So much more than just a place to put a cup of coffee, a magazine and the TV remote, coffee tables are the centrepiece of every stylish living room and say more about you and your decorating style than you would initially think. Above all, they’re flexible and functional, but there’s a plethora of them around, so deciding which to go for can prove tricky. Fortunately, here’s our pick of the best online options to help you find exactly the right one …
The best for multi-level flexibility
The search for the ultimate coffee table often comes down to getting one thing right – namely the height, although this can be more difficult than you think. Often you end up wanting surfaces at different heights – somewhere lower to display ornaments and books, with a higher level for drinks and refreshments. Luckily, Moroso’s slick Chandigarh table (named after the Punjab city created by design legend Le Corbusier) has tops at two heights, making it the perfect piece of flexible furniture!
The best for fuss-free simplicity
The Scandinavian simplicity of Danish designer Cecilie Manz’s Airy table takes a lot of beating in the style stakes. So named due to its light and airy nature, the strength of this piece lies in its ability to be unerringly practical without overpowering a space. In short, the oval-shaped plywood laminate top offers you a decent amount of space to work with, while the minimal welded steel base is strong without being heavy and clunky. Available in black, grey and off-white, it’s also possible to work it into most colour schemes.
The best for mixed materials
London-based Spanish designer Hayon is famed for his stylish creations made using sensuous curves and soft edges, and his Palette collection of tables and desks for Danish brand &Tradition is no exception. The joy in this piece of furniture lies in the celebration of the different materials used in its construction, fusing ash veneer, black marble and brass, collected together on an elegant and light black steel frame. Think of it more as a functional sculpture at the centre of your living space – as joyous to simply look at as it is to use.
The best for a stylish storage solution
Coffee tables aren’t simply about having something to put things on or somewhere to display beautiful items. Thanks to our compact living spaces and cluttered lives, we need our furniture to work harder. Take Menu’s Turning coffee table. Yes, it’s an elegant and simple example of modern design, but its strength lies in the fact that it also has substantial storage within, perfect for concealing the detritus of modern life: remotes, chargers, post and papers, all which can be hidden by simply swivelling the round top over the base.
The best for fans of British craftsmanship
Many have the misconception that The White Company only sells products that are white, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Granted, the company is popular for towels and bedlinen, but it also offers some stunning pieces of furniture. The Brocklesby coffee table, for instance, is a lesson in beautiful British craft, handmade by the Galvin Brothers – a family-run joinery firm from Yorkshire. It’s the perfect combination of modern and rustic, made with robust ash that’s treated with a white-wax finish.
The best if you’re after some art deco luxury
Green marble and gold leaf. It’s hard to find two finishes that work better together or scream ultra-luxury as much as these. Many would think these materials too expensive and way out of the reach of mere mortals – but that’s just not the case. As proven by Swoon Editions’ Praia coffee table, which offers both for a price tag of under £400 – rather impressive these days. Team it with a sumptuous velvet-covered sofa and deep-pile rug, for an indulgent deco vibe in your home.
The best for not dominating a space
Daniel Schofield is one of the hottest new talents on the British design scene, with projects for a number of the country’s biggest brands. His pieces are definitely worth investing in, including this innovative glass coffee table. It features a clear-cut top, resting on a base fashioned from fluted glass, elegantly crafted using high-pressure water jets. Why care? Well, the totally clear table will never dominate any space, while the way light plays through the fluted supports looks utterly beautiful. All in all, coffee table perfection!
The best if you want to go classic and timeless
Traditionalists searching for an ideal coffee table need look no further than Neptune’s Turnberry, which has the look and timeless feel of an antique piece. Made from pine, it has turned legs based on refectory trestle-table designs, which have been around since the middle ages and stand out because this technique exposes the different layers and patterns in the wood grain. The table still has a contemporary look, thanks to the fact that the pine has a soft, grey-toned finish, which looks more like naturally weathered timber than you would normally expect from this wood.
The best if you’re looking for style on a budget
Nomad coffee table, Argos (£184.99)
Lovers of that industrial, warehouse-style living aesthetic are bound to fall for Argos’s brilliantly priced Nomad coffee table. Combining a worn oak-effect finish with textured black metal supports, this piece wouldn’t look out of place in any urban living room. And it’s not just the price that makes it attractive. Talk about being practical – with its hardwearing glass top and four sturdy drawers, that are ideal for concealing all your bits and bobs, it’s the perfect marriage of simple storage and style.
The best for understated glamour
Perch & Parrow’s Merial table ticks all the boxes. It may look like an example of high-end Italian design – with its glass top, sleek black metal frame with aged finish and sophisticated proportions – yet impressively it can be yours for under £350. It’s simple and also exudes class. Then there’s the fact it features smoked glass and an oxidised metal coating on its supports, two elements pushing it to the front of the queue when it comes to current interiors trends.
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