There are several things you need to consider when buying furniture. Does it fit with the overall design you're going for? Does it match the theme of your house? Selecting the right home furniture pieces can make a significant difference in both aesthetics and functionality. 

Coffee and side tables are indispensable elements in any well-furnished living room. Not only do these furniture pieces add style to your living room décor, but they also serve specific purposes that enhance your daily life. Despite the ebb and flow of trends, coffee tables remain a timeless and versatile piece of furniture in interior design. They serve as room focal points and are appreciated for their ability to anchor seating arrangements seamlessly. So, while you may wonder if coffee tables are out of style, the answer is a resounding no. Their enduring popularity speaks volumes about their functionality and aesthetic appeal.

This article will explore the difference between these table styles, helping you decide which ones to choose for your home.

Purpose and Functionality
A living room with acacia dark wood finish coffee table, side tables, TV unit and bookcase.

Coffee tables are often considered living room essentials. They serve as a focal point and a functional surface area for various activities. These versatile pieces are primarily designed for:

  • Placing drinks and snacks: Coffee tables are perfect for setting down your morning coffee, tea, or a glass of wine in the evening. They provide a convenient spot for snacks and appetisers during gatherings or movie nights.
  • Decorative elements: Coffee tables can be a canvas for your creativity. They allow you to showcase home accessories like vases, candles, or art pieces, enhancing the overall ambience of your living room.

Check out our coffee table buyer's guide for more insights on selecting the perfect coffee table.

Side tables, on the other hand, are versatile pieces of furniture with multiple functions. They are designed for:

  • Holding Lamps: Side tables make excellent companions for your favourite reading chair or sofa. You can place a lamp on them to create a cosy reading nook.
  • Providing Additional Surface: End tables can serve as handy surfaces for remote controls, phones, or a cup of tea while you relax on your sofa.
  • Accommodating Books and Magazines: These tables can double as small bookshelves, making them a practical addition to your living room or bedroom.

Size and Proportion

A living room with two light grey sofas. In the middle of the room is a grey and wood finish coffee table, and two side tables sit beside the sofas in the same style.

Coffee tables are typically larger and lower in height than side tables. Their size complements the seating arrangements in your living room. This low profile allows them to become a central piece that doesn't obstruct your view and promotes conversation. You could also pick a coffee table with storage, which is great for storing remote controls, puzzles, and small objects used regularly without cluttering the floor

Side tables come in various sizes, and their height can vary too. They are often designed to be conveniently placed next to sofas, armchairs, or beds. This adaptability in size and proportion allows you to use side tables in different spaces and configurations.

Design and Style
A living room with one grey sofa sitting behind a Scandi-style coffee table with a marble top and black legs.

Coffee tables come in a wide array of designs and styles, ranging from traditional to modern. They can be found in various shapes, materials, and finishes, allowing you to choose one that complements your overall décor theme.

Side tables offer even more flexibility in design. You can find nesting tables, C-shaped tables, and other creative styles to cater to different design aesthetic preferences and functional needs. They can easily blend in with your existing furniture or stand out as statement pieces.

Explore our Metro High Gloss Coffee Tables for some stylish options.

Placement and Arrangement
A living room with a grey sofa and a chunky wooden side table next to it with a cup and saucer and two plants on top. 

When integrating coffee tables and side tables into your living space, thoughtful furniture placement is key.

For coffee tables:

  • Central focus: Place coffee tables at the centre of your seating area to create a focal point and encourage interaction. Ensure they become a gathering spot for conversations or activities.
  • Accessibility: Ensure easy access from all seating spots to make serving and use convenient. Adequate space around the coffee table is essential for comfortable movement.
  • Size considerations: Match the size and height of the coffee table with your seating for visual harmony. Larger sofas may benefit from larger coffee tables, while smaller ones might require more petite options.

For side tables:

  • Strategic placement: Position side tables next to sofas, armchairs, or beds for added functionality. These tables serve as convenient surfaces for drinks, snacks, or personal items.
  • Multi-functional use: Don't limit side tables to the living room; they work well as nightstands in bedrooms. Their versatility allows them to serve various purposes in different rooms.
  • Design harmony: Choose side tables that complement your existing furniture and decor by blending in or introducing a tasteful contrast. Harmonising the design of side tables with other elements in the room enhances the overall aesthetic.

By carefully considering these placement tips, you can seamlessly blend functionality and style in your living space with coffee and side tables. Each piece contributes to the overall ambience and usability of the room, enhancing your daily living experience.

To learn more about where to position your coffee table, visit our article on Living Room Coffee Table Placement.


Coffee tables and side tables are indispensable components of any well-furnished living space. They not only serve practical functions but also contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of your home. The great thing about designing your home is choosing furniture that speaks to your style and serves your needs. 

Whether you opt for a coffee table that elevates your coffee-time experience or a side table that adds functionality and style to your living room, the possibilities are endless.

Uncover the charm and functionality of our coffee table collection at Homeline Furniture. Upgrade your coffee-time experience and add a touch of sophistication to your home. Homeline Furniture is a reliable supplier in Ireland for finding the perfect table that complements your style and enhances your home furnishings.

With almost 40 years of experience, we have been your trusted online furniture retailer, offering excellent, well-sourced collections at the best available prices. Plus, we provide dependable, quick, and free shipping throughout Ireland. So, don't hesitate to explore our diverse collection of home furniture and home styling tips at Homeline Furniture and choose the best table that suits your style and needs.