What do I call it?
“Cocktail table” and “coffee table” can be used interchangeably when talking about this piece. Some people will insist that coffee tables are round and cocktail tables are rectangular. Or that cocktail tables are slightly taller.
However, most designers will use the terms more loosely. Most high-end furniture manufacturers will have them labeled as “cocktail tables” on their websites, so keep that in mind when searching!
What size do I get?
Size is mostly determined by how much room you have between your seating. The table needs to be about 15 to 18 inches from the front of a sofa or chair. Most coffee tables are about three feet in one direction.
What shape do I get?
- A circular coffee table is great for arrangements geared toward conversation. Place four to five chairs around the table or slide it in a U-shaped sectional.
- Rectangular coffee tables are ideal for the area in front of a sofa used for TV watching, so that you can kick up your feet during a game or your favorite show. Rectangular cocktail tables also work well between two sofas to create conversation space with easy traffic flow.
- Square and oval cocktail tables are flexible and great for surrounding with an array of seating options such as a sofa, two chairs and maybe a bench! Squares also slide into the L of a sectional nicely, while oval cocktail tables allow you to get into that corner seat without banging your knees on a point! (Also great for protecting the heads of little ones!)
What material do I get?
Wood coffee tables can be very beautiful, but caution must be taken when placing drinks on them. Glass is easy to clean and adds variety of materiality if a lot of the other furniture in the room is wood. Metal and stone are very durable options as well but are sometimes forgotten. Why not upholster it and create some extra seating for entertaining? Keep a tray on it for everyday use.