The coffee table is an oft overlooked piece of furniture, but the right coffee table can make or break a living room. But what makes a coffee table a coffee table? And what modern styles are out there? We here at Padstyle are here to answer all of your coffee table-related questions.

Possibly the most defining feature of a coffee table is its long, low shape. It normally has shorter legs than a side table or a bistro table, and it is usually oval or rectangle as opposed to circular or square in shape. This is so that it can be placed in front of a sofa and compliment its long form and be at just the right height for easy access to anything on its surface.

However, not all coffee tables are created equal. These basic features don’t come close to describing a truly modern coffee table. Some are tall, some are short; some are wide, some are thin; some are made of wood, some are made of glass; and all of them can compliment their surroundings if placed appropriately.

You can have a coffee table that matches a handful of side tables, or you can create an eclectic look using a variety of shapes and styles. The coffee table you choose can be made of glass, wood, chrome, plastic or any material of your choosing, as long as it is sturdy and stable.

A coffee table is an integral part of a living room, because it centers all the other furniture. Your sofa set will pop if you incorporate the right coffee table – but it could fizzle if you choose the wrong one. Coffee tables are also used as a gathering place, so you’ll likely want yours to be warm and inviting.

Consider size, placement, texture and material when picking out your coffee table – you’ll thank yourself later.