The first step to choosing the perfect coffee table is to identify what functions you need it to perform. Some people are interested in only aesthetics; for them a coffee table is purely about design and making a visual impact. If this is your primary concern there are a plethora of options that will transform your living space and become a talking point for years to come.
Other people are more interested in the function of their coffee table, whether that be for storage, as a display cabinet, for holding drinks and snacks whilst watching television, or even as a modern substitute for a family dining table. For many families the truth is that they will spend far more time seated around their coffee table together watching television and talking than they will ever spend seated around a dining table.

Sizing Your Table

 Wood and Glass Coffee Table

One very important factor to consider is the size of any table that you intend to purchase. A large, low coffee table can look modern and contemporary in a large open plan space. In a smaller more cluttered environment it may overwhelm the room, however. As a general guide it is advisable to have two feet of free floor space on every side of your table. This means that it will be close enough to other furniture to allow it to be reached without standing but will have enough space around it to allow free movement to walk around.
As a first step measure the available space. Work out a maximum size based on the size of the room and other furniture and then using cardboard boxes or sheets lay out a mock up of how much space will be used. Sometimes this can help you to judge whether the size that you have calculated will work with the amount of available space that you have.
Always remember to take your measurements with you when you actually head to the shops. In the vast open plan environment of a shop floor large pieces of furniture can often seem a lot smaller than they would in a normal home.

Storage Options
funky tableAnother factor to consider is whether you require storage within your table. Some people like to be able to hide away magazines, papers or remote controls in a drawer. Others like glass topped storage areas to display items that they have collected. If you like a very clean look it may be advisable to choose drawers over shelves as shelves can often quickly become cluttered and messy.
Lift top lids are another option. In this instance the whole surface of the coffee table lifts up to provide a higher surface and also to give access to storage below. This option may not be suitable for families with small children due to the possibility of pinched fingers.

Choice Of Materials
Modern coffee tables are made from a wide range of materials. Glass coffee tables are a popular choice as they create an airy open feel to the room. It is important when considering purchasing a glass table that safety is taken into consideration.

Wood is another great option and can look anything from ultra contemporary to antique. Whilst a pine table may be a cheaper option there are also other more expensive options. The beauty of a wooden coffee table is that they tend to age well and can be overhauled and refinished at a later date if a new or fresher look is required.

MDF is also a popular choice. Made of fibreboard it can be moulded into almost any size and shape and can give a sleek, modern look to a room. MDF tables are available in any colour so can be found to fit almost any decorating scheme.

Whichever coffee table you choose it is worth the investment of a considerable amount of time to ensure that you select a piece of furniture that you will be happy with for years to come.