Buying Guide | How To Choose Center Tables

The perfect center table should be of the right size to reach out for snacks, sturdy enough to support books, magazines or even your feet, blend in aesthetically and more. So how do you choose a center table that fits both your living room and lifestyle effortlessly? Here are 5 factors to look out for:

1. Size

Perfectly proportioned center table

The ideal center table anchors the furniture in a room by filling in the gap, while providing enough space around it for movement or for some simple leg stretching. If your seating area is larger you can create two center points or go for several smaller tables.

  • An optimal distance of 18 inches between the center table and other furniture is preferred
  • As a thumb rule, the table should be smaller than two-third of the largest piece of seating in the room, meaning it should have enough space to keep showpieces as well as everyday objects like coffee mugs, laptop, notepad etc.
  • Also, the table’s height should be of the same height or a couple of inches lower than that of the sofa. This makes for easy access and prevents accidents.

2. Shape

Circular center table for wingback chairs

The shape of your sofa is the biggest clue on what shape your center table can take.

  • A rectangular sofa or an L-shaped lounge demands rectangular tables so that items placed on it, such as food, is within reach even for people sitting at the far ends.
  • Similarly, smaller sofas which have a square seating area can work with a square or round table for the tight space.
  • If you want to break the monotony of a setup made up of square and rectangular lines, you can choose oval or circular tables. You can cozy up around it with poufs and ottomans as the table does not have definite lines. This is also a safe option for a household with kids and pets.

3. Style

Traditional center table for Indian theme

Since your center table will be the cynosure of all eyes during gatherings, the safest option would be a table that is in tune with the colors, textures, patterns or materials used in the room.

For example, a traditional living room can pull off a classic, elegant wooden center piece like this one with ease while edgy, geometric tables, such as the classic Noguchi table, belong in contemporary spaces.

Scale is also important when it comes to styling. Imposing tables pair well with slim sofas. They help ground the space in large rooms which come with high ceilings or lots of windows. On the other hand, a smaller setup can pull off delicate metal and glass designs. Center tables with glass tops create the illusion of depth, making the overall setup look roomy and bigger than what it is. They can also be used to show off a plush, solid-colored couch behind or a stylish rug below.

But then again, rules are meant to be broken and center tables are not a big investment. So  use your license to experiment with styles.

4. Function

Center table with storage for magazines

You can customize your table according to what activity you usually carry out around it. If you entertain guests often choose center tables with a lip edge or rugged surface. This way you do not have to worry about spilling drinks or food.

In a small space, you can choose a table that comes with a lower deck or drawers for storage. Stow away anything from stationery, magazines, gameboards to coasters, napkins, remote controls here. Alternatively, you can choose a trunk with a flat top to work as a center table. Mobile center tables, with heavy wheels, are also a great way to create space readily.

However, if aesthetics is your major concern, a glass table top is a great way to showcase potpourri, collections and decorative items like flowers, candles, ceramic showpieces or even family photos.

5. Material

Sturdy center table to withstand heavy items

A lot of activity is carried out on center tables thus requiring them to be sturdy. With wood being a common preference, another inexpensive option but fairly durable option is medium density fibreboard (MDF).

Tempered glass and metal frames provide strength to coffee tables as well. They are less bulky than wood and are easier to clean. Marble, lucite and acrylic are good options too. The bottom line when it comes to choosing a material is what it that it should be easy to maintain and should be stable.

With these five, easy-to-identify factors, we guarantee that you will be able to pick center tables that will match your space and aesthetic with utmost ease.

Shopping for coffee tables? Choose from a wide range of options at Livspace.

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