In this post: These shopping ideas will help you find and style an affordable coffee table that fits into your budget and works with your home’s style.⇒
Raise your hand if you do this…
You commit to decorating a room and you buy all the big important pieces. You work out your colors and fabrics and fit it into your budget. You’re excited as it all gets delivered and you set it up and live with it. But after a few months you realize there’s one eyesore in the room you completely ignored because you already owned it and didn’t think you needed to spend valuable budget money on replacing it.
Except now it’s driving you crazy that it’s dragging the room down.
This is exactly what happened with my family room coffee table!
At first I barely noticed it was in the room. I think I was just looking past it while I worked on the other pieces. But one day I suddenly realized it’s smack in the middle of the room and it’s killing the look.
You can see the bulky pine wood table above, with its old-school country style silhouette and outdated stain finish. While I easily could have addressed the finish, the clunky legs made the table not worth saving, at least for this particular space where my goal was a vintage French look.
So, next thing I knew, I was in the market for a new coffee table, but with a kitchen renovation on the horizon, it was not something I wanted to spend a lot on.
There were directions I could go in.
I could go a little glam with brass and glass, or find a chippy painted reproduction, or even look for something in rattan or a tufted ottoman.
An option was to go vintage and there are several wonderful websites to search for that. Viyet, has a variety of used, nearly new and vintage cocktail and coffee tables. And of course there’s always ebay’s selection of French Country tables, as well as Etsy’s eclectic options.
But if I decided to go with new, there were still plenty of choices that would fit with my French influenced style.
In this shopping guide I’ve highlighted some of my favorites, found as I scoured the options. They run the gamut from vintage inspired to some that are quite modern but all could work in a French Country or farmhouse home, depending on how updated you choose to go. You can check out all my picks below.
And as for which one I chose…
I found one on sale and stretched a little higher than I planned, but it had a lovely Gustavian Swedish feel to it (see it in the photo below). It’s a little taller than I’d hoped and a little shorter in length, but it very much corrected the aesthetic of our room!
If you, too, are wrestling with the look of one of your living spaces, take a close look at your coffee table. With its natural location in the center of the room, with seating placed around it, this is a piece that has the ability to transform the character of a space for a relatively low cost.
Especially if your sofa is neutral, both in color and in shape, the style of the coffee table can take the room in an entirely different direction. Let’s look at some of the design options for a vintage-inspired aesthetic, along with table shape guidelines and styling ideas.
Coffe Table Styles
It’s best to choose a coffee table that complements the overall style and color scheme of your home. The following coffee table options blend well with a French farmhouse aesthetic, featuring elements such as distressed finishes, natural wood, vintage-inspired designs, and classic French country details.
- Vintage or antique French country coffee table with cabriole legs
- Rustic wooden coffee table with a distressed finish
- Weathered reclaimed wood coffee table with a farmhouse-style design
- Distressed white or cream-colored coffee table with a French provincial flair
- Wrought iron coffee table with ornate detailing
- Large trunk or chest-style coffee table for added storage
- Farmhouse-style coffee table with a natural wood top and painted base
- Oval or round coffee table with a distressed finish and curved legs
- Trestle-style coffee table with a sturdy, solid wood construction
- French bistro-style coffee table with a small, compact design
- Glass-top coffee table with a wrought iron or wooden base in a vintage style
What Shape Should You Choose?
Your seating layout will affect the ideal coffee table for your room. The choice of coffee table shape should complement the scale and arrangement of your seating, while also considering the available space and overall aesthetic of the room. Here are some guidelines:
- Rectangular Coffee Table:
- Ideal for large seating arrangements such as a sectional sofa or multiple sofas placed together.
- Provides ample surface area for drinks, snacks, and decorative items.
- Helps to visually anchor and balance the long lines of a rectangular seating arrangement.
- Square Coffee Table:
- Works well with a square or L-shaped seating arrangement.
- Creates a symmetrical and balanced look.
- Provides a good amount of surface space for decorative items.
- Round Coffee Table:
- Great for smaller seating arrangements, such as a single sofa or a pair of armchairs.
- Facilitates easy movement around the table.
- Softens the overall look of a room with its curved shape.
- Ideal for creating an intimate and cozy atmosphere.
- Oval Coffee Table:
- Combines the benefits of rectangular and round tables.
- Suitable for longer seating arrangements, such as a sofa with two armchairs on either side.
- Offers a similar visual appeal as a round table with the functionality of a rectangular one.
- Provides smooth edges, which can be beneficial for households with children.
- Nested Coffee Tables:
- Ideal for versatile seating arrangements or small spaces.
- Consists of multiple smaller tables that can be arranged in different ways.
- Offers flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing needs.
- Allows for easy storage when not in use.
Coffee Table Styling Ideas
Once you select the right coffee table, it’s time to style the surface to work with your decor and enhance the aesthetic of the room. Be sure to balance the elements and vary the heights, textures, and shapes of the items you choose to create a pleasing arrangement. Here are five of my favorite styling tips for the top of a coffee table.
- Tray or Centerpiece:
- Start by placing a decorative tray or a centerpiece in the middle of the coffee table.
- Choose a tray that complements the style and color scheme of the room.
- Fill the tray with curated items like candles, small vases with flowers, or decorative objects.
- Books and Magazines:
- Stack a few coffee table books or magazines on one side of the table.
- Select books that reflect your interests, such as art, photography, or design.
- Consider varying the heights of the books to add visual interest.
- Greenery and Natural Elements:
- Add a touch of nature by incorporating plants or flowers on your coffee table.
- Choose a small potted plant or a vase with fresh flowers that suit your decor.
- Opt for low-maintenance plants like succulents or small ferns.
- Decorative Objects:
- Display decorative objects that showcase your personality and style.
- Select items like sculptures, figurines, or unique artifacts.
- Ensure that the objects are proportionate to the size of the coffee table and do not overwhelm the space.
- Candles and Ambient Lighting:
- Incorporate candles or other ambient lighting options for a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
- Place a few candle holders or a decorative lantern on the table.
- Consider using scented candles to add a pleasing fragrance to the room.
Selecting the perfect coffee table for your space is an important decision that can significantly enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your living area. By considering factors such as size, style, material, and compatibility with your seating options, you can find a coffee table that not only complements your existing decor but also suits your specific needs. Take your time, explore the various options in the resource list below, and let your coffee table become the perfect centerpiece that completes your living space.
To get the look, click on the items below for direct links to the products. Where actual items were no longer available, I’ve provided similar options. If an item is out of stock but may be restocked, I left it on the list.
(This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.)