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Some people consider the look of a coffee table their number one priority and may prefer a very large coffee table for maximum visual impact. Others prefer to maximize the amount of floor space available for other uses.
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The choices that you make regarding the size, shape, cost, material and style of the coffee table are thus vitally important to making your living room a welcoming space and setting the tone that you desire for your home.
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Glass Coffee Tables: A glass coffee table can be an excellent choice for small rooms as they helping to make the room feel more spacious and airy. They can also lend a very modern feel to a room that might otherwise look dated. Caution should be used where small children might be likely to use the room however. Although glass tables will be made of toughened glass it is not impossible to break one. Safety should always come first.
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The coffee table should be suitable to your living style. If you rarely use it, possibly only to serve your guest a cup of coffee, choose a small, simple table. If it is likely to get used as a place for your favourite magazines, flower vase, bowl, then go for a spacious table with drawers. To show off decorative accessories (shells, stones, photos) choose a table by the window. For a small space, choose the set of two or three tables of different sizes, which usually is stored underneath one another, and occasionally, when the situation requires, all three tables can be used.
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As a general guideline it is preferable to have a minimum of two feet around each side of the coffee table and it should be reachable, without standing, from each of the seating areas. Some people also suggest that your coffee table should be no larger than sixty percent of your sofas length.
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The coffee table has become customary in our living rooms, and, although we all have one in our home, few know that coffee tables, as the Ottoman Empire, originate in Turkey. If Ottoman largely retained its form, then the coffee table has evolved over time. It nearly became a completely different piece of furniture. Today, a coffee table is no longer subject to strict utility and it has become almost an art piece, which is often the focal point of the room. The coffee table was neglected in favor of sofas, armchairs and chairs for a long time. But right now, all professional designers acknowledge their importance. They got reasons: a coffee table is more versatile and easier to combine than any other piece of furniture from the living room. Basically, it sets the tone for the room. If you prefer to draw attention to the couch, then you would choose a simple but appropriate table. However, coffee table styles and colours should follow the ambiance of the entire room.
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Glass coffee tables look elegant and modern and can make a room look lighter and more airy. However, they can also represent a hazard to small children and adults alike. This is because in the US there is no requirement for glass tables to be made from tempered glass. Tempered glass is a glass that has been treated so that if shattered it splits into small, regular shaped cubes that are unlikely to cause injury. However, many tables are not made from this kind of glass. Many coffee tables are in fact made from a thicker sheet of ordinary cheaper glass. If this glass shatters it can splinter into long spikes that can easily pierce the body. For this reason it is vitally important to check when purchasing a glass coffee table whether it has been made with tempered glass. Not only should you ask the sales assistant but you should seek confirmation that their response is truthful as it can be very hard to tell what type of glass a table is made from just by looking. You might consider it unlikely that it will shatter, but people do fall, particularly children. Even sitting on a table when distracted could cause it to shatter and inflict life shattering injuries.
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The Modern Alternative Modern furniture is frequently constructed from MDF (medium density fiberboard) which is strong and easy to maintain whilst also being able to be manipulated into almost any shape. The beauty of real wood by contrast however is that it can be repaired and restored whereas MDF cannot be.
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Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a coffee table is the cost. Think about your habits and how you use your table. Do you like to sit on the sofa with your legs up on the table? Then you will need a square ottoman style table. You need space for storing magazines or other such pieces? You need a table with several drawers or shelves or you can go for one looking like a bottom drawer. Your living room is the meeting place of friends? You need a large table so you can fit lots glasses or cups on it. You want a big meal, but not always have enough space? Choose a "nest" of tables, meaning three tables of different sizes that can be used separately, but can be tidied away beneath one and other.
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Wooden coffee tables have less safety problems as a rule than glass ones; however there are still hazards that can exist. One of the particular dangers commonly encountered is the problem of small children learning to walk who injure themselves on sharp corners. Many baby and parenting shops and even IKEA now sell corner bumpers; small rounded foam or plastic caps that help to prevent injury. Whilst these are not too attractive to look at they are a great way to prevent accidents and only need to be used for a relatively small time whilst your child is in their toddler phase. Similarly there are now "bumpers" available that can be run along the edges of any wooden coffee table. These are heavily padded lengths of material that fix to the surface to prevent injury. They can later be removed when no longer needed.