Everyone needs a place to set a drink! Whether you call it a coffee table, cocktail table, or even a hot chocolate table 🙂 it is an essential piece of furniture for every well-designed living room. If the room has a couch in it, then 99% of the time a coffee table is needed. But choosing the right table, especially if you are on a tight budget, can seem like a daunting task. To help make the task a bit easier, I have put together an inexpensive coffee table buying guide with online resources and helpful decorating tips.
How to Choose the Right Coffee Table
Step 1: Determine what you need from your coffee table.
Do you entertain a lot and need ample space for food and drink? Do you need a table with storage for toys, books, remotes, throw blankets, etc.? Do you have a toddler with an uncanny ability to seek out any sharp corner with his/her forehead? Do you need a table that can also act as a footrest? It’s helpful to decide how you want your coffee table to serve the needs of your family before you begin shopping. When I was searching for a new coffee table for our family room, I knew I wanted the following: a clear tabletop in order to lighten up the space, ample surface area for both decorations and necessities, the ability to store baskets underneath, and bonus if it expanded for when I entertained. When I saw these nesting tables on Joss & Main I knew they would be perfect! Determine what you want from your table before you start your search.
Step 2: Space plan. Figure out the size, height, and shape of the coffee table that will work best in your space.
Standard coffee tables come in rectangular, oval, and round shapes. Choosing a shape is often a matter of personal preference and family safety. When my boys were toddlers, I wanted to ban all sharp corners from the world! However, I typically prefer the look of a rectangular or square coffee table for most rooms. The scale and size of your coffee table needs to be in proportion to the size of your room and the size of your furniture. You want to implement the “Goldilocks Rule” and find a table that isn’t too large, or too small, but just right. To do this, pick a coffee table that is around two-thirds the length of the sofa, or the longest part of the seating arrangement. The height of your table should be a few inches shorter than the seat of your sofa and your table should be placed approximately 18 inches from your sofa. Eighteen inches gives most people adequate walking room but can still be reached while sitting.
Step 3: Choose a table that fits your style and room design.
Coffee tables come in every imaginable style and finish whether you want modern, rustic, country, glam, or contemporary. Typically, it is safest to choose a table that complements the style of the room. However, mixing a contemporary coffee table with a traditional sofa can make a bold statement. If you favor a transitional look, a glass top table with metal base is a great choice. If you prefer a rustic farmhouse or industrial look, choose a table in a rustic wood finish. If you are tight on space, consider using several ottomans clustered together to create a table that can additionally act as extra seating when needed. Tufted ottomans–with trays on top to corral objects–also work great as coffee tables.
Picture source: Design Manifest
So let’s start shopping! I hand-picked each and every one of these coffee tables based on appearance and functionality, but I cannot attest to the quality of the items. I recommend that you read any reviews, check dimensions, and research the product before purchasing. I frequently shop online for my home furnishings and I always consider the reviews and company feedback before making a purchase. The prices listed below are the prices that were showing up at the time I wrote this post. You may find that the prices have changed. I worked hard to find the absolute lowest price for the item and used affiliate links where applicable. I hope you find the guide helpful!
1. Storage Ottoman Collapsible Foldable Seat | 2. IKEA Lack Coffee Table | 3. Sauder Original Cottage Coffee Table | 4. SEI Espresso Slatted Coffee Table | 5. Altra Furniture Coffee Table with Industrial Metal Frame | 6.Top Stage Clear Lucite Nesting Tables, set of 3 | 7. Kings Brand Chrome Finish With Glass Top Coffee Table | 8. Kings Brand Sonoma Oak Finish With Glass Cocktail Coffee Table | 9. Linon Home Decor Titian Coffee Table
1. Better Homes and Gardens Rustic Country Coffee Table | 2. Monarch Glossy White/Chrome Cocktail Table | 3. Simple Living Reclaimed Finish X Cocktail Table | 4. Monarch Reclaimed-Look/Chrome Metal Cocktail Table | 5. Home Life Tufted Storage Table | 6. Safavieh American Home Collection Vintage Gray Coffee Table | 7. LexMod Molded Fathom Coffee Table in Natural | 8. Safavieh Home Collection Ruxton Ottoman, Dark Brown | 9. Flash Furniture Coylin Cocktail Table
1. Wood Glass Coffee Table | 2. Storage Ottoman with Tufted Accents | 3.Cottage 2-Drawer Coffee Table | 4. Convenience Concepts Glass Coffee Table | 5. Vintage Industrial Look Metal Cocktail Table | 6. Mirage Mirrored Cocktail Table | 7. Nesting Accent Cocktail Coffee Table , 2 in 1 | 8. Coffee Table Ottoman Bench | 9. Crate and Barrel Indigo Rattan Coffee Table
1. Parker House Cottage Wood Coffee Table | 2. Garretson Storage Box Coffee Table | 3. Standard Furniture Cambria Coffee Table | 4. Southern Enterprises 3-Piece Addison Nested Coffee/End Table Set | 5. Baxton Studio French Script Print Tufted Ottoman | 6. LexMod Pioneer Transparent Glass Coffee Table | 7. LexMod Garrison Wood Top Coffee Table | 8. Renate Coffee Table Ottoman | 9. Baxton Studio Keswick Linen Modern Tufted Ottoman
Don’t forget that some of the best and most affordable coffee tables come from Craigslist and second hand stores! Preowned furniture can easily be given a new lease on life with paint, stain, fabric, or nailhead trim. To see some wonderful inspiration, try searching in google images “Ikea Lack Hack Coffee Table” and see all of the creative ways people have transformed the $20 Ikea table! Your budget never has to limit your ability to have a beautiful home.
If you liked this post, you might also like the related posts below. Check them out for further inspiration!