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Coffee table distance from sofa?

Posted by gaw1 (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 14, 08 at 12:40

I am trying to determine the ideal size for a new coffee table that will sit between two sofas that face each other.

I read on BH&G that the length should be between 1/2 to 2/3 the length of the sofa.

I figure the width should be based on how far apart my sofas are and how much walking room is required between sofa and table. Any rules about the "walking room" between sofa and table?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Coffee table distance from sofa?

It's funny but I was in someone's home recently and everything was perfectly done--except for one thing: the coffee table felt way too close to the couch, for me anyway. I think it's a personal thing that depends on how tall you are, whether you're trying to walk past someone else who is also sitting there, etc. Our coffee table is 18" from the loveseat and about 21" from the couch, but I think it gets moved around a lot so people can put their feet up. (It's temporary furniture.)

Do a mock up in your room or take a trip to the local furniture store, and bring your tape measure.


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RE: Coffee table distance from sofa?

This might help:

Measuring Space - How Much Room Do You Really Need?

by Pamela Cole Harris

When planning your home décor, it is vitally important to understand your space needs. Do you have enough room to open any doors? Can you walk from one side of the room to the other without climbing over the furniture? Here are some rules to keep in mind when you plan your room update:

1. Living Room - Keep in mind that for good conversational and traffic flow, keep at least 4-10 feet between sofa and chairs. Place your coffee table between 14-18 inches from the sofa (although I would only use 18 inches if you have lonnnnng arms!).

2. Family Room - To the above rules about sofa and chair placement, add the viewing area needed for a television. To view a 30 inch TV screen, the sofa or chair should be at least 90 inches away (but not so far that you have to change your glasses prescription to view!). To create an easy flow in any room, there should be traffic lanes which are at least three feet wide.

3. Dining Room - A seated adult at a round or square table usually occupies a depth of about 20 inches with at least 12-16 inches more to pull back a chair. Rectangular tables need at least 24 inches per person and about 32-36 inches clearance between table and walls. On the serving side, the table to wall distance should be at least 44 inches.

4. Bedroom - For maximum comfort, the distance from the bed to the wall should be at least 24 inches. To allow any door to open easily, there should be 36 inches between the bed and the door.

Knowing how much space you really need in a room can make planning your space much easier. Be sure to measure your room height and length, the size of windows and check to see of your room is "true" or square before you place your furniture. Doing so will help avert a potential disaster like buying a king-size bed for a queen-size room!

This content provided by Home and Garden Makeover


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RE: Coffee table distance from sofa?

I just read, although I can't remember where, a coffee table should be approximately 15" from the sofa.


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RE: Coffee table distance from sofa?

Well, I have always thought the 12-14 inches was a way to get my shins banged up or maybe a visitor's shins who perhaps had diabetes or some blood dyscrasias and would likely sue me if that happened so I think 24 inches is good for me. Whatever floats one's boats or cracks one's legs.


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RE: Coffee table distance from sofa?

Mine has to be close enough so I can put my feet up on it!


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RE: Coffee table distance from sofa?

Thanks for all the tips. I think I'm going to go with 18"


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RE: Coffee table distance from sofa?

Patricia, how do people relaxing on your couch reach their drink on the coffee table at 24 inches away? I measured that distance and I couldn't make use of the coffee table unless I moved all the way forward to the edge of the couch to reach the drink. Of course, I have short arms, but that still seems a long distance away.


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RE: Coffee table distance from sofa?

I just measured mine because I was curious. It's 14" which I thought was a little too close, but I have rather large furniture in a not-large room so it almost has to be that close. And as I mentioned, it has to be close enough for me to put my feet on, and I'm short! I'm glad to see it's considered in the "normal" range according to the article quoted here. If I had a little more space, I might push it out a couple more inches, so I'd say 16" is probably ideal.


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RE: Coffee table distance from sofa?

They deleted the spam that resurrected this post ... now we are left with a zombie thread!!!


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