#3 The Coffee Table
I might as well call this the anchor because that is what it is like for your living room & dining room. I have found it to be one of the 5 necessary elements in a room because not only does it visually ground the room, allowing couches, lamps, chairs to be positioned around it and add cohesion to the space, it is also a necessary surface that allows the home owner to really show off his/her interests in little vignettes. When asked by clients that if they really need a coffee table in the center of their living space that could otherwise be used for a kid’s play area or just open space, the answer is yes! A room will not feel finished without this important piece of furniture.
The shape, size and style should reflect the room. A family room can have a rustic, casual look or glass or double decker, etc. A more formal living room can have a softer, more delicate frame or even an upholstered ottoman that reflects the nature of the space.
However, in all honesty, the style of your coffee table is not even quite as important as what you put on top of it. You could spend very little on a coffee table, have it be a plan, wooden rectangle and if the objects placed on top are in an organized & orderly placement it will be visually appealing and offer a insight to the individual.
It really is an opportunity to express yourself. What do the objects on a coffee table say about a person? Do you have a large, white seashell from your honeymoon? A pair of old binoculars used by your grandfather to spy birds? A few, old Nancy Drew hardbacks in the perfect blue linen color? It’s a place to be creative and utilize little objects that might otherwise be in a box in your attic somewhere never seen.
There are are just a few rules. Make sure your furnutre flanks your coffee table. Traditionally, you will have everything centered around the fireplace. Chairs flanking the fireplace and then your couch facing or 2 couches on either side. Your coffee table will take up prime real estate in the middle of the room. Make sure it is large enough that it looks substantial – I’d say at least half the length of your couch. When adding objects don’t just push them to either side or line them up or haphazardly place them. This needs to be a bit more intentional. Think of 3 or 4 sections to the table. One little section for a stack of glossy books. One little section for a colored tray. One little section for a lantern.
This important table is just another layer to your room.
Tomorrow #4 Pillows & Accents!