Coffee tables are for more than just perching your cuppa on. They’re also a way to show off your favourite magazine collection (hi!) or fancy photography books, or, if you have children, to display their latest art project. They come in a vast array of finishes, materials, heights, sizes and shapes. But how do you choose one that will work for you?
The Soul & Tables collection includes natural wood, stone and glass-topped pieces. Managing Director JONATHAN ROELANDTS explains that it’s important to find out if you’re suited to owning one made of natural wood before buying one. “Natural wood will usually change its 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 if oil or water spills aren’t wiped down quickly.”
Having said that, unfinished wood coffee tables are predicted to stay at the top of the trend list – so check out the store’s sleek Burger or Naomi collections.
Jonathan suggests using coasters and placemats on natural wood tables and wiping up spillages quickly. But don’t fret: the store offers complimentary varnishing services for its natural teak pieces, which can help to prevent against water and oil stains.
Another tip is to go for nesting or glass-top coffee tables for smaller spaces. The store carries Notre Monde handcrafted nesting sets and low tray-table sets, which are great space-saving solutions for small living rooms.
The store has also just introduced the Stone Coffee Table, comprising a Carrara marble top and black metal frame. Natural stone, such as marble, is one of the top looks for 2019. “Having marble tables is also the best way to add texture to minimal spaces and elevate rooms without overdoing it. Check out our Anders collection for other marble-topped pieces.”
#02-01 & #02-03 Tan Boon Liat Building
315 Outram Road
9272 1545 | soulandtables.com.sg
Online retailer Snow Globe believes you should consider your lifestyle and needs before deciding on material. “Whether you’re single or married, or with or without children, can impact your choice of coffee table.”
They add some advice for those with young children: “A glass top table may not work as there is a danger the kids will climb on it. We would recommend something more durable like a wooden-top.”
Consider Your Style and Decor
The next element you need to consider is the style and décor of the living room. “For example, if you have a lot of wooden furniture around the house, you may want to use a different material for your coffee table as a nice contrast. I really love the look of marble for this.”
Look at how much space you have and the length of your sofa. “If you have a long sofa but a narrow space then get a long rectangular or oval coffee table that’s not too wide. With a very large space get a coffee table that is substantial enough to fill the space so that it looks proportionate. For small spaces and you need more table space when guests come, you can consider nested or side table sets.” These allow smaller individual tables to be pulled out and moved to different parts of the room when there are guests, then tucked away below the bigger one when not in use so as not to clutter the space.
“We have coffee tables for clients with varying needs. We can also custom-make tables to your specific requirements. This is an increasingly popular option now because of the limited spaces we have in Singapore homes.”
By appointment only:
#02-131 Midview City
28 Sin Ming Lane
8748 7363 | snowglobe.sg
Coffee table style
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 ones 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 it 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?
#03-02 Tan Boon Liat Building
315 Outram Road
6473 1693 | journeyeast.com
Antique Coffee Tables
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 LEE 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.”
379 Upper Paya Lebar Road
6283 4782 | justanthony.com
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.
Geri advises that you should 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 around – 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.
#05-02/03, 1 Bukit Batok St 22
6471 9918 | originals.com.sg
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 (wood that has turned to stone and is polished to a high gloss).
The Taylor B team notes that many customers have been increasingly asking for “live-edge” coffee tables, where the natural edge of the wood is left intact. The result? A totally modern way to update a rustic look!
43 Keppel Road
6225 7090 | taylorbdesign.com
If you found this article helpful, check out our home section for many more furniture ideas and styling tips.