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What is the Difference Between the Coffee Table and the Center Table?

Difference Between the Coffee Table and the Center Table

The terms "coffee table" and "center table" are often used interchangeably, but there are actually some important differences between the two pieces of furniture. So, when should you use a coffee table, and when is a center table the better choice?

Coffee Tables

Generally speaking, coffee tables are smaller than center tables and are meant to be placed in front of a sofa or other seating area. They're perfect for holding drinks, snacks, remote controls, books, and other small items.

Center Tables

Center tables, on the other hand, are typically larger and meant to be placed in the middle of a room. They're great for displaying decorative items, family photos, or even serving as a makeshift dining table.

Similarities and Differences

The coffee table and the center table are both pieces of furniture that can be used to add style and function to a living room. Both tables typically have a flat surface, which can be used for placing drinks, books, or other items. However, there are some key differences between the coffee table and the center table.


A coffee table is typically used as a place to put drinks or other items that will be used by people who are sitting in the living room. In contrast, a center table is often used as a decorative piece and may not be used for practical purposes as often.

One of the most important uses for coffee tables and center tables is to provide a focal point for your living room. Coffee tables and center tables are typically placed in the middle of the living room, acting as a centerpiece around which the rest of the furniture is arranged. This makes them an essential part of any living room's design. And because they take up so much space, it's important to choose tables that fit both your style and your needs.

Choosing a Table

So, which type of table is right for your home? It really depends on the space you have available and how you want to use it. For smaller living rooms, or for areas where the table will be primarily used for practical purposes, a coffee table may be the better choice. If you're looking for a place to kick up your feet and relax with a cup of coffee, then a coffee table is probably the way to go.

Consider Function

In terms of function, coffee tables and center tables can either be extremely useful or completely unnecessary. It all depends on your individual needs. For example, if you entertain guests often, then you'll probably want to choose a coffee table that doubles as a storage space. This way, you can store coasters, napkins, and other entertaining essentials within easy reach. On the other hand, if you don't entertain often or you don't have a lot of stuff to store, then you can probably get away with choosing a more simple and elegant coffee table.

Think About Size

Coffee tables and center tables come in all different sizes, so it's important to choose one that will fit comfortably in your living room. Measure the space where you plan on putting the table before you start shopping so that you know exactly how much space you have to work with.

Be Selective with Your Materials

Think about what kind of materials you want your coffee table or center table to be made from. Wood is always a classic choice, but there are also many different types of metal and glass options available. Consider what would best match the rest of your living room's décor before making your final choice.

Coffee tables and center tables can be a great addition to any living room, but only if you take the time to choose the right ones. Keep your overall style and needs in mind and take measurements of your living room before you start shopping.

Partner with the experts at Bel Furniture Company in Houston to find the perfect coffee table or center table for your home. Our design team can help you bring your vision to life.

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