The concept of grouping multiple tables beside one another to create the illusion of a single coffee table is very current and very versatile. Not only are they functional and movable when entertaining, these tables provide visual interest through repetition. What is your coffee table’s primary use? A spot to set drinks or snacks? A foot rest? A horizontal shelf holding flowers, trinkets, and books? Some of these uses become difficult when multiple tables are arranged in front of the sofa. This option is either not for you or depending on the style of the table, you can make the arrangement adaptable to your use by placing a piece of glass atop the tables. The table below from Sundance would look especially fabulous grouped and with a glass top.
This cube table is made from reclaimed wood with cheerful, worn touches of vintage-style paint. At 13″ square, this table would work best in a set of three placed side by side (glass top optional) in front of a long sofa or in a group of four placed in a square. I always recommend placing tables no more than 1.5-3″ apart depending on scale to avoid an odd ‘floating’ effect and attain a cohesive grouping. Turn the tables in different directions to enjoy a view of each side.
Not keen on cubes? Try this alternative option by placing two long, narrow tables (or benches!) beside one another in a larger living room or great room. You’ll achieve the look of one, but the subtle hint of two, adding a twist to the standard single table. Guests typically compliment items and concepts they haven’t seen before or a clever spin on something that’s otherwise common. They also seem to appreciate successful risks that others take. Be intriguing and let your personality shine through with fresh new concepts. If you love to entertain and appreciate eclectic decor, this most likely speaks to you. If you want to introduce more creative concepts to your space but don’t know quite how to do so, take a risk like multiple coffee tables and revel in the outcome.
This post features tables with a vintage feel and/or reclaimed wood. Many modern and streamline pieces exist at the following stores (and more!):
1. Jonathan Adler (www.jonathanadler.com)
2. IKEA (www.ikea.com)
3. CB2 (www.cb2.com)
My biggest piece of advice: NEVER settle for anything less than objects you love and find intriguing. This goes for design and life.