Need a coffee table, and other problems...

7 years ago

Firstly some scene setting:

So this 'thing' in the middle of the room, I REALLY love it, but we need a more functional coffee table. My partner has agreed it can stay as a side table... Under duress. I can't afford one of those tiny Eames side tables, and I love the industrial wrought iron on this and the trapezoid shape.

So I've got two pieces of 60s rosewood furniture, one is the bookcase behind the lounge chair. It's a really deep dark rosewood to match the chair, I love the wood's grain and the colour. I want that to stay. And...

...the other piece is this 8ft sideboard, which I really love, but can't decide if I like the kick board on. Because I can remove that. Maybe that'd be better.

This armchair, the sideboard behind it, and the empty bookshelf in the picture above (to the right of the Eames chair) are going. Have no intention of keeping any of those items so don't factor those in.

Firstly, am I crazy for liking this thing? And can I do anything to make it more appealing if it's not likeable? (I have some rosewood panels that I could cover the wood in, but don't know if that'd look trite or too matchy).

Secondly, what coffee table could I get to suit this space? My partner wants a big chunky coffee table, which I am terrified of, as everything else is intentionally sleek to maximise light under items and our space.

Thanks for looking, I have spent TOO long looking at my room I have lost perspective.

Comments (25)

  • 7 years ago

    Hi Kyle. Do you have pics of behind the sofa to see the whole space? I'd move the cabinet in the left alcove to the left slightly to give the fire more space and put the tv on top. Use a tall plant in that corner to break up the cabinet and sideboard. I'd take out the bookcase in the right alcove and put the eames in there with the lamp behind with the chair more angled towards the sofa. In terms of coffee table, I'd go for glass on legs, either round or teardrop mid century but nothing too big which can be aligned with the fire. I think you need a tall mirror over the fire and then you can have art over the eames. I'd leave the sideboard and table as they are and use the table as a side table to the sofa (on the right as you face the fire). It would be good to see other pics to see where the bookcase could potentially move to.

    Kyle Barrett thanked minnie101
  • 7 years ago

    I think the large sofa is killing the room! I had a large old sofa in the living room! It was blue and gold, very comfortable and turned into a bed for guests! But, after re-decorating and spending a fortune on a new fireplace, it just let the whole room down! Working on a budget, I know, it can be tough to get everything to correlate, and comfy, quality sofas are expensive! I managed to get a "like new" Next sofa for £150 (selling for £750 on their website) on Facebook! Keep an eye out on ebay as well, there are bargains to be had! Oh, and I like the lamp, I've got the same one in my lounge, from the Range!

    Kyle Barrett thanked Owen Powell
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  • 7 years ago
    Just at work, so will reply tonight. But took some pics as I left this morning. better idea of room
  • 7 years ago
    That coffee table needs to go. It has no quality to it. Opt for something chunkier.
    Kyle Barrett thanked Daisy England
  • 7 years ago
    Right... so here are my thoughts: since the chair and that cabinet to the left of the fireplace are going, I would put the sideboard that is currently under the window on that wall, with the TV on it.
    The current coffee table would make a good sidetable next to the sofa. I'd remove what's behind the sofa. It looks very out of place there.

    A sleek console table that doubles up as a radiator cover perhaps?

    I'm thinking that a Noguchi (reproduction) table could work in place of the current coffee table. Or a rectangular or oval mid century type wooden one.
    Kyle Barrett thanked Carolina
  • 7 years ago

    minnie101: I really like most of these ideas, the cabinet you say to move further left is going. I will be getting rid of it soon, so maybe the bookcase could go to the left of the fire. I think you're right though, the Eames looked better before it's shape was muddied by the bookcase. And I'd like to keep the table as a side table. Art and mirrors need to happen, but the mirror won't reflect anything nice behind the sofa, I'd like a mirror opposite the window to introduce light from both sides of the room. I will be doing my own art and I'd like that above the fireplace, what do you think? I also want a MCM coffee table, but my partner wants something chunky and square/rectangular. Already vetoed anything circular, I'm really struggling.

    rallyray: I couldn't get another sofa, I like this one too much (it was £5 on eBay so I'm already there on the bargain hunt - I'd love to brag about the rest of the bargains but it'd be an essay), maybe it being in the centre of the room means every photo shows it in the way, but it certainly doesn't seem that huge. Plus, a smaller sofa has already been vetoed by the other half. And yep, that lamp is from The Range! Great spot! I couldn't believe the price, I thought it was going to be trash but it's actually really nice.

