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Coffee tables for all spaces: Glean some expert tips on finding the right one

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?

Journey East founder Anita Sam advises you 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.” As such, Journey East has a good range of coffee tables to fit most living spaces, from vintage and retro, to rustic, industrial, Scandinavian and modern.

Coffee-Table Style

While the coffee table is the smaller relative in the family of living room furniture, you still need to consider the aesthetic of the room. “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 into the rest of the space – for example, to retain neutral tones for a neutral palette,” says Anita.

Keeping in mind how the coffee table will be used will also influence your choice in the design of the piece. Will you require a shelf under the top to store newspapers and magazines, asks Anita, or are drawers needed to store knick-knacks or those remote-controls that are so easily misplaced.

The fun and funky PLAYplay Hamburger side tables

With smaller living spaces being more commonplace, multi-functional furniture is a popular consideration. The Hamburger side tables from Journey East’s PLAYplay collection offer a removable top layer, giving you two table-tops when you have more guests to entertain.

Antique Coffee Tables

Just Anthony daybed
Large antique daybeds, like this one from Just Anthony, can work well as 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.”

Flexible Tables

BoConcept coffee table
The Chiva Coffee Table from BoConcept has versatility on its side. Priced from $1,295

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

Originals coffee table
Nomad India Corn Grinders as coffee tables, $460, Originals

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.

Table Trends

Cocktail table Taylor B
The Socialite cocktail table by Caracole has the American look associated with much of Taylor B’s furniture

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.”


Journey East
#03-02 Tan Boon Liat Building
315 Outram Road
6473 1693

Just Anthony
379 Upper Paya Lebar Road
6283 4782 | justanthony@justanthony.com

#04-01/02/03 Paragon Shopping Centre
290 Orchard Road
6763 0777 | retail@boconcept.sg

#02-03 Sime Darby Centre
896 Dunearn Road
6471 9918 | shop@originals.com.sg

Taylor B
43 Keppel Road
6225 7090 | customerservice@taylorbdesign.com

If you found this article helpful, check out our home section for many more furniture ideas and styling tips.