Choosing coffee tables and end tables is not a priority with most people when they begin to furnish their homes, and even more mature homeowners often look upon these as extras requiring little thought. Whether you are furnishing your first home or are considering renewing the aged and wilting furniture you have been using for more years than you can bear to consider, here are some suggestions that might help you. First, why do you need coffee tables and end tables _ or either one of these? Many use them simply for show, and rarely for coffee. Others use them only when they have guests while yet others actually use them in the course of a normal day for their primary intended use. In some cases, you can purchase such tables to match your existing furniture, or if completely renewing your living room furniture they can be included in a collection. In the latter case your choice is simple, but what if not? What if you are looking for a coffee table or end table that is not part of a set, but you feel you need one or both to make your living room look complete? Here are some tips.
Scaling your coffee table _ Scale is an important consideration these days, as larger living room furniture can dwarf older tables. When looking at coffee tables you want to look for one that won't look lost in the room, overshadowed by other furnishings. Conversely, you don't want one that takes over the room either. As you measure your room and furnishings, remember that the coffee table will be about 18" away from your sofa, love seats and chairs. It needs room to breathe and it needs room for you and your guests to move around it without it getting in the way. Most tables are 16" to 18" high, but some contemporary designs can be lower, so you want to factor that in if shopping for a modern style. Ideally, your table should be one to two inches lower than the height of the seat of your furniture. As far as length, it should be about two_thirds the length of your sofa. If you have an 8' sofa, for instance, your coffee table should be a little more than 5' in length. These are just general rules, however, as the exact scale is also determined by the size of the room and the location of the furniture.