    Daisy England: Do you know any particular tables you think would fit with the elements I want to keep? I do like the table, just not as a coffee table. I think the quality it has is being a lightweight and cool industrial looking side table. I'd love this as a side table instead, don't get me wrong:

    LTR Occasional Table by Charles and Ray Eames · More Info

    Carolina: Yep, I wanted the sideboard on that wall, but it won't fit, by about 40cm :( And the item behind the sofa I didn't mention because it wasn't in the original pictures, but yeah, it's not staying either, so no worries there. I LOVE the Noguchi table, it's already been vetoed otherwise I am 100% on board with that idea, I even saw some cheap knockoffs on eBay. And the mid century idea I obviously love too, but they tend not to be chunky - my partner wants something chunky and square/rectangular. I also hadn't thought of a console table to cover the radiator. So basically, thank you - lot of good advice there.

  • 7 years ago

    I love the sôund of doing your own art, I've been thinking of doing the same with oils on canvas. hobbycraft have some cheap canvases. I must admit I like the Noguchi table! Although the room is large there isn't much depth between the sofa and fireplace wall hence why I'd go for glass on legs to keep the feeling of space.

  • 7 years ago
    I also said I'd like a glass top coffee table for precisely those reasons. Maybe I'll end up moving the sofa.

    As for art, go for it. I've started suggesting it semi regularly here. Its cheaper, more personal and can incorporate an exact palette. A big canvas and oil paints can be expensive, but far less than buying someone else's art and you can get deals. I will be checking hobbycraft now!
  • 7 years ago

    How about this one?

    Or this one? (see pic) They both are chunky without being chunky I think.

  • 7 years ago
    I like them both, but it's the apparently 'dainty' legs that are off putting. But I am happy to have some independent voices of reason from you guys. Again thank you for the suggestions Carolina, I have been trawling the net and felt I lost perspective so it's nice to see specific examples. Especially when I agree with them all.
  • PRO
    7 years ago

    The Noguchi table that Carolina recommended would fit well, or the G Plan Astro

    Vintage Mid Century G Plan Astro Teak Coffee Table · More Info

    Or have you considered putting some colour in?

    Lucy turner and resurface designs take midcentury furniture and adds coloured formica or laminate in really stunning patterns so you've still got the style/basic colour pallette of the existing furniture tied in but adding a bright colour pop to draw the room together.

    Lillies in Amber · More Info

    Technically, with a glass table you could DIY this idea by adding a design to the underside of the glass in the Astro table. For instance vinyl stickers will stick to the underside and will be protected by the glass (and are removable)-simple colour lines or squares will add some colour but keep it simple and mid century and still in essence the same item.

    I like the idea of the colour with a see through element still there but the formica gives a lovely bright finish that is a nice high end look-you've got to be quite select with the stickers. Acrylic is also possible but harder to work with and i think formica is fairly tough.

    I hope that gives you some ideas to work with though.

    Kyle Barrett thanked Frances Bradley Live Edge Tables
  • 7 years ago

    I made a sort of mock up (use your imagination ;-)) of your room, changed the pillows, hung a mirror on the wall and some art, and added a coffee table. Now... if you can show me what your partner would like for a coffee table, I'll be happy to put it in here so you can get an idea of what it would look like.

    Also happy to show you other coffee tables, so tell me what you'd like to see here. I can use links or photos posted here.

