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Living Room Style: How to Find the Perfect Modern Coffee Table

A coffee table can quickly become the hub of your living room. It's where you place drinks and snacks for guests, where you spread out a board game for the family, and where your favorite magazines lay waiting for your down time.

When you're taking the time to design your living room with care, don't overlook this versatile piece of furniture. The right coffee table offers a great blend of style and function. Here are some tips for selecting the perfect choice for your space. 


Size It Right

When you start the search for the perfect coffee table, you can narrow the vast number of options by nailing down the right size for your needs. A coffee table should measure about two-thirds the length of your sofa and should stand roughly the same height as the top of your sofa cushions, or just a bit lower. Standard heights range between 16 inches to 18 inches, but you can find options up to 24 inches high.


Shapes That Fit

Coffee tables aren't limited to rectangles and ovals, although those are both fantastic shapes. Compact rectangular coffee tables make the perfect pick for smaller seating areas, while tables with rounded edges are safer for families with small children — or anyone accident prone. Circular tables promote a sense of intimacy and invite guests to "gather 'round." Square tables tend to complement the dimensions of sectional sofas.

A comfortable distance between the coffee table and the surrounding seats is 18 inches, and measuring that distance can help you visualize what kind of shape may work best, particularly when it comes to square vs. rectangular proportions. You may even get inspired to rearrange your existing pieces around the table of your choice.


Match the Materials

When you think of a classic coffee table, you might immediately think of wood. Wood adds a lot of warmth to a room, but it's also heavy and bulky, so it works best in spacious living rooms with high ceilings. If you already have a lot of wood furniture in your living room, then balance it out with a metal table or a wood-top table on metal casters.

For you minimalists, a simple glass table may hold the most appeal. Glass creates the illusion of more space, which goes a long way in tight quarters, and it lets you see through to beautiful rugs and flooring. If you're worried about breakage, then opt for Lucite or acrylic instead of glass.


Balance the Room's Styles

Look around your living room and really observe what you see. If your couch and side tables have long, thin legs, then opt for a squat table with short or no legs. Are your couches and chairs plush? Then balance that out with a dainty, spindly table. Have wood floors? Then consider a modern coffee table with a marble or travertine top to preserve the "natural" vibe without having too much wood.

If your living room décor consists of neutrals, you can try a coffee table in a bold accent color to draw the eye. Tie it all in by filling the room with small accessories in the same color family.


Let It Work for You

Extra functionality may also be important to you. You don't have to look far to find modern coffee tables with built-in cubbies, drawers, and cabinets. If storage space is at a premium in your home, then a coffee table that pulls double duty can be a lifesaver when it comes to containing clutter.

Some sleek storage ottomans can double as coffee tables with flip-lids that are soft on one side and tray-like on the other. Some coffee tables even feature surfaces that lift up for eating and working.

One last question to ask yourself: Will you need to move the coffee table often for entertaining or for other reasons? If so, then don't make the mistake of buying a very heavy table or one that is too wide to slide through a doorway.

CORT Furniture Rental is a first-rate resource for coffee tables that suit any design aesthetic. Renting your living room furniture is a convenient way to outfit your entire space in a unified style.