Unless you are the type of decorator that just hates traditional arrangements, you more than likely will want to have a coffee table in your space. Coffee tables are for more than putting your feet up, setting down your beverage, or splaying out magazines ala the doctor’s office waiting room. They can be exciting places to put on a display of your style, and in many cases, they can be the key element of that style.
A well-chosen coffee table can bring a room together, and set it apart. The coffee table can elevate a space to new heights, or it can anchor it for stability and tone. Choosing the right coffee table is essential to having a successful room design. Let’s look at some of the more interesting ways that a coffee table can be a part of a great room.
It’s Hip to Be Square
A square coffee table is a great idea for a larger space, such as the one pictured here. The coffee table here was chosen to mimic the look and feel of the other elements in the room such as the long narrow opening of the fireplace, the large glass panel concealing the TV above the fireplace, the oversized white square wall surrounding the square glass panel, and the massive square archway leading to the dining room. Juxtaposition was made by choosing furnishings and accessories that are rounded or curved. When using a square coffee table in a room, the use of round accessories, especially on the table itself can create a striking visual that lets the eye play around the surface. Square coffee tables are available in all materials and sizes, and they work equally well in a very small space to give statement to the room as they do in larger spaces to provide anchor.
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Black
A black coffee table can be an ideal way to add an unexpected bit of drama to a room. As with any major piece in the roomscape, be careful with black. Too much of it without context or balance can be overwhelming. Don’t go black just to say you did, make sure that you have a purpose to taking the leap. Here we see a small black coffee table that has been customized to hold a planting in the center. The table and the plant were both chosen to complement each other. The white contrasts the black and picks up the color of the chair. The table legs draw the eye up to the single spire of the plant. There is no room for anything on the table other than a cup of coffee or tea and maybe a book. This is also by design, the focus here is this simple table and the single plant, nothing else is needed, the statement is made well enough as it is. The table contrasts the chair and picks up the chairs legs. The choice of a light gray wall color and medium gray floor color adds to the dramatic effect of the two pieces playing off of each other. This is a simple meditation space, but the same effect can be easily achieved in any formal to semi-formal setting. It may be a bit too daring for a casual space, however, unless you are very careful with accessories that will break up the monotony.
Set the Stage with Table Top Décor
When we are talking about coffee tables and their impact on the room, it’s important to remember that unlike other large pieces of furniture, the coffee table is going to be a stage where your rooms thoughts and feelings are played out for the world to see. With that in mind, coffee table décor is just as key to a rooms success as the choice of table itself. Choose coffee table décor that is complementary to the rest of the room, but don’t feel constrained to have to match. Here we see a lovely arrangement of decorative items that have been placed in a ceramic bowl. The items have been carefully chosen to pick up the textures and shapes of the other accent items in the room as well as complement and in some cases contrast their colors. Notice the rattan and yarn balls in mind to the puffs on the end of the throw on the sofa. The gourds are also present on the sofa in the applique of the center pillow. We see grays here as well to pick up the fabric of the sofa, and the pine cones grab the color and texture of the bar top chairs just off to the upper edge of the picture. Did you notice also how the glitter on top of the gourds picks up the silver of the ball tree at the center of the sofa table and the chrome of the gooseneck of the bar’s sink faucet? The bowl itself was chosen to play off of the two large white ceramic lanterns on the sofa table.
Break Away From the Rest of The Room to Create Drama
Here we see another great example of coffee table decoration which works to bring the entire room together in one central statement. Here we are contrasting the rest of the room to bring in a bit of elegance and style. The only call out the table decoration has to the rest of the space is that the brown of the wood complements the brown leather sofa and the white of the flowers in the vase and candles plays off of the pillows. Everything else was chosen to keep the eyes focused on the table top itself.
