I posted this on Instagram a couple of weeks ago and it seems i’m not the only one that has NEVER had a coffee table. Admittedly it might not be the most riveting of news for some of you, but for others, it struck a chord.
As you may have already guessed, buying a coffee table isn’t as simple as just going to buy a coffee table. It never is is it? It’s got to be right. In many ways. The right material, shape, size, design and proportion (read more about Scale and Proportion here)… it also needs to relate to the space it’s going in.
Let me explain.
Here’s the floorplan of our living room. There’s me standing in the middle thinking, man, i’d really like a coffee table here. As you can see the area surrounding the rug is already taken with seating and other small bits of furniture which means the remaining space (on the rug) is where the coffee table will sit. That space is rectangular. Which means the shape of table i’d prefer for this room is a rectangle. Well actually it’s not, it’s something long and narrow, like an oval or “squaroval”. Those of you that get your nails done will know that shape.
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Here's the third picture of this room to make up my 3 in a row. The first one (where i’m on the sofa with Chooch) was taken ages ago during the gallery wall days. In summer 2018 the gallery wall went, and along came the best wallpaper ever (well I think so). It’s called 'Painted' by @blackparrotsstudio and it was the first wallpaper to hit the walls of Making Spaces HQ. It took me about 2.5 years to find the right one. Longer than it took to find a bloody husband! Oh and back to yesterday’s coffee table chat, i’ve continued the hunt and think i’ve possibly seen every coffee table in the WHOLE WORLD so far. Not found "the one" quite yet… so might have to make my own out of twigs and old envelopes 🤔
I’m going out on a limb here, but i’d say, most living rooms are rectangular in shape and most of the shapes of furniture we put in them are rectangular too, look around, sofa – rectangle, sideboard, rectangle, rug, normally rectangular. Rectangles and squares seem to make up most of your big bits of furniture. But I don’t really want another rectangle in here. Sitting around something with softer edges is nicer me thinks. Nicer for everyone who’s sitting around it and nicer for everyone’s shins. Corners can be a real pain.
After lots (more than necessary for one piece of furniture) I came up with my ‘Coffee Table Wishlist’:
- Dark wood, with either some metal or marble – no oak. Unless it’s stained black
- Black top and dark wooden legs is the ideal combo
- Oval or a long rectangle with curved edges
- Low – not higher than 40cm (so we can plonk our feet from time to time)
- Approx 120-140cm x 60cm (wide enough to fit a board game on top, specifically Cluedo – i’m always Mrs Peacock)
- No splayed legs. Got enough of those in here. Straight pins please
- Nothing too skinny or Scandinavian. Our sofa is a chunky beast so skinny legs next to the sofa is going to look weird
- Legs tucked underneath, no peripheral frame as we want to be able to sit on the floor with our legs tucked underneath for Cluedo etc..
- Nothing shiny
- Max £350 ish
A completely reasonable list, i’m sure you’ll agree. So reasonable in fact, you’d think it would be easy to find something! Well it turns out, it’s not. I have searched for 3 weekends now and i’ve still not found the one that’s made me want to click BUY. Still looking… but I wanted to show you guys some of the tables that made it onto the maybe pile. Who knows maybe one of these will be right for you and your living space:
LIPSTICK Coffee Table from La Redoute
Not sure – i’d need to cut the legs down a bit – is it a bit boring?
YUMI Coffee Table from Wayfair
Love the shape, but those splayed legs are putting me right off, too tall again too.
FRIEDA Coffee table from Cult Furniture
You know what, I was going to get this as it came with a walnut wooden frame, but then it sold out because I spent way too long pondering. They have it in black and black, but I really wanted that walnut stained base. That’ll teach me.
SOLAPA Large Coffee Table by Stua from Heals
Nice top but too skinny and splayed legs again. Doh!
SEPTEMBRE Coffee Table by Menu from Connox
I really like this, but it’s too pricey at £800+ **sigh**
SATO Coffee Table from Swoon Editions
Love this, but it’s missing a bit of black. If the top was black, it would be in my living room now.
LORANGER 2 piece set from Wayfair
Like it, just wish the legs were wood and top was black. So close!
AMARI Coffee Table from Wayfair
If only that frame was a little less “design-y”. I already know i’d be my worst client btw.
The next one made me VERY happy indeed, but alas it was too small at only 80cm long. But the overall look and proportions were exactly what I was looking for.
Vintage Coffee Table from Vinterior
Oh how I love you vintage Danish coffee table. If only I could meet your big brother!!
Rosewood Coffee Table from Vinterior
This was a better size, but those sticky up bits would annoy me. Especially during those times we’re plonking our feet up there. And corners.
I did actually find one that would have been perfect for my room. It’s absolutely stunning. But I can’t have it. In fact none of you can, because it costs around the same as a small second-hand car.
Quay Oval Coffee Table Canaletta Walnut Frame Black Sahara Noir, byPorada from Heals
Be still my beating heart. You are the most beautiful coffee table in the world. But you are £3.8k and nobody should ever spend that on a coffee table. Not unless it provides full time childcare and can run a vacuum around the house. Then we’d talk. But for now, i’ll just have to look at these mock ups and dream a little.
Dream on lady!
Do you have a piece of furniture you can’t quite seem to find? How many of you out there have NEVER owned a coffee table? Maybe it’s because you can’t find one that’s right too!? Talk to me.