Finding the right cocktail table is no easy task.
For decades now, we have been asking the age old question of whether it’s ‘coffee table’ or ‘cocktail table’. After asking around and a bit of research, I have come to the conclusion that, these days, it’s simply a matter of preference. For example, you might find a couch in a living room in a house with a backyard, where one finds a sofa in a drawing room in a home with a garden. Got the idea? Anyway, as the song goes, “let’s call the whole thing off”, and just find the perfect table for in front of that sofa (as I like to call it).
The cocktail table can be the focal point of the main room in your home, so it should either make a statement or disappear. As a designer, there are a few guidelines I consider when I am shopping for the perfect cocktail table for a project.
1.What is the ideal shape?
Take an inventory of what is going on in the room. Are there a lot of rectangular pieces of furniture, i.e. sofa, chairs, side tables, credenza, all square or rectangular? You would want to go with something either round or sculptural.
The round brass cocktail table is the perfect compliment to the Damien Hirst piece above the sofa.
This futuristic round metallic cocktail table is the perfect accent in this colorful classic/contemporary room.
2. Is all of your furniture solid and upholstered and ‘heavy’ looking?
You may want to consider something lighter, like glass, or lighter in color with narrow legs, so that it disappears except for the objects you style atop.
These chic avant-garde Yves Klein cocktail tables side by side make quite a bold color statement in the most subtle way in this wonderfully neutral room.
A play on the mancave, a coffee table constructed of two nautical ropes in sailor knots encased in lucite gives a contemporary look to a bohemian concept.
3. What is the style of your apartment?
Is it classic, chic, whimsical, bohemian or avant-garde? If it’s all one style type, consider using the cocktail table to break it up or make a statement. We have explored deeply the concept of juxtaposition and eclecticism in interior design, so consider this when shopping.
The very chic home of 1st Dibs founder Michael Bruno in Tuxedo Park is a study in shades of grey but most interesting is the LaVerne ‘Chan’ cocktail table in brass with chinoiserie.
Here are some great ideas to inspire you and illustrate how to apply these guidelines and a few fabulous finds from High Style Deco and 1st Dibs.
Artfully sculptural tables can make quite a statement in a classic room.
Using a three-part cocktail table in this rather narrow room not only looks wildly chic, but allows for the three seats to each have access to the table while keeping the flow of the room organic.
This chic little mid century round cocktail table in a bleached finish lends itself perfectly to the flow of this creamy dreamy room.
This architectural 1981 Paolo Piva cocktail table for B&B Italia is perfect in the minimalist Malibu home. It’s perfectly chic and functional but completely unobtrusive.
This Charlotte Perriand cocktail table is the perfect fit with the other rectangular pieces of furniture in this bit of neutral perfection.
This simple round coffee table is perfect in a room filled with such sculptural objects as the Vladimir Kagan sofa.
An incredible arrangement using a pair of cocktail tables in the Paris apartment by one of our favorite designers, Jean Louis Deniot – Using two coffee tables or any complimentary pieces is always a chic solution.
Find these cocktail tables on 1stdibs.com.