No law says that the coffee table has to be in one piece! You can purchase a table that's actually a few small tables that fit into each other when not in use or are separate tables that can be placed around the living room; these types of tables are called a nest of tables and provide an alternative to having one big table in the middle of the room. The nest of tables is perfect for homes with a small living room.
Coffee tables in that café must have borne witness to so many romantic moments. I mean just how many people started their relation over a coffee. "How about a cup of coffee?" is definitely one of the sweetest pickup lines. So much so that book sellers these days use the coffee table to market their books. These are called coffee table reading, small light romantic readings that catch the eye of those who take a moment to stop at the café.
The perfect coffee table complements your décor, of course. Ideally, you want to select a table that is in the same style as the rest of your furnishings. For instance, a country inspired design may stick out like a sore thumb in a contemporary furnished living room. Conversely, a stainless steel and glass table may look out of place in a home decorated in a tropical style, or one that features highly ornate furnishings. Unless you are an experienced interior designer, you may want to stick to with a table that is in the same general style of the rest of your furnishings, i.e., traditional with traditional, contemporary with contemporary and so on.
The coffee table has become customary in our living rooms, and, although we all have one in our home, few know that coffee tables, as the Ottoman Empire, originate in Turkey. If Ottoman largely retained its form, then the coffee table has evolved over time. It nearly became a completely different piece of furniture. Today, a coffee table is no longer subject to strict utility and it has become almost an art piece, which is often the focal point of the room. The coffee table was neglected in favor of sofas, armchairs and chairs for a long time. But right now, all professional designers acknowledge their importance.
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.
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