Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's all about scale

  In recent weeks I've spent quite a bit of time looking for coffee and end tables for clients.  Getting the style and size right to work with the rest of the furniture in the space takes quite a bit of juggling and an  understanding of standard  furniture sizes.

The standard height of a coffee table is between 16 - 18 inches, but some can be as high as 21 inches. How do you know which height to choose?

The answer relates to the height of the sofa/ chair. I prefer to see the coffee table about the same height as the top of the chair cushion or one or two inches lower.  The length of a coffee table is usually about 2/3 the length of the sofa not including the arms. Don't forget that you need at least 18 inches (24 is optimal) of space for your legs between a coffee table and the sofa.

 The size  of your coffee table should work with your sofa and other furniture in your room. It should also work with the size of the room overall. Let's check this out.

How do you feel about the coffee table choice in this lovely room?  I would like to see something longer (remember the 2/3 the length of the sofa rule). This little beauty is having a difficult time holding her own with this sofa.

The soft colour scheme and small scale furnishings  in this room  appear overwhelmed by this large, dark, and tall coffee table, but I really like the table.  Sometimes the weight of a table is influenced by the colour and material choice not just the overall dimensions.  Darker colours and solid woods tend to look more visually weighted.

Grisell Navas contemporary living room
Grisell Navas

Don’t forget the size of the room when thinking about scale. Glass tables work well in smaller rooms because they give the impression of lightness -  space is not blocked out.

dakota contemporary living room

 Even with two tables this room does not look over furnished.

Great Room traditional family room

If your room is spacious and/or the furniture is large in scale, choose heavier wood tables or ones with lots of  tiers or drawers.

Willowgrove Living Room contemporary living room

This is a beautiful room with a colour scheme I'm partial to. Does the coffee table work for you?  I wouldn't want to try to place something on the table while sitting.  I'm such a stickler for function!

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