When 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
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.
You 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
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.
This 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
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!
Depending 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!