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How to Place a Coffee Table

Coffee tables -- simple, no? Just set it down in front of the couch? Well, no. Here’s how to get it right.

There are a few things to consider before plopping a coffee table down between the sofa and the TV -- that is, if you want to actually like the way it looks.

  • First, get the height right -- a coffee table should be 16 to 20 inches high, depending on the style of your sofa. For a low-slung mid-century style couch, you should go with the lower number -- for an overstuffed contemporary version, the higher.
  • If the couch is the only seating, center the table on it. If the coffee table serves more furniture, make sure it's equidistant from everything.
  • For a room with sparse furniture, a rectangular table is ideal. If you have more furniture, go for a round table, it will make the space around it feel more open.
  • In general, round tables are easier to walk around while square tables are more modern.

Nestpert: Minnesota designer Jay Nuhring, author of the blog "Loving What You Have."

-- The Nest Editors

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