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What to look for in a high-quality coffee table

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A high-quality coffee table can be a work of art, bringing out the best in a room. Days of a simple, rectangular slab of wood with legs is now out of style.

Coffee tables come in all shapes and sizes — and materials — that can become a focus-piece for your space.

In addition to sleekness and style, it’s important your coffee table is also functional. Some designers have taken this to the next level with coffee tables that double as mini bars or personal work spaces.

No matter what you’re looking for, though, you need to know what to look for in terms of materials used, the size and shape of the table, and the functions it must serve.

 Materials

There are many fine materials that can make a lasting impression. Traditional wood furniture is beautiful, and it suits many different styles. Metal furniture is also popular, especially when combined with different materials. Glass furniture is elegant, but it’s prone to scratches and can be a challenge to upkeep.

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 The material you choose has to support your lifestyle. You might be putting it in your living room, where you occasionally have a coffee, or in the family room, where it may see heavy use from children.

Unstable or delicate materials can pose a serious hazard to young children, pets and others. Even older children and teens can cause chips in softer materials. Always choose your coffee table according to the people who will be using it.

Size and shape

 Finding the right-sized coffee table is about balancing its size with other elements in the room. Find the best scale compared to the rest of the room using exact measurements. The right size coffee table can work as a centrepiece.

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A coffee table should also be the correct shape. You can get creative with style and contrasting shapes. Rounded chairs with a square table can make your room pop. In a smaller living room, having a rounded coffee table can create more space.

The top surface of your table should be one or two inches lower than your sofa seat. A regular coffee table is about 18 inches high, but taller seating usually calls for a comparable coffee table. Ideally, the distance between your coffee table and your seating is also 18 inches to accommodate guests’ legs.

Added functionality

You can use décor to decorate your high-quality coffee table. Placing fine china, succulents or terrariums are a good idea, giving even the most subtle of coffee tables a distinct sense of style. No matter how great looking a coffee table is, however, it should serve a function.

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Some tables can open for storage, in the same fashion as a trunk or an ottoman. If your coffee table has wheels, it’s far easier to move out of the way in the event of physical activity. Decide which added functions would work best for you and consider them in your search for a high-quality coffee table.