Before You Start Looking
It's best to buy a coffee table after you've purchased its essential companion, the sofa or easy chair. This is because the ideal height, depth and width of a coffee table depend on the number, height and width of the couch and chairs. Follow these guidelines when measuring for a coffee table:
Coffee Table Height
Before you think about factors like style and type, it’s important to consider the height of your coffee table. While the average coffee table height is approximately 17 inches, the right dimensions for your new table should depend mainly on the height of the sofa you choose to pair it with. In general, the height of your coffee table should be within one to two inches of the height of your sofa’s seat. This will help to maintain a comfortable level for your guests to reach the surface of the table from their seats.
The Size of Your Space and Your Other Furnishings
How You Use the Coffee Table
Decide whether you want your coffee table to blend in or stand out. To blend in, it should be in a style that matches the decor of your room and the other furniture. You can find sets of matching coffee and side tables in many styles. If you want your coffee table to stand out, pick a contrasting style, material, color or shape.
For a look that's a little different, consider non-traditional items that serve the function of a coffee table – without actually being a coffee table. Two smaller tables placed side by side, a fabric ottoman with a tray, a storage trunk or bench are just a few examples of what’s possible.
Shop with care, and you can anchor your space with the coffee table that meets your unique needs and style.