Design, Furniture, Living Room
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Coffee Table Hunt

Coffee Table

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 🤔

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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:

Coffee Table

LIPSTICK Coffee Table from La Redoute

Not sure – i’d need to cut the legs down a bit – is it a bit boring?

Coffee Table

YUMI Coffee Table from Wayfair

Love the shape, but those splayed legs are putting me right off, too tall again too.

Coffee Table

 

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. 

Coffee Table

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**

Coffee Table

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.

Coffee Table

LORANGER 2 piece set from Wayfair

Like it, just wish the legs were wood and top was black. So close!

Coffee Table

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.Coffee Table

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.

18 Comments

  1. I feel your pain! I’m onthe hunt for a stunning drinks cabinet and I just can’t quite seem to find one I am willing to “commit to”. Unless you count the AMAZING one with a bold gold gemeotric pattern for 4k. 😣

    • Karen Knox says

      Swoon Editions all the way I reckon! Westelm too. And Marks and Spencers had a gorgeous deco style one a while ago too!

  2. After putting up with a chunky oak coffee table with sharp corners for years I think we’re going to go for a big velvet footstool – comfy for the feet, extra seating when we need it and I’ll put a tray on it so the G&T doesn’t fall over. Probably not very good for Cluedo tho. They are expensive but I’m justifying it by saying we don’t need to buy another chair as well?

    • Karen Knox says

      Yeah we toyed with that too but already have a small footstool by the window (Charlie sits on it to watch telly). I found some really good value ones at theloungeco.com – worth a look if you’re still searching for one!

  3. Anonymous says

    Why not have one made for you – then it would meet all your requirements? What about upcycling: find the perfect base and make a top to fit, or vice versa.

  4. Anonymous says

    Yes – have one made.
    You now know exactly what you want.
    So you can commission a furniture maker.

  5. The Freida one you listed reminds me a bit of a G plan Astro coffee table. We have a round one and I love it. They have a glass top but you could replace it with a marble top (no idea how easy this would be but it’s got to be possible, right?) and stain the wood darker as well.

    Here is an oval one: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/662866386/mid-century-g-plan-glass-top-coffee?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=g+plan+coffee+table&ref=sr_gallery-1-11

    • Karen Knox says

      I actually sourced and sold one of those round ones about 2 years ago. Just too much wood for this room. Honestly – I so know what i’d like in this room which obviously means the chances of me finding it are pretty much nil!

  6. Jenny says

    We’ve got our perfect coffee table – an antique pine kitchen table cut down – the ideal size for board games and the kids to use for a TV dinner and a little drawer to hide clutter. A bit battered and full of character. I did get a little bit in trouble with the antique furniture expert who came round but it works for us.

    • Karen Knox says

      Yes I love that look!! I’ve specified them quite a lot for projects. But not quite right for this room….

      • Anonymous says

        yes, we’re much more cottagey with a bit of mid-century and colour – can’t wait to see what you choose!

  7. I made one out of scaffold planks and some steel hand rail tube (not as thick as scaffold tube) in a sort of h-frame – sprayed black, that way it’s the exact dimensions we wanted and very sturdy.

    Good luck in your search!

  8. Shelley says

    I’m struggling to find a table that meets all of our requirements, so thank you this it so helpful as it introduces some new retailers. I’m confused though – if our couch, tv unit and bureau are all on raised legs (hairpin etc.) should the coffee table match? Or contrast with a flat or chunky base?

    • Karen Knox says

      In an ideal world (design world) no the furniture shouldn’t match. If I was to redesign my living room now I certainly wouldn’t choose the same design TV cabinet as sideboard. For your coffee table, i’d be looking for a leg that specifically wasn’t a hairpin leg, so your front room doesn’t look like you went to Next and bought an entire range. Hard to advise when I can’t see the rest of the room though – but instincts say no to coffee table with hairpins!

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