One question that often pops up when it comes to furnishing and decorating one's home is, "Do we really need a coffee table?" It's a valid question, one whose importance increases if you find yourself living in a home with very little space. After all, why have a coffee table when you can settle for the dining table, right?
Before you decide to completely ditch that rustic oak or whitewash coffee table, give us a chance to change your mind. As much as possible, we encourage having a coffee table (even a tiny one) in your living room. After all, a coffee table can be, and sometimes is, the central piece of your living room.
In this article we'll be discussing the effect a coffee table can have in your home, as well as how to style and decorate it in such a way that will make you appreciate its use even more.
Functions Of A Coffee Table
There's an established rule amongst interior designers that prioritizes function over form. But what, exactly, is the function of a coffee table, and how does it benefit the people living and visiting your home?
1. A place to serve refreshments and snacks
The most obvious and most practical use of a coffee table is, of course, to serve as a place where you can set down the tea and biscuits, the nachos and fries, or the popcorn and soft drinks. This is especially true if you're hosting a game night, movie night, or a simple hangout.
2. A place to display your sense of style and aesthetics
One other way to make use of a coffee table is for display purposes. This is something you'll notice in a lot of homes where the centerpiece of the table is often either a small sculpture, a vase filled with flowers, some fine silverware, or a set of candles.
3. A place to set down temporary entertainment for guests
There's a reason that some books are specifically called "coffee table books". Oftentimes these books are meant to serve as reading for guests that are visiting. After all, there's definitely moments where, for example, you find that you need a bit more time to finish preparing dinner. Having books set aside on the coffee table can keep them occupied in the meantime.
Another example would be if your guest is there to visit either a roommate or one of your kids. Your coffee table could have a book or a small brainteaser puzzle that they could fiddle with while waiting. Or it could just be a good place to serve them a cup of coffee while indulging in a little small talk.
Now that we've covered the practical uses and functions of a coffee table, let's move on to how to choose the best coffee table for your home.
Consider the Size and Shape
As we mentioned at the beginning, if you're having trouble setting aside some space for a coffee table, just remember that it doesn't have to be as big as you imagine it should be. If you only have enough seats for two or three people in your living room, then having a coffee table big enough to accommodate three cups of coffee should be good enough.
Consider also the shape of your living room set. Do you have long and wide rectangular chairs and couches, or do you simply have two or three single chairs? The shape of your coffee table should best fit the shape of your living room set. That way you'll be able to maximize the space entirely.
Lastly, think about how your coffee table accentuates the rest of your home or living room space. If you have chairs and couches with bold and strong colors, for example, then a whitewash coffee table would work well to balance and mute that clash of color. Creating contrast helps your coffee table and its display either stand out or blend in.
So consider the finish of the coffee table you're choosing to go with. If you're going for that French Provincial look for your home, for example, then it's best to go with neutral and muted colors for your coffee table. Going with a shabby chic or whitewash coffee table can help give off that rustic French Provincial style.
Never Go Out Of Style
There are a ton of ways that you could style and decorate the top of your coffee table. Every now and then, you can easily swap out the books and displays on your table to fit the season. Whatever you decide to put on display, however, shouldn't matter as much as how you best maximize the use of your coffee table. After all, remember that what's important is function over form.
That said, if you're looking for an elegant and stylish whitewash coffee table to add to your home, one that by itself already stands out as a statement piece, then consider one of our classic and rustic French pieces. We've got coffee tables in traditional French Provencal styles that are sure to tickle your fancy and leave lasting impressions on every single one of your guests.