Coffee Tables and End Tables: Placement _ The end table should be placed right up beside the arm of the chair. Not directly in contact, because any subsequent movement of then chair could easily shake the table and spill the contents of any container. Coffee tables should be placed 18" from the sofa, enough room to enable you to walk between the two items of furniture, but not so far as to place your cup out of each. Some have been known to use these tables as accent pieces, and place them away from the proximity of sofas and chairs. Quite frankly, there is little point in doing this because these tables have been designed for a specific purpose. If you want accent tables, there are many of them available to choose from online that look more of an accent piece than regular coffee and end tables.
An end table is intended to make it easy for people sitting in an armchair to reach their drinks, nibbles or books and newspapers without having to bend down over the side of their chair to do so. The same with a coffee table _ it should be set at a comfortable height. Your first priority should therefore be the dimensions of your coffee and end tables. A coffee table should ideally be at just above knee height. Your end tables should be level with the arm of the chair or sofa. This will enable you to each to the side and pick up a drink with very little effort. Too high or too low, and it is more easy to spill even to drop your cup or glass.