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Coffee tables fit a visually obvious void in most living spaces. Without one, the immense burden of gripping your beverage throughout a 45 min streaming episode is almost unbearable. A living room without a coffee table suffers from a lack of real, usable surface area and even storage space. While coffee tables most likely won’t be the most expensive furniture investment you make, they can get pricey.
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What the Experts Say
This brings to mind the age-old question of what reasonable looks like when buying furniture. What might be affordable or reasonable for one individual doesn’t always translate to the next. If you’re in your 20s and just settling into your first real adult apartment, it may feel like anything less than $500 (or better yet a thrift) that costs more energy to refurbish than the actual coin. If you’re a bit older and shopping for a home, that max easily bumps up to $1,000 or more. According to Diana Farberov, a Brooklyn-based interior designer, a $200-$500 price range is a sweet spot for a wide selection of quality coffee table options.
Erin Delander, owner of Much Love Interiors and an expert in helping all people thrive in their interior environments, also points out that affordable is not just a synonym for cheap. You don’t want furniture that looks cheap, you want good-quality affordable furniture. In terms of price, it’s important to define what’s reasonable for your price range and decor budget. If it’s something that you plan on keeping and moving with you from home to home, consider investing in higher quality furniture that will survive more years of wear and tear.
Farberov also says the affordability of furniture varies from piece to piece, but size and material often dictate the cost. Consider the actual size of the piece you’re hoping to add to your decor.
Farberov shares that if you’re working with a tight budget, materiality greatly influences price. She recommends avoiding stone coffee tables and instead opting for glass or wood ones. She also suggests metal as an affordable material available in a wide range of colors. If you’re desperate for stone or more expensive materials, check out resell sites to get better deals.
Building your own coffee table is another budget-friendly tip Farberov recommends. She’s made them from large planters with a stone or wood top using materials from a local hardware store. Rectangular wooden boxes can be elevated with a unique tile and offer a custom design touch. If you’re looking for a quick solution, Delander even suggests resurfacing milk crates with a mirror or other top. If you’re not in a pinch, but are still looking for an affordable coffee table, she recommends buying and refinishing one to match your decor.
Calgary Coffee Table
West Elm’s Calgary Coffee Table combines several elements that make a coffee table worth the money. For starters, the price is impeccable. A wood veneer top with a solid wood frame table selling for less than $500 is a fantastic deal. It’s also a great size for any living room at just under 4’ in length. It’s also tiered, so you get the benefit of added storage.
Overall the design is a standard midcentury modern style without too much frill. That means it’ll easily incorporate into your existing decor without draining your bank account.
BEST UNDER $750
Carta Coffee Table
It’s available in two finishes, oak and walnut depending on your preference, and also offers a couple of style options for the legs. The table also has added concealed storage that will fit extra remotes, journals, batteries, and any other living room paraphernalia that you don’t want getting lost between couch cushions.
BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
Mid-Century Double Pop-Up Coffee Table
While this might be on the higher end of a price range, the Pop-Up Coffee Table made the list because it’s a workhorse. The value from the added storage, mixed material, and adjustable work surface height makes this table more of a pocket knife with tons of hidden tools than just a coffee table.
MOST AFFORDABLE TRUNK SOLUTION
Faux Leather XXL Dorm Trunk
Trunks are a smart cost-saving solution for a coffee table. You get the perk of having a coffee table-like surface that’s a perfect height for drinks and kicking your feet up and the bonus of a lot more storage space than typical coffee tables offer. While the flagship Pottery Barn store doesn’t always boast the lowest prices, Pottery Barn Teen is actually an affordable solution.
The faux leather is also a nice touch. It adds some texture and depth to the chest. Because it’s technically a “teen collection,” there’s a wide selection of colors and you can choose whichever fits your style most.
BEST UNDER $500
Alana Coffee Table
Farberov suggests this simple, modern coffee table from Urban Outfitters. She’s a big fan of the metal design, which she pointed out as a cost-saving coffee table material option. It’s a fun design with multiple tiers of storage, making it cool and functional.
MOST AFFORDABLE COFFEE TABLE
Rustic Natural Rectangular Coffee Table
Erin Delander recommends this rustic coffee table from Homary. This combines a wood block with metal legs for something that is both a bit industrial and modern. It’ll work in most spaces as a neutral piece.
BEST ROUND COFFEE TABLE
Rose Park Round Wood Coffee Table – Threshold™ designed with Studio McGee
Delander picked out this circular wooden coffee table from Target. The simple wood design is modern and will work in most living room spaces. A circular table always offers ample surface-top functionality and style.
BEST UNDER $1,000
Vernon Rectangular Natural 56″ Pine Wood Coffee Table with Shelf
The natural finish to this coffee table makes a statement. While it spans almost 5 feet in length, the light wood and hollow core add a lightness that will lift any space in which it resides. If a light finish isn’t your speed, the charcoal option is more sleek and modern.
This is a great base for a coffee table book and knickknack styling. The hollow core isn’t just for looks, it adds more storage space as well.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coffee Tables
What is a reasonable price for a coffee table?
A reasonable price depends on your budget. Since a coffee table isn’t typically an investment piece, it shouldn’t be something that stretches your budget. There are great options under $1,000 and even under $500. First, decide on what you need in a coffee table (storage, surface area, etc.) and then set a price point. Diana Farberov, a Brooklyn-based interior designer, notes that $200-$500 will offer a healthy selection of good-quality coffee tables.
Should you splurge on a coffee table?
This is definitely a personal decision. Design splurges are often made when you find something you simply cannot live without or is the missing link for your space. If the splurge is the result of an impulse and frustration, don’t do it.
What is the most common coffee table?
The most common types of coffee tables are rectangular and oval shapes. They offer the best amount of tabletop surface area, which is frequently the main coffee table necessity.
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