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How To Choose A Coffee Table That Complements Your Sofa


Choosing the right coffee table to complement your sofa can be daunting. Not only do you want it to be functional and practical, but it’s also essential for it to fit seamlessly with your decor style. There are many design elements and reasons to consider when deciding how to choose a coffee table that will suit the theme and style of your room.

In this article, we will explore tips and tricks to help you choose the perfect coffee table to enhance your living space’s overall look and feel.

Choosing a Coffee Table

When it comes to choosing a coffee table for your living room, there are a few things to consider to ensure you make the right choice. First, think about the size and shape of your living room. A larger living room can accommodate a larger coffee table, while a smaller living room may need a more compact option.

A dark brown styled coffee table is accented with stacked coffee table books and vintage brass candle holders.
Photo Credit: Pure Salt Interiors
a charcoal gray sofa accented with beige pillows faces a wood and metal coffee table, positioned atop a light gray rug
Photo Credit: Jenn Feldman Designs

Next, consider the style of your living room. If your living room has a modern design, look for a coffee table with clean lines and a sleek design. A wooden coffee table with ornate details may be better if your living room has a more traditional design.

A styled square lucite coffee table sits on a gray geometric rug with pink couch and colorful decor accents
Photo Credit: Ashley Goforth Design
Living room features a blue striped sectional with white scalloped coffee table and a pub height table with stools behind sofa with wood and fabric barstools.
Photo Credit: Kelly Caron Designs

Something else to consider is the function of your coffee table. If you plan on using it for storage, look for one with drawers or shelves. A coffee table with a larger surface area may be more practical if you entertain often or enjoy eating a meal from the comfort of your couch. Consider your needs for the room and what functions in a table would be most beneficial for you.

A styled brown lacquered pedestal coffee table is placed in front of a light gray sectional and dark blue accent chairs.
Photo Credit: William Lyon Designs
A tiered raffia top coffee table sits on a cream-colored rug in front of gray pinstripe roll arm sofas accented with brown velvet pillows. One sofa, positioned in front of windows, is flanked by a fiddle leaf fig plant and a rope and brass floor lamp.
Photo Credit: Bria Hammel Interiors

Don’t forget about the material of the coffee table! Wood is a popular choice, but glass, metal, or even stone can create a unique look if you’re interested in choosing a coffee table that functions as a focal piece in the room.

Living room features white skirted accents chairs with a tan oak coffee table that boasts a woven tray and a tan bound sisal rug, positioned in front of large bay windows to exterior
Photo Credit: Claire Reeve Interiors
Living room features a white sectional accented with blue pillows and a round white coffee table on a tan rug
Photo Credit: Desiree Burns

Consider your budget. Coffee tables can range from affordable to quite expensive, so set a budget and stick to it.

A faux python table sits on a gorgeous Moroccan rug in front of a white sofa accented with beige pillows.
Photo Credit: Tracey Hardenburg Designs – A faux python table sits on a gorgeous Moroccan rug in front of a white sofa accented with beige pillows.

What’s the “Right” Height?

Choosing the right height for your coffee table is important to avoid feeling uncomfortable in your living space. Aim for a coffee table that is the same height as your sofa cushions or slightly lower, preferably by one to two inches. Anything higher may make the space look and feel awkward. It can also limit the functionality of the table if it’s awkwardly high or too low to the ground to use comfortably.

A pink and gray marble coffee table sits on a gray shag rug in a gorgeous closet sitting area, with flowers and books arranged on top
Photo Credit: LA Closet Design
Living room features a round fluted coffee table with marble top on a tan rug, a brass and white daybed accented with blue pillows and a decorative surfboard.
Photo Credit: Greg Natale

Length Compared to Your Sofa

To ensure your coffee table complements your sofa, consider its length in proportion to the width of the sofa. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a coffee table that is about two-thirds of the sofa’s length. For example, for a 96-inch sofa, opt for a 64-inch coffee table.

Living room features a white couch with a live edge coffee table and rattan accent chairs
Photo Credit: Rita Chan Interiors
Living room features gray cube ottomans in front of a black fireplace mantle, wicker chain rings on coffee table books atop an oak coffee table and a gray sofa.
Photo Credit: Studio McGee

The Shape of the Table

Once you determine the height and length of your coffee table, consider the best shape for your space. Choosing between a square, rectangle, round, or oval table depends on the needed clearance and length.

On a light gray rug, a vintage kidney shaped coffee table is accented with stacked coffee table books and positioned in front of a dark gray sofa.
Photo Credit: Kelly Martin Interiors
white living room boasts gold and black puzzle piece-shaped coffee tables and a white sectional with florals and gold accent
Photo Credit: Rose and Funk

Typically, aim for a distance of 12 to 18 inches between your sofa and coffee table. Allow a minimum of 24 to 30 inches of space between the coffee table and other furniture. To find the ideal width, measure the length between your sofa and TV stand, and then subtract 42 inches.

A white sectional is accented with mismatched end tables and placed on a beige rug at an oak pedestal coffee table.
Photo Credit: Zoe Feldman Design
Transitional living room featuring chocolate brown velvet wingback chairs in front of a fireplace facing a zebra bench as a coffee table.
Photo Credit: Elements of Style

Balancing the Room

When selecting a coffee table, it’s important to consider its “weightiness” to ensure that it complements the other furniture in the room and creates a sense of balance.

