How to Pair a Sectional Sofa with the Appropriate Coffee Table

How to Pair a Sectional Sofa with the Appropriate Coffee Table - roomfortuesday.comWhen it comes to shopping for a coffee table for your sectional sofa, sometimes it can become tricky to find the right shape and size that fits. One of my design pet peeves is when I see a coffee table that just doesn’t work with a sectional – either it’s the wrong size (too big or too small), the wrong shape (like pairing a long skinny rectangular table with an L shaped sectional), or wrong style (such as having too much of the same style in one space). Sofa sectionals sometimes get a bad rep, but personally I love that they offer so much seating and comfort. They’re really practical and beautiful, if styled correctly. In this post, I’m sharing common sectional styles and the coffee table options that work best alongside them. Hopefully this will take some of the worry out of shopping for a new coffee table / sectional combo! Click through for more…

S Q U A R E    O R    C O R N E R    S E C T I O N A L S

How to Pair a Sectional Sofa with the Appropriate Coffee Table -

above sectional source link

This style of sectional is widely used, typically has two arms on each end, and comes as a three-piece set. It’s great for large and small spaces. It can be used in the middle of a large room or pushed toward the corner of a small space (like Sarah’s current living room). With this style of sofa, I’d suggest using a round, or square coffee table.

How to Pair a Sectional Sofa with the Appropriate Coffee Table - roomfortuesday.comYou wouldn’t want a coffee table that extends beyond the length of the sofa and keep in mind, it’s ideal that everyone sitting on the sofa could reach the table. Therefore, it needs to fill the negative space evenly. To achieve this look, opt for a coffee table that is 2/3 the length of your sofa and no more than a couple inches higher or lower that the sofas seat height. Depending on the shape of your sofa (consider the arm style, seat cushion style, etc), it’s ideal to choose a contrasting coffee table. For example, Sarah’s sofa (shown above) has a square arm and back, therefore a round coffee table helps to soften the shape. Check out my favorite round options below!

Click on each coffee table to shop!


I’m currently on the hunt for a new round coffee table for our living room and let me tell you…they can be hard to find! We have an L-shaped sectional and a mid-century modern side table that has a pretty “leggy” base. For that reason I have been searching for something with a drum shape so it’s not too similar to the other furniture already in the room. I love number 10! Casey of The DIY Playbook used it in her home and I love how she styled it. From this roundup I also love number 7 (a budget-friendly version of this coffee table).

L – S H A P E D    /    C H A I S E    S E C T I O N A L S

How to Pair a Sectional Sofa with the Appropriate Coffee Table -

above sectional source link

L-shaped or sectionals with a chaise lounge have one thing in common- they’re both shaped like an L. That seems obvious, right? One side is longer than the other.

How to Pair a Sectional Sofa with the Appropriate Coffee Table - roomfortuesday.comThis sofa style looks best complimented with a rectangular or oval coffee table- something that fits the elongated negative space. In some cases a round or odd / organic shaped coffee table or ottoman will also work.


I love a classic rectangular coffee table! I really wish we could use one in our living room because there are so many amazing options out there, but the truth is they just don’t work with the shape of sofa I have. If we ever part ways with our sectional and decide to purchase a regular sofa I will most likely pair a rectangular or oval table with it. Remember…these usually only work with a chaise style sectional or U-shape sectional (depending on size).

U – S H A P E D    S E C T I O N A L S

How to Pair a Sectional Sofa with the Appropriate Coffee Table -

above sectional source link

U-shaped sectionals are great for large spaces and provide maximum seating. They immediately make a room feel cozy and casual with their two extended sides. Since everyone can face each other, this shape of sofa is perfect for easy conversation!

Pairing Sectional Sofas and Coffee Tables - rooDepending on the length of your sofa, a square, rectangular, or oval coffee table would work best with this style- as long as the negative space is filled. These pieces often look large and cumbersome, so in addition to a coffee table, side tables are definitely a necessity to balance the scale & proportion. Notice in the image above, the extra large desk or console table being used as a side table? That’s a good, intentional design decision!


