Posted on | February 3, 2013 | 2 Comments
By Anita Oates, Otrada LLC, Raleigh, NC
Selecting a coffee table is one of the finishing touches that often finds people in a huge design dilemma. When clients ask me if I like a table, I say it often depends upon the other elements surrounding it. I like many pieces, but not all will work with the specific design we’re trying to create. Here are some guidelines to consider when choosing your next coffee table.
Images Courtesy of Otrada LLC ©
Visual Weight – What is the visual weight needed for the space? Do you need something light that provides an airy appeal or do you need something heavy and solid to ground the remaining pieces? Visual weight must be discussed in order to determine what is needed for the space in relationship to the other pieces surrounding it – such as the rug, furniture, fabrics and light fixtures. It makes shopping much easier when you have determined up front the “weight” that the piece should have within the context of the room.
Type of Finish – What is the ideal finish for the coffee table? Will it be dark to contrast a light rug, rough in texture to exude a primitive vibe, or have exotic wild colors to display an ethnic appeal? Tables will often have many finishes such as brass, nickel, oil rubbed bronze, but think about the impact that the finish (including color, shine, texture) will have on the rest of the composition as a whole.
Shape – The shape of a table is very important to conversation, movement of guests, and comfort. Do you prefer to kick back and put your feet up on a large square upholstered ottoman? Do you desire the formality of a refined oval glass table? You might opt for the flexibility of several small drum tables that may be moved accordingly.
Material – What type of material will the coffee table be made out of? Plastic? Acrylic? Metal? Wood? Natural Fiber? The material should be evaluated because you may need a natural element to contrast some modern pieces or a rustic material in keeping with a lodge look.
Selecting a coffee table should be fun. Hopefully, if you keep these 4 elements in mind, you’ll be one step closer to making a final decision that will work for your space. If you decide on the visual weight, finish, shape, and material upfront, visiting a furniture showroom will be exciting and not overwhelming. Good luck!