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Finding a large square glass coffee table for your living room appears to be an easy enough task once you first think about it. You walk into a store you like, get your best piece, and go home with it (or get it delivered), but upon more deeply reflection, there are many more options in selecting the right coffee table than meets the eye.

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First, it needs to be the correct size-both height-wise and in terms of length and width. It needs as the right scale and ratio to the space and needs to work alongside all your existing furniture. The material needs to fit with your life style and work well in the room. It possibly needs to match the needs of the family, whether this means that it must be kid-friendly or have enough storage for TV remotes and also other miscellaneous items.

Only after you’ve answered all these questions can you really get started finding the perfect coffee table for you and your space. So how do you find a coffee table from start to finish? We outlined five rules to check out before investing in a coffee table you’ll love.

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Measure your furniture’s height
There’s nothing even more awkward than a coffee table that’s too high or too low. To make sure you feel comfortable in your living area, choose for a coffee table that’s the same height as the cushions on your sofa or one to two inches lower. Anymore and you risk the space feeling and looking just a little off.

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Identify the color scheme.
Evaluate whether or not your room has a specific color scheme that a coffee table will need to fall into. When you have all natural colors, for instance, a bubblegum-pink table may be looks weird for the space.

Although playing with color might be allowed, be sure you do not create a room with no cohesive color scheme, as this can make the room feel chaotic disjointed.

Measure the height

Gauge the height of your sofa’s seat – a good coffee table should be at most the same height or even lower. If the table is too high, it may seem clumsy. Often , selecting between a square, rectangle, circular, or oval coffee table boils down to the length and clearance required around it. Customarily, your coffee table needs to be 12 to 18 inches away from your sofa-any more or lower than that it will feel uncomfortably close or far. Between your coffee table and your TV stand or fireplace, you should estimate at least 24 inches to 30 inches to leave enough space for circulating around the room.

To find the best coffee table width, measure the length between your settee and TV stand and subtract 42 inches.

Strike the Right Balance
An additional handy guideline to follow when choosing a coffee table is its “weightiness. ” Basically, it may complement the other furniture in the room to make the space look balanced and proportional. What does this all mean? If your sofa has high skinny legs, consider a table which solid all the way to the ground or has shorter chunkier legs. In contrast, if your sofa has no visible legs, get a coffee table that has higher skinnier legs. An interior designer once told me that when a room feels too “leggy, ” it doesn’t feel as grounded-and it’s something that’s never left me.

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Consider Your Own Needs

Many people eat by their coffee table or just use it to store their remote controls and other little things. That’s why a coffee table should have plenty of surface space for your needs. Are you one to play board games in the living room regularly? Be sure it’s a cozy piece to gather around. Do you have a tendency to put your feet up on the coffee table when watching TV? Maybe an ottoman is a better alternative for you. As for coffee tables that are kid-friendly, choose for a piece that has no sharp edges and isn’t made of glass.

I’ve heard enough horror stories of kids breaking glass tops to know it’s not a good idea.

Choose The Materials Carefully

* Have an honest look at your lifestyle. When you have children or a lot of pets (particularly cats), you’re going to want to get a durable table made with solid wood or metal, possibly in a curved shape to avoid dangerous edges. Other materials may become broken or marred easily. On the other hand, if you live alone or live with just a partner, you can shell out for more complex or delicate tables.

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* Assess your cleaning habits. Several materials are more high-maintenance than others. If you clean your property on a daily basis, a glass coffee table might work out well for you. If you are more of a once-monthly kind of cleaner, a stronger material such as wood could be a better bet. If you abhor cleaning, an upholstered coffee table may be the one for you.

Even though you can purchase a table that does not typically suit your lifestyle, you may need to clean, restore, or replace it often.