Our New Living Room Coffee Table
Our living room just got a big upgrade…we finally have a coffee table! After living without one for over three years, it was time to invest in a new piece of furniture. Our old coffee table was gorgeous (no longer sold, but it was a round coffee table from Crate & Barrel). We put it in our basement when Rory was born so we could have more space in our living room to play on the ground.
Then, Ellis came along and we still needed the space for play and tummy time. When we were just about ready to bring that table back upstairs, our basement flooded and we had to say goodbye to that beautiful table.
Now, almost a year post-flood, we finally agreed that the time is right to bring back a coffee table into this living space. Yes, the kids still play in here all the time, but now they can actually use the table for coloring and puzzles. We don’t need as much floor space as we used to, like when we used it to roll around or practice crawling and walking.
So, I knew I wanted a new table…yay! But how would I find the right coffee table? I had to come up with a good list of living room coffee table ideas to figure out which one would work best for our small space. Since a coffee table is the focal point of the living room, I wanted to choose one that would work well for our family and have a cohesive look with the rest of the room.
My Coffee Table Selection Criteria
Last year, I added a new side table to our family room and I brought you into my brain as I decide how to buy large pieces for my home. I discussed how I consider which shape, style, material, and profile a piece should have before I even begin my shopping experience.
Once I have those must-haves in place, I can start shopping with a narrower filter. You can read the full post right here. I’m not sure how professional interior designers do it, but my non-scientific formula seems to work well for me!
First up, the shape. I look at the living room as a whole and figure out what shapes are needed. Our couch has a lot of straight lines, as do the chairs in the front window. To balance the straight lines of those, I think a coffee table with rounded edges would work best. Plus, rounded edges are always a good idea when kids are around.
Don’t forget to also consider the size. With coffee tables, you want to consider the length of your sofa and opt for a table that is ½ the width of your sofa. This should help filter out any tables that are way too small or way too big. And make sure that you have plenty of room between the sofa and the table to create a walkway.
Next, I decide if it should be “airy” or “grounded.” For example, our couch is very grounded since its legs are low to the ground. The round table next to it is “airy” with pronounced legs. To complement the couch, I think an airier piece would be best.
The coffee table material and color scheme are next. Since we already have a glass side table (that’s impossible to keep clean, btw), I didn’t want to purchase a glass coffee table. I also have a marble side table in this same space, so I figured we shouldn’t buy another natural stone piece. In the end, I decided to go with wood so we would have different materials in this same area.
As for color, I thought a black coffee table would look the best in this room. I always like to incorporate a hint of black throughout a space and here we have black dining chairs, a black table lamp, and a black base to the side table. More black seemed like a smart move.
Where To Shop For A Coffee Table
When it comes to shopping for a coffee table, here are the major retailers I usually peruse.
- Joss & Main
- West Elm
- Pottery Barn
- World Market
- Facebook Marketplace
Use The Google Lens Function
Whenever I find an item that I like that might be above my budget (or not in stock), I always use the Google Lens function to try to find a look-a-like version. This works well if you see an inspirational picture of an item and want to figure out where it’s from. Simply right-click the image and hit the “Search Image with Google Lens” button. This is a must when online shopping and it’s an easy way to find a better price.
Roundup Of Stylish Coffee Tables
Marble Coffee Table // Black Coffee Table // Off-White Coffee Table // Burl Wood Coffee Table // Wood & Cane Coffee Table // Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table // Metal Drum Coffee Table // Gold Glass Coffee Table // Leather Ottoman
While shopping, I came up with a list of my favorite living room coffee table ideas. Most of these don’t fit my specific parameters for my living room, but they might work for your home. I wanted to include different shapes (Love that rectangular coffee table.), materials (That wooden table is so gorgeous.), and styles (The modern coffee table with burl wood is a stunner!).
Our New Wood Coffee Table
In the end, I landed on this one from Joss & Main and it truly is the perfect coffee table for our space. It’s a black wood table with rounded edges and a pretty oval shape. The legs have a mix of feeling airy and grounded at the same time. The legs are pretty meaty, but there’s still space in the middle of the table (and my kids now love to hide under here!).
The coffee table was very easy to put together and I think it works really well with our current living room design. It definitely has an organic modern style like the rest of our house.
My Best Tips to Style a Coffee Table
About 99% of the time, our coffee table is bare (minus toys, snacks, and crumbs), but I thought it would be fun to show you some coffee table styling ideas. This is how I would style this coffee table if I didn’t have young children at home. Maybe you’ll get some ideas that you can implement in your own living room. Here are my favorite coffee table decor ideas…
Set The Foundation
You’ll want to start with foundational items like a stack of books or a large tray. These help to ground the space and you can put other decorative items on top. I decided to go with a round tray to offset the straight lines of the coffee table books.
Add Natural Elements
It’s always a good idea to add some life with a potted plant or vase of fresh flowers. You want to have different heights on the coffee table and a vase with flowers or branches could help. I opted for a plant in this new white pot. When decorating, I often group things in odd numbers. Here, you can see the books, tray, and plant work together to create a large grouping of three.
Pretty & Practical Decorative Objects
On top of the stacked books, I placed a gold decorative box to hold remote controls. I always love using decorative boxes to hold practical items, especially when we are constantly losing the remote around here!
A scented candle and lighter (This one is my fave.) are always welcome too. The candle creates an atmosphere and the lighter reminds me to light it even when I’m just sitting on the couch catching up on my favorite TV shows.
Finally, I added some Polaroid pictures to the round tray. These showcase personality and would be fun for guests to flip through when they visit. I also like to keep a bunch in a wooden bowl in our living room for easy access.
My Favorite Coffee Table Decor
Here are some items that you can mix and match to create the perfect coffee table look for your space.
Living Room Sources
Paint Colors: Benjamin Moore “Ballet White” (walls), “Simply White” (trim), “Tricorn Black” (back of the front door) // Coffee Table // Flooring Details // Green Curtains // Brass Curtain Rod Hardware // Drapery Rod Connector // 9×12 Rug (Olive/Charcoal) // Sofa // Gray Chairs // Black Dining Chairs // TV Sideboard // Faux Olive Tree // Tree Basket // Entry Console // Glass Side Table // Wood Bowl (similar) // Blanket Basket // Gold Shadow Box // Colorful Couch Pillow // Modern Planter // Dining Tray // Custom Frames // White Vase // Faux Purple Tulips // Faux Cherry Blossoms // Gray Throw Blanket
I wish my coffee table could look beautiful and stylish every day. But, for now, I prefer the crumbs and puzzle pieces. Plus, I’m just happy that we finally have a coffee table back. Yay, for a spot to place my water when watching TV at night.
P.S. You can see the full evolution of this room in this blog post. Wowza, those before pictures are wild!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.