From the roundup, I absolutely love number 1 (added bonus…it has storage) and number 6, because they’re both super child-friendly! Sometimes you have to be cautious of sharp edges when you have kids running around- another thing to consider when sourcing a coffee table.

Hopefully this post makes it a bit easier to determine which shape coffee table works the best with your sofa. Feel free to leave questions in the comment section below! I’ll also drop a shopping slider with prices (hover to view) below. Next up… styling the coffee table. I think Sarah is working on a post for that soon. Stay tuned!

image sources : studio mcgee (intro image) // room for tuesday (square sectional) // emily henderson (l-shaped sectional) // mark weinberg (u-shaped sectional)


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  1. My wife was searching for new classy coffee table and I’m very sure that she will just love these mentioned options. Very interesting info and much expressive writing. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I have a square sectional and fell in love with a rectangle coffee table and bought it before thinking… The table would not come out any further than the sectional on the long side but of course on the other side of the sectional, would be the short side of the table. Can I do this and have it look good?

    1. Hi Cheri, of course every scenario is different, but it’s all about balancing! Maybe try to find a heavier weighted plant to side table to balance out the short side. Otherwise, I’d stick with a round, square, or organic shaped option. Hope this helps! xo

  3. I had a styling question about a sofa I love but am unsure if it will work. I currently have a plain white sofa. I am very interested in getting a chaise sectional one and fell in love with the Textured Cotton Angelina Two-Piece Chaise Sectional from Anthro or something similar shape, however, I LOVE my current coffee table. Its an actual mid century modern dark wood table passed down from my grandparents from Norway and I refuse to not use it! I know coffee tables should typically be shorter than the sofa portion (minus the chaise that sticks out). My coffee table is roughly 82 inches long. If I moved it slightly away from the chaise end it would go longer than the other end of the sofa, would this look off and just too crowded like the tables too big? Thanks for your styling advice!

  4. Lyndsey Buchanan says:

    Hi. I have a sectional, a 2 cushion on the left, corner, 2 cushion across the back, and then a chaise on the right. I think I want a round table, that it will be easier to get in and out on both sides. What do you think??

  5. Hi, I have 2 sofas that face each other leaving a large space between. One large ottoman is not enough to be functional as neither side becomes that usable to put a drink on without physically standing up to set it down. How do i pair 2 options? Like maybe a rectangular ottoman on one side and 2 cubes or a pair of small coffee tables on the other, or 2 matching ottomans, or 4 cubes?!? It’s a dilemma!

  6. Benjamin D Sanford says:

    Interested in that very first large round dark wood coffee table, can someone point me in that direction?

  7. Christa Ward says:

    I LOVE the coffee table with the “tufted ottoman like” top And distressed carved wood base (photo with u-shaped chambray couch). Where would I find that or something similar?!

  8. Bethany Richardson says:

    Got my new conch yesterday. It’s somewhat of a combination of the l-shaped and u-shaped sectional. It’s like anl-shape but with a chaise added on one end. So like a u with one side shorter, or something like a lowercase f without the crossbar. I am perplexed about what will fit. It’s like I need an l-shaped coffee table to Tetris into it.

    1. Yay! That’s exciting, Bethany! Maybe a custom coffee table is in order? Or try clustering or nesting 2-3 tables to fit the shape. That might be your best bet!

  9. Helen Zhang says:

    Hi! Thanks for the post :) it made me start thinking about how to consciously redesign my space! One part did strike me though which was “having too much of the same style in one space.” I live in a 1 bedroom condo so the kitchen extends to the living room. I have a huge rectangular white island and wasn’t sure if I should go for a circular or rectangular coffee table. I was hoping you could give an opinion on that. My sofa is a small 3 seater with a separate ottoman so I thought a rectangular coffee table would work but finding something small enough has proven to be quite difficult, which is why I’m considering circle. Thank you!

  10. I have a u shaped sectional with 2 chaise loungers on either side that fills the whole wall – in loft with just tv and tv stand on opposite wall – not sure what kind of coffee table to put with it as it is a large area and I dont want the table to be lost in it – any ideas

    1. You could maybe try some nesting tables, Barbara! Or potentially a round ottoman or something that tucks into the U shaped nook?