Coffee tables are such versatile creatures – perfect for perching your cuppa on, but also a great vehicle to display not just your feet, but the wares you should be proud of. This could you be your favourite magazine collection (hi!), fancy photography books or, if you have children, latest Lego model. So, how do you find the perfect one that fits the job description?
Going au naturel
Jonathan Roelandts, Managing Director of Ethnicraft Online, explains that it is important to find out if you’re suited to own a natural wood coffee table before buying one. “Natural wood will usually have a change in colour tone over time and with exposure to sunlight,” he says. Pieces made of this material also require more care and maintenance. “Stain marks can be left on them if oil or water spills aren’t wiped down quickly.” So, it’s advisable to use coasters and placemats and wiping down any spillages as quickly as possible. But don’t fret as the store offers complimentary varnishing services for their natural teak pieces which can help to prevent against water and oil stains. If this isn’t making you have second thoughts, then you’re all ready to get your hands on a natural wood coffee table!
Besides natural wood, the store also carries contemporary handcrafted coffee tables with glass tops and metal legs. “Glass-top coffee tables are the next ‘in’ thing,” says Jonathan. “Coffee table sets are also coming back into trend.” The store carries Notre Monde nesting coffee table sets and low tray-table sets that are great space-saving solutions for small living rooms. Having said that, unfinished wood coffee tables are also predicted to stay at the top of the trend list – so check out the sleek Duplex Coffee Table or the Naomi Coffee Table.
From end May 2018, look out for coffee tables from the Ancestors collection, offering a mix of contemporary shapes with hand-carved ethnic motifs.
Journey East founder Anita Sam advises shoppers to keep an open mind when looking for a coffee table. “Although most customers may already have an idea on the style of their space, mixing and matching can often lead to pleasantly surprising results.” To this end, Journey East carries a wide range of functional coffee tables to fit most living spaces, from vintage and retro, to rustic, industrial, Scandinavian and modern.
“Think about whether you need the coffee table to work as the highlight to bring colour or attention to the room, or if you need it to blend in to the rest of the space,” says Anita. She also suggests keeping in mind how the coffee table will be used. Will you require a shelf under the top to store newspapers and magazines, for example, or are drawers needed for storing knick-knacks?
Antique Coffee Tables
It’s always nice to add in a little piece of history or two to your home, and there are some interesting ways to do this with antique coffee tables. Danielle from Just Anthony points to her Tibetan-style scroll tables as a style that is becoming increasingly popular. “Tibetan-style furniture in general is trending, and this includes cabinets and chests too.” Then there are large antique daybeds that are being used as coffee tables, particularly for customers who have bigger spaces to fill. “Not only are they large and practical, but they’re great for displaying things on, and definitely conversation pieces.”
The living area has increasingly become a space where people convene to socialise and eat as well, so a coffee table that can double as a dining spot can be a hit. The Chiva coffee table from BoConcept has versatility on its side with its size and height, and there’s a nifty pull-out tray that adds more height for someone who wants to sit back on the sofa while eating a meal. With this increased focus on functionality and aesthetics of coffee-table design, this is a perfect example of when a coffee table not only makes a statement stylistically, but also performs a function for everyday use.
Table Form and Function
If you’ve played it safe with your sofa or other living room furniture, the coffee table is a great way to inject some personality into a room. “The coffee table is a chance to say a little more about your style and add character to a home,” explains Geri Murphy from Originals.
She also advises that you find something that’s easy to maintain, as it’s a high-usage piece of furniture. “Also, if you have kids, you want them to survive it, or the other way round, so it needs to be durable, without sharp edges, and it should be able to sustain wear and tear while still looking like a valued piece of furniture.” A coffee table can be one of those buys that you take through from home to home, and country to country, so choosing wisely is a must.
Taylor B might be known for its American looks and brands, but it also carries plenty of other styles, as well as furniture made from some interesting materials such as tamarind wood from Thailand and petrified wood from Indonesia. “Petrified wood is wood that has turned to stone and is polished to a high gloss,” explains Anthony Desaram from Taylor B. He notes that customers have increasingly been asking for “live-edge” coffee tables. “This refers to the natural edge of the wood, that is left intact, resulting in a totally modern way to update a rustic look.”
379 Upper Paya Lebar Road
6283 4782 | justanthony.com
If you found this article helpful, check out our home section for many more furniture ideas and styling tips.