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.
Looks aren't the only thing coffee tables add to your room. They can also serve as storage or organizational areas. While coffee tables sit low to the ground, they often have a drawer or two underneath them for storage. Some look like a shelving unit, with smaller shelves on each side for you to place items. If you need more storage area, consider an old style trunk to stow away seasonally used blankets, linens, and the like. Since coffee tables are such a staple of the average home, an industry of sorts has risen around it: the coffee table book. The coffee table book is much larger in size than the average book, with covers that are almost works of art in themselves. You may have seen a coffee table book that you wanted just because the cover was so beautiful. These books are pictorial in nature and are meant to be visually enjoyed and quickly perused.