconfined style, this coffee table looks right at home near this contemporary style sofa and chair. This is, without a doubt, a statement coffee table that will define your space and create a living room that is stylish and unique.
This wood coffee table has a unique design. It features a raw edge slab topped by a molded plastic cover that spans the middle of the table.
The mixed material fabrication gives the table an interesting look, and it is also practical. It allows you to place wet drinks and food on the table without causing damage to the wood slab below.
Mid-century inspired coffee table
This coffee table may not be from the mid century, but it is the next best thing. This Mid Century Storage Coffee Table is a popular coffee table from West Elm.
It features the sleek, clean lines of mid century design with a mid-toned color stain. Further, it has two large drawers for hidden storage as well as a low shelf for storage of display items. Also, if you want to complete your mid century modern look, this table style features complementing accent tables.
Fluted-edge coffee table
This fluted or ribbed edge round coffee table is the perfect blend of beauty and unique style. The designers have crafted it from multiple branches that have been cut and fashioned into a drum shape.
This provides amazing natural texture for any room. It would look right at home in a beach home or boho living room.
Circular raw edge
If you need a circular shaped coffee table but still love the unfinished look or raw edge designs, a wood coffee table like this is the perfect solution.
While it doesn’t have much to offer in the way of storage, it has such amazing style that you’ll never notice. Further, it works well if you have small kids as there are no sharp corners and the form is indestructible.
Cottage style coffee table
Here is a round wood coffee table with a classic shape. It has a solid wood-style tabletop with turned wooden legs that connect with cross boards below. While this wood table has more ornate details than some of the others we have seen, it is not fussy.
Rather, it would look at home in a rustic setting as in a more traditional living room.
Metal accent coffee table
This design features a wood drum coffee table with geometric facets cut around the sides. It has the added benefit of a metal top to prevent damage to the wood. Plus, the metal detailing gives it more versatility in that it can work in a contemporary setting as well as in an industrial living design room.
Canyon coffee table
This unusual coffee table will not suit everyone’s tastes, but we can all agree that it is a one-of-a-kind piece. This kind of coffee table does not blend into the background; rather, it steals center stage in any space. The great thing about a table like this can give your living room distinction without even trying.
A drum with storage
Many drum coffee tables do not feature storage, but this option is an exception. The shape is a classic drum style with a cut in one side to create a lower shelf.
This is perfect for storing books or other small items like coasters and remotes. This coffee table design works in a modern living room as well as in a room with rustic or boho style decor.
Jigsaw coffee table
This coffee table is a bold choice for any room. These tables work well as a unit or as individual complementing tables in one room. The lacquer finished top brings out the stunning natural wood grain. This is a refined, contemporary look with a rustic edge.
Nesting coffee tables
If you have a small space for your coffee table, try coffee tables that nest inside one another. This gives you flexibility in how and when you pull out the tables.
For example, you can use one of the smaller tables as an end table or an occasional foot rest when you have extra dinner or house guests. Either way, you get to choose the best arrangement for your needs at the time.
Farmhouse coffee table
Farmhouse style is one of the most popular design styles of the current era. It has a comfortable and simple look that many people crave in their home spaces.
This coffee table is an ideal example of that style. The simple cross base supports a solid wooden slab top. This simple table anchors the design of the surrounding furniture in the room.
Tree ring coffee table
If you like the style of live edge tables but it seems too rustic for you, try a live edge table with hairpin legs.
The natural wood finish coffee table combines the styles of modern and rustic in harmonious simplicity. We love that this round wooden coffee table is substantial but still small enough to use in a small living room.
Modern wood coffee table
This simplicity of this light wood coffee table blends with and supports the uncomplicated rustic style of this living room. The natural finish allows the wood grain to shine through.
Wooden table with gold legs
The wood slab coffee table has golden hairpin legs which are as attractive as they are unexpected. While the wood grain is beautiful on its own, the gold legs elevate the style of the table. Thus, it is possible to use a coffee table such as this in diverse blended styles like rustic glam.
Trunk style coffee table
These trunk style coffee tables have the added benefit of ample hidden storage that is welcome in furniture of any kind. The makers of this square wood coffee table have enclosed it with two metal stripes that add an industrial tone to the piece. You can group these boxes together as a coffee table or use them alone as end tables.
Burl wood coffee table
If you need to complement more traditional style furniture, a burl coffee table would be a beautiful addition to your space. Burl wood is formed from a defective growth pattern in the wood, but the result is beautiful.
This classic table has a sleek shape that would work in eclectic, glam, contemporary, traditional, and transitional styles.
Exotic wood coffee table
This is a coffee table with some serious presence. The exotic wood has a warm texture and the scale of the piece would add drama to any room. Even though this table is sophisticated enough for the most elevated space, it has a wide enough tabletop for lively family game nights.
Honeycomb coffee tables
Each of these hexagonal tables is a work of art in and of themselves. Alone, they make lovely side table options, but together, they are a stunning coffee table arrangement. We love the flexibility that this kind of combination allows.
Black wood coffee table
This coffee table has a lovely espresso color, but it is not black stain or paint. Rather, the creators of this coffee table have charred it using an ancient Japanese technique for preservation. They use sustainable wood in the construction of this table. The table is low to the ground to echo the style of Japanese homes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Why do people use coffee tables?
First, they are a practical furniture item for any living room in that they are a place to set a glass or a book and for storage. Next, they add interest and a focal point for the room. Also, they fill the space between pieces of furniture like the sofa and accent chairs.
Where do you put a coffee table?
In most situations it is best to place a coffee table between 14-18 inches away from the sofa or most important sitting area in the living room. This is close enough to reach but far enough away to allow you to walk between without hindrance.
How long should a coffee table be?
There is nothing more jarring in living room design than an oversized or undersized coffee table. In order to determine the correct proportion, measure your sofa and main seating furniture. The coffee table should be 2/3 the size of the sofa.
Should a coffee table be lower than the couch?
In general, the height of most coffee tables is 16-18 inches. This height works with most standard size sofas. The height of the coffee table should be no more than 1-2 inches lower than the sofa seat.
What should I look for when buying a coffee table?
Before you begin your search, consider what kind of functionality you need in your living room (i.e. toy storage, space for family game night). Next, consider the style coffee table you want. Look at coffee tables that have the style you want in your price range. Also, consider the size of the coffee table you need. It is important to read reviews to see if others have had good success with a particular coffee table.
How much does a coffee table cost on average?
The average cost of coffee tables is between $200-$400. Don’t forget to factor in the price that it takes to ship the coffee table to your door.
What is the best wood to make a coffee table?
The best coffee tables made from wood are crafted from various types of hardwood like oak, maple, and walnut. Softwoods are also used to make rustic style coffee tables. Woods like pine have beautiful knots and swirls to make striking tables.
What are the average dimensions of a coffee table?
The average size coffee table is between 36-48 inches long, 18-24 inches wide, and 16-18 inches tall.
Wood Coffee Table: Conclusion
Living rooms are one of the most important rooms in the house, and the coffee table is at the center of all of that activity. Wood is a durable and beautiful material, and wood coffee tables are a way to use this material as a focal point that ties the room together. There are so many wonderful options that the main difficulty is deciding which one to use for your living room.