How to Choose a Cocktail Table

Whether you call it a cocktail table or coffee table, the piece of furnishing meant to hold your beverage of choice is not only practical, it’s a focal point in your living or family room. It’s important that you take the time to choose the right one. Here are a few things you should consider:

babette cocktail tableSize

The first consideration is size. If your cocktail table is too small, it can feel “swallowed up” by the other furnishings. Too big and it can do the swallowing. You want to choose a table that has a similar scale to the pieces that will be around it. Cocktail tables should be no larger than two-thirds the length of your sofa, and should be able to allow about two feet of space around it for walking.

tocara cocktail tableShape

Square, rectangle, triangular, round and oval – cocktail tables can be a lesson in geometry. Rectangular-, triangular- and oval-shaped tables tend to look better in smaller rooms. Square or round tables are good when you have a larger seating area, as their larger size draws attention. If you have children, you might choose a table with rounded edges, to prevent injuries on corners.

copia cocktail tableMaterial

You’ll also need to consider your table’s material and finishes. Wood is one of the most popular cocktail table materials. If other furnishings in the room are wood or have wooden legs, choose a cocktail table that matches for a coordinated look. Glass top tables can make a small room look more open. Metal tables add a reflective tone to the room and add extra light. If your room is contemporary, you might choose a glass or metal table. And wood tables complement the décor of traditional and casual rooms.

suttons bay cocktail tableOther considerations

Finally, think about the other purposes your cocktail table can serve. Do you need extra storage in your room? Consider a cocktail table with drawers or shelves, or use a trunk. Entertain occasionally? Consider using an ottoman as a cocktail table. It can be used as extra seating. If you entertain often, you might also look for a cocktail table on wheels that can easily be moved around the room if you need more floor space.


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