Coffee tables hold so much more than just coffee. Most of the times, they are the centerpiece in a living room around which the rest of the furniture is placed. Coffee tables have become important pieces which can simply turn around the look of a room.
They can be formal with an elegant design and fragile materials, suited for a living room, while a more informal and “safe” coffee table works well for an everyday family room. Coffee tables are available in different styles and designs, ranging from contemporary and antique to unique coffee tables.
Unique coffee tables are accent pieces which can really add value to your place along with functionality.
How to Choose a Unique Coffee Table
Gone are the days when coffee tables were basic and simple. Sure, the classic style still exists, but it has evolved over time, giving the users thousands of choices of unique coffee tables to choose from. Finding one that fits your requirements and design needs can be easy, but with so much variety, it can be difficult to choose the best one. How you plan to use the coffee table can surely help you decide when you are picking the best coffee table for your house.
Questions to Help You Choose a Unique Coffee Table
Once you have decided you want to have a coffee table in your living room and get bogged down with the available variety in the market, you must ask yourself these questions, which can assist you in making a decision.
Do You Even Need One?
The first question to ask yourself is whether you “want” one or you “need” one? You might want to just have it in your living room because it may seem empty or naked without it. Or you might really need one to keep your things while entertaining your friends or watching television. How important you think your need or want is can help you determine what kind of coffee table you are looking for.
If you want one for actual use, you should probably look for a functional flat top coffee table. If you are, however, going for a decorative piece, you can look for an unusual style or a unique coffee table design which will make your area stand out.
Do You Need the Coffee Table for the Family Room or Living Room?
Usually, the family room and living room tables are used in a different way. While the family room coffee tables are in everyday use, the living room coffee tables are more formal. Family rooms are generally a casual place where no fragile items should be placed. Thus, if you are interested in a unique coffee table in a funky design which is quite casual, it should be placed in the family room. On the other hand, a more traditional coffee table made of glass is better suited for the living room as delicate surfaces are prone to scratches in a heavy-use area.
Will Your Coffee Table Be Used as a Centerpiece?
Often, the coffee table is used as a centerpiece, but this is not always the case. Hence, you must decide whether you want to place the coffee table in the center of the room or the corner. If you decide to keep it as a centerpiece, this will help you decide on its attributes such as its size, style, material, finish and color of the coffee table. Finding a unique coffee table with an unusual design would probably look best as a centerpiece.
What Kind of Material Do You Want?
When choosing a coffee table for your place, you must also consider the material. The most obvious choice you could think about is probably wood. Since there are so many other options when it comes to materials, you should have a look around the room where you want to place it and see which type of material would best go with the overall look of your room.
Apart from wood, you can choose glass, metal, acrylic and even stone if you want to go for a modern and unique coffee table. For a more traditional look, dark wood like walnut or mahogany along with metal or marble stands out in a sophisticated way. There are options of leather as well, which looks great as a different and unique coffee table for a family room.
When choosing the material, you must consider the safety and durability aspect if you have pets or small children or if the coffee table will see a lot of rough use.
What Kind of Size and Shape Would You Like?
When it comes to choosing a coffee table, the shape and size play an important role. Even though coffee tables are available in almost all shapes and sizes, you must consider the configuration of the seating as the most important factor when buying a coffee table:
- Oval or rectangular coffee tables are better for small rooms.
- Round or square coffee tables are good for large seating areas.
- Oval and round coffee tables are practical if you have small children due to the absence of sharp edges or corners.
Other considerations which you must keep in mind for the size is that you should leave enough space around the coffee table for sufficient leg space. There should be at least a foot and a half of distance between the sofa and the table. Moreover, the height of the coffee table should be the same as the sofa or preferably lower.
Is One Enough?
You should also decide whether one coffee table is enough or whether you require at least two or three. Even though most living rooms are good with one average-sized coffee table, if you have a big room or your furniture is spaced out in a certain way, you can consider two smaller coffee tables. Having more than one coffee table means you can adjust the layout of your room for different activities, and it gives you more flexibility.