Living room features dark blue boucle lounge chairs with a gray shagreen coffee table
Photo Credit: Jenn Feldman Designs
Living room features a wood and leather coffee table in front of a French marble fireplace mantel under a vintage bontanical art gallery and a plush white rug.
Photo Credit: Marie Flanigan

If your sofa has thin legs, a solid or chunky legged coffee table would work well. Similarly, if your sofa has no visible legs, a coffee table with taller, thinner legs would be a good choice. This helps to prevent the room from feeling too “leggy” and lacking in grounding.

Welcoming living room features beige rope and wood accent chairs placed at a whitewashed French coffee table positioned on a beige rug.
Photo Credit: Katie Davis Design
Welcoming living room boasts white spindle chairs upholstered in Brunschwig and Fils Les Touches Fabric and placed on a jute diamond rug at a lucite coffee table finished with brass corners. A beige slipcovered sofa is topped with white and red floral pillows and blue and white pillows.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Baron
Wood and concrete starburst coffee table surrounded by a linen sofa, a stripe cream accent chair, and a fiddle leaf fig plant in the corner of the living room.
Photo Credit: Design Shop Interiors
Serena & Lily Anacapa Rectangular Coffee Table joins a set of palm Serena & Lily Sundial Outdoor Swivel Chairs and two white Serena & Lily Sundial slipcovered sofas in a stunning living room with vaulted ceilings and beams.
Photo Credit: AGK Design Studio
A white slipcovered sofa sits on a seagrass rug facing a styled glass top coffee table.
Photo Credit: Susie Maddox
Fun spacious living room design features pink and gold chairs with a round burl wood coffee table and abstract art with white and gold built in shelves.
Photo Credit: Greg Natale

Quick Design Tips

Choosing a coffee table that complements your sofa is crucial to achieving a cohesive and stylish look in your living room. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect coffee table for your space:

  • Consider the style of your sofa. If you have a modern sofa, opt for a coffee table with clean lines and a sleek design. If your sofa is more traditional, look for a coffee table with classic details and a warm finish.
Red brick sunroom features a black daybed and a Moroccan style round hammered metal coffee table on a fringe jute rug.
Photo Credit: Amy Lind Interiors
  • Think about the size of your sofa. A larger sofa will require a larger coffee table, while a smaller sofa can be paired with a more compact option. Make sure to measure your sofa and leave enough space around it for traffic flow.
Brown and blue striped sofas sit face to face flanking side-by-side blue accent tables and a tan tiered coffee table.
Photo Credit: Digs Designs
  • Choose a material that complements your sofa. If your sofa is upholstered in a soft fabric, consider a coffee table made of wood or metal for a contrasting texture. If your sofa is leather, a coffee table with a leather top can create a cohesive look.
Placed on a seagrass rug, a woven chair with charming lemon print cushions is placed at a bamboo coffee table with a glass top.
Photo Credit: Dunbar Road
  • Consider the color scheme of your living room. If your sofa is a bold color, consider a neutral coffee table to balance the space. If your sofa is a neutral color, you can add a pop of color with a bright coffee table.
A round brown oak coffee table sits on a light gray rug beneath a nickel chandelier and in front o fa white sectional topped iwth white, gray, and tan pillows.
Photo Credit: Kathryn Lilly Interiors
  • Think about the function of your coffee table. If you plan to use your coffee table for storage, look for one with drawers or shelves. If you want it to be a statement piece, choose a unique design or an interesting material.
A potted fern sits on a salvaged wood coffee table placed on a light brown jute rug in front of a charcoal gray sectional topped with white and gray pillows.
Photo Credit: Pure Salt Interiors

Now that we have shared some design tips and knowledge with you, allow us to share with you some of our favorite coffee tables that you can purchase for your space! Here are some gorgeous coffee tables from Wayfair that would add a high-end touch to any space. 

gold coffee table with leather brown couch
Photo Credit: Wayfair
tufted ottoman coffee table with table tray and flowers
Photo Credit: Wayfair
prana coffee table geometric wood shapre with white couch behind
Photo Credit: Wayfair
modern glass coffee table with cream tufted couch sofa
Photo Credit: Wayfair
trio nesting coffee tables wood light wood and marble with gold legs
Photo Credit: Wayfair

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you choose a coffee table that complements your sofa?

When choosing a coffee table that complements your sofa, consider both pieces’ styles, sizes, and colors. Look for a coffee table with similar design elements to your sofa and is proportional in size. Choosing a contrasting color can also add visual interest to your space.

What size should my coffee table be?

The size of your coffee table should be in proportion to the size of your seating area. A general rule of thumb is to choose a table about two-thirds the length of your sofa.

What shape should my coffee table be?

The shape of your coffee table should complement the shape of your seating area. Rectangular tables work well with long sofas, while round or oval tables work well with curved or sectional sofas.

What material should my coffee table be made of?

The material of your coffee table should be durable and complement the style of your room. Popular options include wood, glass, metal, and stone.

Should my coffee table have storage?

If you have a small living space, a coffee table with storage can be a great option to keep clutter at bay. Consider a table with drawers or a lift-top for added functionality.

How much should I spend on a coffee table?

The price of a coffee table can vary greatly depending on the size, material, and design. Set a budget for yourself and look for a table that meets your needs and style preferences within that range.


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