Atlantic Shopping / Buying Guides / Coffee table buying guide

The ultimate accent piece, coffee tables can define the look of your home or commercial space. Versatile and adaptable, their multi-purpose nature means they work just as well in the bedroom or conservatory as they do in the living room. Our stylish range is ever expanding and encompasses something for every interior and décor style. We hope this guide will give you a greater understanding of the different variables to consider before making your purchase.

Attributes of Coffee Tables

There are two main factors to consider: aesthetics and functionality. Often located in the centre of a room, a coffee table can alter how you view the interior as a whole. Used well, it will compliment the other furniture and enhance its surroundings. However it’s equally important your design stands up to the demands of its intended usage, and therefore what you need it for should also guide your choice. Will it be purely for decorative value, used to display items from photo frames to ornaments? Is it needed to store items such as magazines and TV remotes, out the way yet still in easy reach? Or will it play a more central role in entertaining guests, gathered around with friends and food to hold an array of drinks and nibbles?

Glass Wooden Coffee Table with White Sofa

For a harmonious and visually pleasing appearance, your coffee table should be roughly equal in height to your sofa cushions or armrests. We appreciate that there are a wide variety of seat heights on the market and thus our tables range from 35cm to 50cm, ensuring there is something for everyone. Whilst lower designs can be tastefully subtle, complimenting the room without stealing the limelight, you don’t want it to be too low and difficult to reach when sat on the sofa. However you should bear in mind that bigger inevitably means bolder, with higher models standing out and creating more of a focal point. Whether placed to the side of a room or parallel to your sofa or television, it’s important your chosen product is stylish without proving distracting.

White Scandinavian Coffee Table with Blue Low Stools
The Ideal Length & Width

When it comes to furniture there is no one size fits all. The length and width of your coffee table should correspond to the overall size of the room you place it in. We advise our customers to measure their interior beforehand, to ensure their purchase is a comfortable fit. And remember, less is more; don’t feel the need to overcrowd or clutter a room. Aim for a table that is between half and two thirds of your sofa length, and keep a minimum of 2ft around it for ample space to pass by. A quick and easy way to visualise how much space it will take up is to plot it out with newspaper on the floor first.

Gloss White Coffee Table with Storage Shelf and Coffee Set
Overall Shape

For a complementary and harmonious aesthetic, the shape of your coffee table should be consistent to the style and shape of the room as a whole, along with the look wish to create. Rectangular or square designs match well with traditional décor and conventional angular furniture. Conversely when furnishing a modern interior, round tables with clean-lines and curved edges will reinforce a cool contemporary appearance. Not only do they exude a softer and more welcoming aesthetic, but smooth rounded surfaces are a safer choice for children as there are no corners to catch on. Effortlessly versatile, circular designs are also popular in retro settings, infusing their surroundings with a cool nostalgic flair.

Set of White Coffee Tables in Living Room
Table Top Finish

From sleek glass to funky ABS to various wooden grains, different materials convey different looks. You should choose a table-top that coordinates with the style of your existing interior, balancing the rest of the furniture. Crafted from thicker than average tempered glass, our glass models make a great space saving option. Furthermore, their light and airy transparent nature means they’ll match to any colour scheme, so you’re always free to redecorate. ABS plastic is another modern material, incredibly popular due to its abundance of vibrant colour options and innovative shapes. Both have easy wipe clean surfaces - ideal for holding food and drink. Well-known for its versatility, wood will fit with a broad range of décor styles, from classic to contemporary. Full of character, oak is much sought after due to its timeless rustic look, whilst walnut exudes a grander appearance that is best suited to larger rooms due to its darker, richer shade.

Black Wood Coffee Table with White Sofa
Table Frame & Finish

Whilst some coffee tables are entirely self-contained, others are supported by frames. These not only hold aesthetic value but also help determine a design’s functionality. For example, a good solid frame will hold weightier items from stacks of books to platters of food and drink. Metal frames with mirrored chrome or brushed steel finishes offer a chic modern vibe, and can be trusted for their strength and stability. Whether multiple legs or sculpted domed bases, they’re usually accompanied by protective plugs beneath to help take care of floor surfaces. Likewise, solid oak or walnut finished wood is a smart choice, delivering a dependable and traditional presence along with trademark sturdiness.

Unusual Wooden Coffee Table in Eclectic Living Room
Additional Storage

Last but not least, it’s worth thinking about any extras you want your coffee table to deliver. Many of our designs have a handy shelf that allows you to store everything from magazines to TV remotes, keeping them within arms reach whilst neatly out of the way. Or for an ultra organised and uncluttered look, our models with storage drawers will keep any odds and ends tidily concealed within.

White Domino Coffee Table with Hidden Storage Feature

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