The Best Modern Coffee Tables for your Living Room
Give your living room an elegant touch with a modern coffee table perfectly outfitted to your living space. To make a statement, find a coffee table that incorporates on-trend materials to capture that sleek style reminiscent of modern interior design. Our premier selection of modern coffee tables includes varieties such as glass, wood, varnished metal, embossed lacquered steel, ceramic, and more. No matter which coffee table you select, San Francisco Design is Utah’s top choice for modern home furnishings.
For a bold look, opt for coffee tables with fluid lines and sharp shapes. Another way to boost interest is with unexpected silhouettes and multi-level designs. These sofa tables help anchor a range of spaces, whether you have a small seating nook or grand living room. Our collection of designer coffee tables will even play up the aesthetics of your living room while still adding extra functionality. Crafted from the finest materials from around the world, each designer coffee table at San Francisco Design will transform your space into a work of art.
Coffee Tables FAQ
Decorating a coffee table is a great way to showcase your personality and design taste. Customize the following tips to suit your style.
– Begin with a tray or bowl: This base layer is a great way to corral your decor in a purposeful way.
– Layer a few books: Find a few large, hardcovered coffee table books that not only look beautiful when stacked but relate to your hobbies or interests.
– Add something natural: A bit of organic material — like a plant or vase of dried greens — adds interest and life to your space.
– Finish with a unique texture: Small decorative objects can give your look the finishing touch it needs — whether it’s a metallic photo frame, a natural stone sculpture, or a glossy glass candle.
Coffee tables are a popular and functional furniture piece for every living space and can be found at most furniture stores. If you’re drawn to a certain interior style and are looking for a modern coffee table, midcentury modern coffee table, or boho coffee table, be sure to look at furniture stores that cater to that look. Coffee tables can also be sourced from antique or vintage stores for a one-of-a-kind look.
Round coffee tables are great for smaller spaces, as they allow easier movement between furniture. To maintain the simplicity of this style, keep decorations minimal and follow the rule of “three.” First, add height in the center of the table with a plant, vase, or art piece. Next, add a small stack of books, a picture frame, or another smaller decor item. Finish the arrangement with a candle, decorative set of coasters, or small bowl. By focusing on three items of varying heights, you’ll create a centerpiece that looks polished yet uncluttered.
Decorate a coffee table tray the same way you would decorate a coffee table; introduce decorative objects of varying heights to add visual interest, but limit your display to just a handful of items or less (to avoid a cluttered look). Use the tray itself as decor inspiration. If your tray is metallic and oversized, choose items that match its scale and tone. If your tray is petite and wooden, go for shorter or slimmer natural-inspired pieces. Books, candles, photo frames, decorative pottery or vases, and plants are all great coffee table staples that will look right at home in your tray.
Sectionals are couches that typically wrap around in an L or U-shape to include two different areas of seating. Because of their design, sectionals can introduce challenges when it comes to the traffic flow of a space. Make it easy to find a comfortable spot anywhere on your sectional by choosing a coffee table that allows at least a foot or more of open space in all directions. Smaller-scale rectangular or round coffee tables are ideal. Nesting tables, or coffee table sets, can be another great option that increases table space without forfeiting important space for foot traffic.
The standard height for a coffee table is about a foot and a half (or between 16 and 18 inches)— the same height as most seat cushions. However, always consider your other furniture to make sure the table and seating arrangement is comfortable; you don’t want to bend over or reach “up” for the coffee table when seated in your living room.
If you have a low-profile modern sectional or chairs with a seat closer to the ground, try a coffee table height of around 12 to 14 inches. Conversely, if you have a sofa and chairs with higher seat heights, a taller coffee table of around 20 to 24 inches may be a better option.
Always leave enough space for people to comfortably move around the table; a good rule of thumb is to have 18 inches between the end of the sofa and the beginning of the coffee table. For formal living spaces where you’ll be entertaining, consider adding a bit more space. For dens or TV rooms where the primary goal is comfort, a shorter distance is more acceptable.
Coffee table books look best when displayed in an orderly and neat arrangement. Try laying your largest coffee table book down flat and stacking a few additional books on top for a layered look. (To keep the look even cleaner, arrange your books by color.) For larger coffee tables, create two to four stacks of books like this along the surface of the table. Keep the stacks aligned in straight rows or angles. Consider displaying your books vertically for extra-large coffee tables that have ample table space, using decorative book ends as functional support.
A tray is a great way to add order to your coffee table and create a defined space for your decor. Just be sure to choose a tray that fits the overall size and scale of your modern coffee table. Consider introducing some height with a plant. Add a personal memento or trinket, such as a favorite book or a small bowl of shells from a family beach vacation. Finally, a candle paired with a decorative match cloche can be a fun way to engage your sense of smell and finish out your coffee table tray design.
In regards to length and width, a coffee table should be proportionate to the seating area around it. A good rule of thumb is that the table should be about two-thirds the length of the sofa (or the longest section of the sectional), and the same height as its cushions. This makes the most comfortable arrangement for you and your guests to reach the table’s surface while seated.
Keep decorations minimal for a small coffee table to maximize its table space. Whether it’s a square coffee table, round coffee table, or storage coffee table, use items you love. Avoid decorating solely with trendy pieces; instead, incorporate personal mementos or colors and textures that speak to you. Depending on the size of the table, a single vase with dried flowers or greens, or a large decorative candle holder may be all that’s needed.
As a true neutral, black is a versatile hue that works well with nearly every other color. Look to your surrounding space for inspiration. If you have other wood tones throughout the room, consider a metallic or glass coffee table to introduce a new finish. If you are looking for extra comfort, try a leather coffee table that doubles as an additional footrest. Balance the dark tones of the couch with coffee table decor that includes touches of black.
Decorating wooden, ceramic, or glass bowls can be a great space filler for large coffee tables. Keep them unfilled for a minimal look, or fill them with decorative objects to add another layer of visual interest. Dried moss balls or smooth stones can be great, nature-inspired options for a more “zen-like” living space. Faux fruit (such as lemons or pears) or decorative strands of beads are other great options. Or, for a more practical solution, consider using the bowl as a place to corral remotes, knick-knacks, and other stray items that are likely to accumulate on your coffee table.
Wooden coffee tables add beautiful warmth to a room but require a bit of extra care to ensure their longevity. Protect the natural wood grain by first making sure your coffee table is sealed with a durable polyurethane sealer or a similar treatment. This added layer of protection keeps water stains or the occasional spill from permanently staining the wood surface. With real wood furniture, always use coasters for drinks to keep condensation off the wood surface, and try to avoid food, candle wax, or oils from coming in contact with the table.
Natural wood coffee tables should be cleaned and treated every few months to keep the wood moisturized and looking its best. Use a tried and tested wood cleaner and polisher (such as Murphy Oil Soap) to clean away built-up residue and add moisture back into the natural surface. Or, use a natural solution of one part water and one part vinegar to quickly wipe down the table whenever needed.