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Farmhouse Coffee Table: Your Style Guide to Selecting the Right One | Amitha Verma

By Amitha Verma

How Do I Choose the Right Farmhouse Coffee Table?

The other day I got a great question from one of our customers, Dory, who wanted to know if I could share a few tips and recommendations on how to select a farmhouse coffee table. There are many ways in which this can go very wrong, so today I am sharing five tips on how to select the perfect farmhouse coffee table as well as a few key mistakes to avoid while you’re making your selections.

While the options seem endless, if you follow my suggested design rules, you will be able to quickly eliminate the options that don’t work.

What Shape Should My Farmhouse Coffee Table Be?

Some of the biggest questions that we get asked are:

1. What shape should my coffee table be?

2. Should I get a round or rectangle coffee table?

3. What is the best coffee table?

There is no one answer to all of these questions because there are specific design and circulation rules you want to follow when deciding between the shapes of coffee tables, which I’m sharing with you today.

People are often deciding between square, round, rectangle, and oval and have no idea where to start.

The first place to start is to evaluate the room that you're working with and decide which is the right table:

1. to fill your space

2. or leave enough space for you to walk around and circulate easily

Take a look below where I explain which table to use in a few different room layouts.

Square Farmhouse Coffee Table:

If you're working with a bigger living or family room, this is where I go for a square table. I start looking for all these beautiful chunky farmhouse coffee tables to bring in volume and fill the space.

Available at Village Antiques

When I’m working with the bigger room, I want to reduce some of the negative space, or the extra space, in the room to create a feeling of coziness, warmth, and inviting feeling and intimacy.

A square coffee table fills in that room and allows for different seating arrangements around the table, much like a dining table where people gather around.

Round Farmhouse Coffee Tables:

Another FAQ is should I get a round or a square coffee table?

If you’ve got little ones around your house and you're concerned about corners, this is a great place to opt for a round farmhouse coffee table and give your room that same cozy feeling.

Available at Village Antiques

Rectangular Farmhouse Coffee Table:

If I'm working with a more narrow room, that's when I tend to look for a rectangular shaped coffee table.

In my own living room, it’s pretty narrow with a wall on one side and a hall passage on the other side.

To keep my seating arrangement intimate as well as have space for people to pass through, I opted for a rectangular, white farmhouse coffee table.

Available at Village Antiques

Oval Farmhouse Coffee Table:

The same idea applies here if you want to avoid corners and edges. You can easily switch out a rectangle table with an oval table to give you that same slenderness.

Available at Village Antiques

What is the Best Style of Coffee Table?

The main way to decide is to look at your room and have it be your style guide.

Be intentional about the style you want to bring into your house and relate your coffee table back to the decor you already have in your living room or family room.

Your room will help you decide if you want something:

1. Formal

2. Casual

3. Relaxed

4. Modern

5. Antique

6. Traditional

7. Classic

8. Chunky

9. Slender

That will help you go in a certain direction and eliminate the other options.

The next tip you want to follow is to decide the right finish for the coffee table that you're going to select.

In my design projects and our design style, Farmhouse by Amitha, we tend to use:

  • textural woods finishes
  • casual honed stone tops
  • metals such as old iron and gold
  • glass coffee tables
  • and even fabric and ottomans to replace coffee tables (more about that later)

You may already have a coffee table that checks all boxes, except for the finish. I hear ya! Trends change, and over the years we’ve definitely seen a shift towards softer and more natural finishes.

Don’t feel disappointed - I’ve got an easy fix for you.

You can give your existing coffee table an easy, less than 1 hour, furniture makeover to lighten and freshen your piece with up Amitha Verma Chalk Finish Paint. We use our brand of chalk finish paint to give old, outdated furniture a new look every day!

Before and after picture of a coffee table painted with Amitha Verma Chalk Paint

Painted with Amitha Verma Chalk Finish Paint in French Gray and Belgian Blue details.

Final takeaways on style:

Whenever I’m trying to select the right finish for my table, I take cues from the room that I'm working with. The room might feel very casual, rustic, industrial, glammy. Whichever direction, you want to be sure that your furniture fits into that style.

Work with your room, and don’t try to reinvent your style with your coffee table.

The finishes of your coffee table can change from room to room, but you want to think about the entire room as you’re selecting your farmhouse coffee table.

What Size Coffee Table Do I Need?

The next thing I want you to pay attention to is the height of your coffee table.

Typically, I go for coffee tables that are about 16 to 18 inches high. If you go any lower it tends to look a little bit more modern. I'm not saying modern is a bad thing, it just depends on the style of the room that you're designing and if you want to feel a little more modern or not.

Really anything can go. You just want to make sure you are thinking about that as you're making your selections, so you don't get the pieces home and think “Oh my gosh! Why is this coffee table so low??”

The next thing to pay attention to is the length of the coffee table.

This is the critical information that you want to know to make sure you get the right coffee table for your living room. Whenever I'm working with a sofa, I want to make sure that my coffee table is generally about 2/3 the length of my sofa.

I just measure my sofa and then figure out what 2/3 of that length is to get me the right length of my farmhouse coffee table.

The next thing I want you to look for is how much clearance you're going to have.

My minimum is about 14 to about 18 or so inches between my sofa and my coffee table. That way people can pass by and circulate and this also makes space not feel too crowded.

If the rule is 12 inches, add two more inches.

I bet you see rooms like this and love it, but don't know why. This amount of circulation is exactly why.

Do You Need a Coffee Table?

You may be wondering: “Do I even need a coffee table?”

The answer to that is no. You could probably get away with removing your coffee table.

I actually did this in my own home and do it on design projects all the time. When I'm working with a family home, one of my favorite design tricks is to replace the coffee table with an ottoman.

Available at Village Antiques

You don't have to worry about corners or edges and kids can pile on. They love little places to call their own, and you can put your feet up!

Available at Village Antiques

Mistakes to Avoid:

The mistakes that you want to make sure that you avoid when selecting your coffee tables are:

  • making sure you're designing with your room in mind when selecting the size and the style of your table
  • making sure that the table is not too big or too small
  • making sure that your table is family-friendly - if that's a criteria for you
  • look for timeless finishes you’ll love for years to come

Now that you know the rules, it'll be a lot more fun selecting and finding a coffee table. The best part about knowing the rules is you know how and when to break the rules!

My favorite rule to break is to go a little smaller than what is required so I can include small farmhouse coffee tables. It’s exactly what I did in my own living room!

Tell me in the comments which direction you are leaning towards in selecting your farmhouse coffee table!

You can find many of the coffee tables featured in this week’s episode at our retail location, Village Antiques in Houston, TX. Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm.

Drop on by or give us a call if we can help you in any way. 713-468-5044

Until the next time we meet, keep making your house amazing with your design gifts.

In friendship,

Amitha 

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