Do You Need Additional Functions or Features?
How you want to use the coffee table can help you answer this question. Most coffee tables have a flat surface on top, which is supported on a base, but there are many other unusual or unique coffee tables with additional functions and features apart from that. Many people prefer to keep unique coffee tables in their living room as a style statement or for their functionality.
- You can have coffee tables with additional shelves, compartments or drawers. This can help you with storage.
- Ottomans and trunks can be used as coffee tables and offer a lot of storage options.
- Some surfaces of coffee tables can be raised as well for eating or working.
- Wheels and casters are useful if you want to roll away the coffee table.
What Are the Uses for Coffee Tables?
With the advancement in technology, there are hardly any magazines in the house which you can place on a coffee table. If you do not own a coffee table already, you would probably wonder what kind of uses it can have. Once you do have a coffee table, you would eventually find out that you are sure to find yourself using it for one of the purposes mentioned below:
- Holding Food and Beverages
The best use of the coffee table is by far for holding food and, of course, coffee! If you are not much of a coffee drinker but into watching football matches or any other important television event or are having a movie night, the coffee table will hold your snacks and beer.
- Display Books and Magazines
Books are still important to many people, which is why one of the uses of coffee tables is to hold books and magazines.
- Decorating with Accent Pieces
You can keep small decorative pieces on your coffee table. They can be souvenirs from your last vacation or a special gift from a friend or family member. These pieces can be anything you want to display! You should, however, keep the display items minimal so that the coffee table is not too crowded. Don’t worry, though, if one of the accent pieces on display is the TV remote – no one is going to judge you for that.
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- Visible or Hidden Storage
Many coffee tables have shelves and drawers for storage purposes. People will be able to see the items on the open shelves, so if you do not want them to do so, you can go for a unique coffee table with drawers where you can keep store your items. There are other such options for unique coffee table designs as well that provide you with different ways to store your items such as a table with a liftable hinged top with storage inside.
- Showcasing Creativity
There are a lot of creative and unique coffee tables available, especially if you are bored with the conventional designs. You can opt for a unique coffee table design which is functional as well. A coffee table may be available fully equipped with USB ports and a beverage cooler, while another design may have an aquarium right in the middle of the table. The possibilities of creativity for unique coffee table designs are endless.
- Easy for Moving
If you want to have a coffee table that you can move around the room, probably a basic one with no storage can work well. There are coffee tables that have wheels as well, which are ideal for such a use.
- Put Your Feet Up
If you like to keep your feet up on the coffee table, you should go for a material that can easily support the weight of your feet without breaking or getting damaged, such as thick wood or a padded upholstered top.
Unique Coffee Table Styles
There are many designer coffee tables that are available, which are quite different from the traditional and basic coffee table. Why go for a plain and simple design if you can spice up your living room with a funky piece of furniture? Only after you have placed the coffee table in the center of your room would you realize how a coffee table can improve the look of the room.
There are unique coffee table styles which can complement your couches and rugs. Moreover, if you do not have a lot of furniture, you can choose the best looking and most functional coffee table and choose the rest of your furniture and settings according to it.
Whether you like leather, wood or glass, the varieties are endless! You can find one with storage, shelves, compartments and drawers. There’s also the option of insert trays which can be removed. The materials available for coffee tables are also quite unusual, ranging from bricks and stones to leather, faux leather, wood, and glass. As long as it looks good and fits the purpose and you like it, you should go for it!
By now, you should have a fair idea of how to go about choosing a unique coffee table for your place which will best suit your needs. At the end of the day, it is all about your own personal needs and requirements as well as your preferences. If you still, however, cannot make up your mind, you must consider what your budget requirements are.
A rule of thumb suggested by a designer at Forbes is that if you do not want a coffee table to be the main focus of your room, you should choose one that has a glass top and its finish should blend in with the rest of the room. This is quite a useful and practical advice and simply means you should go for the basic and classic design. Thus, if you are still confused about choosing the perfect coffee table for yourself, just go for the traditional design. You can’t go wrong with that!