    Kyle Barrett thanked Carolina
  • 7 years ago
    Sorry for changing your pillows/cushions, they were just messing with my mind. I had to tidy them up ;-)
  • 7 years ago

    Frances Bradley Live Edge Tables:

    Lots of great suggestions that I like, I have thought an awful lot about those options. We've been looking at original vintage tiled tables, I think it's a bit too 70s for me, but I like the colour in it and partner agreed to it as a compromise because he said 'it's fun and colourful, I can get over the ugly legs'. Unfortunately part of the design spec involves things I am not comfortable with: that the coffee table is chunky and sturdy, and that it isn't round/oval. He seems receptive to the Noguchi table strangely too.

    What he does and doesn't like increasingly seems to be down to whim. Getting a bit frustrating. So I am trying to tick the basic boxes, chunky and square/rectangular.


    No problem on the cushions, the light and some cushions are duck egg, so I am pretty committed to that colour as I don't want to change the lamp's colour. Having said that I do quite like the colour scheme :) and without a doubt that wall looks so much better with some stuff on it. I can't wait to fill it out. I need to look at radiator cover options don't I?

    Again I like both of those coffee tables, moreso the Russell one, that I would definitely buy if it were just me quite a handsome piece of furniture, but again the legs are a no no. I think this is gonna be a real challenge. I love the Noguchi table, and he's agreed to it reluctantly, but I while I'd suggest it to someone else in this room I don't know if I'd pictured owning one. I don't think it's a good compromise since neither of us would be over the moon with it.

    Thanks for your help, sorry there's so many hurdles.

  • 7 years ago
    It's difficult to describe why you do or don't like things sometimes. I can definitely relate to that, often more a gut feeling than logical reasoning.
  • 7 years ago

    Hi Kyle. Can you move the furniture you're selling into another room temporarily and try rearranging the furniture to see what space you're actually left with so you can measure it out properly? I might be wrong but it looks as if the only other place the sofa can go is in front of the sideboard, it looks by eye as if it would be too deep to go on the RHS of the fire? Has your partner actually found tables he likes?

  • 7 years ago
    Maybe the sofa could be place so it's facing the window, if you float it in the room. Then the Eames can go where the other chair is, or on the other side. With its back to the door, angled towards fireplace. That way you can leave the TV where it is.
    But I'd love to find a different place for the sideboard, I don't like how it's blocking the radiator. Not good for both radiator and sideboard. Oh well...
  • 7 years ago
    Unfortunately both long walls that could house it also house radiators. They're ugly, but immovable parts of the rental. Now you've mentioned it though, I am concerned about the sideboard being damaged by the heat, is that possible? I can't imagine after 50 years that the heat of a radiator would harm the veneer?
  • 7 years ago
    Visually it doesn't bother me much, I really dont find the radiator that noticeable behind the sideboard, but I have thought about buying other legs for it, taller ones.
  • 7 years ago
    Minnie, we had the sofa there initially, it just leaves a small unusable weird shaped space near the stairs. And my partner wants a big reclaimed chunky wood table, in an ideal world. So basically no, we haven't come to a compromise at all.
  • 7 years ago
    Yes, the radiator heat can damage the veneer. So it's definitely not the best place for it, even though it's the only place where it will fit :-(
    Kyle Barrett thanked Carolina
  • 7 years ago
    just wanted to post what I got, for better or worse.

    Still need to get rid of some furniture, but it won't happen this side of Christmas.

    Very chuffed, it's a vintage rosewood coffee table, listed for £1300 on some sites, for £20!
  • 7 years ago
    Cool! Partner happy too? ;-)
  • 7 years ago
    Not wholeheartedly, but it's ticking some of the boxes. Also means we have a coffee table for Christmas.

    Just itching to get rid of the other chair and sideboard so I can move the Eames into the corner it is in. Room will feel far more balanced then.

    Right now the ottoman and the coffee table aren't happy together, way too close.
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