Black Can Be Fun and Exciting on a Whole New Level
In this space, we see how a coffee table can be something different with a little daring ingenuity. The original coffee table was not quite sufficient to make enough of a statement in the space that was needing to be filled, but the decorator loved the look and feel of it so much they wanted to use it no matter what. By adding one, or even two if it had been needed, smaller matching tables a multi-leveled table cluster was able to be created. This adds a whole new dimension (literally) to the table area by giving different levels of height to work with. You also see how this black coffee table setup works to give a sharp contrast to the rest of the room, making the already intriguing arrangement even more of a focal point. Now you have a grand stage to showcase on that simply cannot be ignored. Remember in a situation like this however that you already have a lot going on so choose tabletop décor carefully and that less is more.
Timeless, Elegant, and Oh So Versatile
The classic marble top coffee table has been a staple of casually elegant rooms since the early 70s and is still a strong element to use today. In addition to the durability, and timeless beauty of marble, not to mention the various colors that you can get it in, you also have the versatility of the top being able to be placed on any base that you prefer to give you the precise look and feel that you are going for. Here we see a basic white marble table top on a very interesting vintage 70s gold base. The table itself and the base are nothing particularly unique, but when paired with the retro 80s chairs, the retro 90s spike ball, and the very 60s SoHo rough-hewn wood floors you get a wild play for the senses. The choice of books here was careful as well. Showcasing the decorator’s love of style, design, and sophistication. But also look at the books themselves. You notice that they are picking up colors and shapes form the rest of the space. A marble coffee table is the ideal start for an abundance of great space building concepts in any style of room.
Showcase Your Wares
We have all heard that sometimes its what’s underneath that counts. I this case you can see that concept taken literally. Here the coffee table décor was placed on the lower level of a two-level glass coffee table. This not only opens up the entire table space for use for gaming, a serving tray, or laying out paperwork or even a puzzle, but it also gives you a chance to play once more with versatile arrangements, eye travel, and the idea of showcasing. Treat a multi-level glass top like this one the same as you would a museum case and show off those most precious of heirlooms. Fabrics, books, boxes, knick-knacks, and more are ideal to place in the showcase, let the eye wander, jump, dart and play. This kind of decorating is all about giving the viewer a wonderment to behold. Here the coffee table is less about itself and more about being the vessel that your creativity can flow out through.
When You See It You’ll Know
contemporary coffee tables can be fun, exciting, whimsical, fascinating, or daring, they can many times be many of these things are the same time. Here we see a very artistic coffee table that is not going to be used to complement the room around it, but rather as the foundation for building the room itself. This coffee table is all about being the center of attention, and the other elements of the room will forever be relegated to being only supporting players. When choosing a contemporary coffee table, be very careful and take your time. Sometimes one will pop out at you, it will be love at first sight, and the idea of how you will work with it start to flow like water. If that hasn’t happened then you have not seen the right table yet.
Simple is Always in Style
There are very few furniture pieces that can be more versatile, beloved, and easy to work with in almost any decorating environment that the classic and timeless farmhouse coffee table. The farmhouse coffee table, much like its larger cousin the farmhouse dining table, can be used in almost every decorating style. The simple design, understated style, and unassuming elegance can fit just as well into a contemporary setting as it can into a rustic, industrial, or even classic living room. The tabletop decorating possibilities here are just as endless as the functionality of the table itself. Almost every tablescape looks great when a farmhouse coffee table is the backdrop.
Antique Design and Lasting Elegance
marble top coffee tables have been around for as long as coffee tables have been and they can be found in just about every style known to man. Here we see an antique marble top coffee table that would fit perfectly well into any antique room, shabby chic room, or eclectic elegance room. The use of tabletop decorating here is essential, keep it simple and understated. The idea would be to bring the table into a room that it will have lots of like-minded pieces to play off of. Don’t feel you have to stay in the same style, but be very careful venturing too far out of the same range of style. Pick up elements of the table to carry through the room such as curved, colors, textures, or materials and you will have a piece that fits into your space well.