How To Position A Coffee Table In A Room

Are you trying to redecorate your living space and have difficulty deciding where to place the coffee table? If so, you've come to the right place. Proper furniture placement is vital to ensure that your home accommodates the flow of traffic without impeding functionality. We're here to provide you with the answers you need to get the most out of your coffee table.

Coffee tables should be centered between seating arrangements. You can position a coffee table between chairs or centered within 14 to 18 inches of a sofa or sectional. If positioning the coffee table near a reclining chair or sofa, remember you may need additional space or have to reposition the table each time the furniture is reclined/upright.

Coffee tables need to be within reach without being in the way. Circular coffee tables or larger coffee tables may be harder to center. Some seating arrangements can make it hard to determine the center or where to situate the table. To learn more about positioning all sizes and shapes of coffee tables, keep reading.

Elegant and vintage apartment interior with classic furniture grey sofa retro coffee table. Home decor on coffee table in living room, How To Position A Coffee Table In A Room

Should a Coffee Table be Centered?

Typically, you should center your coffee table in the middle of the room, but this may not be possible in some cases. If your living room connects to the kitchen or leads to other areas of the house, you will need to arrange the furniture in a way that will not prevent passage. In these situations, the coffee table should be centered within the living room furniture like the couch and chairs.

How Far Should a Coffee Table be From the Couch?

It is recommended to keep your coffee table between 14 and 18 inches from the couch. This keeps the table at arm's length, making it easy to utilize. This spacing will also help make the coffee table look appropriate and connected to the space. 

WLIVE Coffee Table

This small coffee table has tons of convenient storage space. Click here to see it on Amazon.

Should I Use a Coffee Table with Chairs?

You can use a coffee table in front of a set of chairs. However, a round coffee table would be the most well-suited solution for this situation. It would allow you to position the chairs around the table to tie everything together for a curved look. If you want to use a rectangular coffee table with chairs, it may look a little off, but generally, you should try to center the table between the chairs.

Where to Place Coffee Table with Reclining Sofa?

Using a coffee table in front of a reclining sofa will mean you will need to move it whenever you want to recline the chair. Since you will need to move it often, a small coffee table would be a good option. An alternative solution would be to have an end table on each side of the sofa, but it does little for the person sitting in the center of the couch.

What is a Standard Size for a Coffee Table?

There are no set standard dimensions for coffee tables, meaning they can be found in a variety of sizes. Usually, coffee tables are between 48 and 50 inches long and between 20 and 30 inches wide.

Heights range between 14 and 20 inches tall, but this dimension could vary as well. While there is no standard size, there are plenty of sizes to choose from, and you are sure to find an option that will suit your home perfectly.

Should the Coffee Table be Lower Than the Couch?

There is no standard size for a coffee table's height, but it is generally recommended that the table be no more than a maximum of four inches taller or shorter than the couch.

Too short or tall, and the table will become inconvenient or seem out of place in the room. Whether you decide to have your table even, lower, or taller than your couch is up to you and which option is most convenient for your home.

What is the Best Size for a Coffee Table?

If your living room is small or medium-sized, a 48-inch table will work pretty well. If you have a large living room, you may want to go with a larger coffee table, like a 58-inch, or you could use two coffee tables for a dramatic effect.

You should consider the size of your couch as well. A good rule of thumb is that your coffee table should be approximately two-thirds the size of the couch.

Convenience Concepts Round Coffee Table

This round coffee table is charming and small enough for limited spaces. Click here to see it on Amazon.

How to Choose a Coffee Table?

First, try to determine what size coffee table is most suitable for your living area. Once you have chosen a size, you will want to determine what style would work best with your current decor.

From there, it should be pretty easy to narrow down which coffee table is right for you. You should also consider functionality when considering a style of coffee table. Would you prefer to have something with extra storage or something that doubles as a footrest? Designs with integrated storage or multi-function might be best for your home.

What Kind of Coffee Table to Use with Sectional?

Round coffee tables are a great choice for use with sectional couches. The curve of the coffee table will simulate the "L" shape of the couch and bring it within reach. Rectangular coffee tables can work as well, but the chaise part of the sectional may cause the table to be more difficult to reach.

Home decor on coffee table in living room

What Should go on a Coffee Table?

Coffee tables can be used to display all kinds of decor or books but limit the amount of decor to avoid a cluttered appearance. Having a single statement piece is another great look for a coffee table that can also serve as a conversation piece. Plants are another creative way to decorate your coffee table, and they can serve as an added pop of color. 

Cocomong Decorative Books

These adorable books would look great on a coffee table. Click here to check them out on Amazon.

Can You Put Drinks on a Coffee Table?

Yes, you can use your coffee table for drinks and hold a variety of daily household items. Just make sure you use a coaster or some form of protection against things like condensation and coffee rings or wine stains.

That said, avoid using harsh chemicals to clean a coffee table. Mild soapy water is enough to clean it, and always dry it after washing to avoid moisture issues.

What to Cover Coffee Table With?

If you want to use an older coffee table that has some wear, or if you want to do your best to protect your new coffee table, try using a runner. A good runner will protect your table or cover up any scratches and scuffs. Runners can also be used to tie together your living room decor or to add a pop of color to the room.

This beautiful runner will work to protect the surface of your table. Click here to see it on Amazon.

Can You Refinish a Coffee Table?

Yes if you want to re-use your coffee table that has seen better days, you can try refinishing it. You can paint or stain solid wood tables, but they should only be painted if made from manufactured wood. Sanding and staining veneered wood will not produce good results and can completely ruin the piece.

Do I Need a Coffee Table?

A modern interior of living room with white couch, coffee table and accent chair, What Accent Chairs Go With A White Couch?

Coffee tables are a convenient addition to a living space, but they are not completely necessary.  If you have a small living space, you may prefer to leave a coffee table out of the equation to provide you with as much space as possible.  There are many other ways to provide your living area with surface space.

Coffee Table Alternatives

There are many alternatives to coffee tables that will work just as well without taking up so much space. Ottomans, end tables, and chests can all make great coffee tables while adding storage space or saving space. Don't be afraid to think outside of the box when contemplating alternatives.

SIMPLIHOME Large Ottoman 

This large ottoman has a top that lifts up to give you plenty of storage space. Click here to take a look at it on Amazon.

The Table Dilemma

A luxurious apartment living room with long sectional sofas and a big wooden coffee table, What Color Should I Paint A Room With A Lot Of Natural Light?

Now that you know all the standard measurements and spacing for coffee tables, you're ready to start shopping for the perfect solution for your living room. Remember not to block walkways and paths and to allow for plenty of space to move between furniture. Have fun redecorating!

For more information on what size coffee table you should get, you may want to read our article "How Big Should A Coffee Table Be?"

To learn more about positioning coffee tables, read our article "Should Coffee Table Drawers Face The Sofa?"

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