Style at Home: How do you choose what style and size of coffee table to use in a room?
TS: Well, certainly the size of the room itself and the other furniture in the space will dictate how large a coffee table you can have, but my rule is to go as big as you can! For traffic flow around a coffee table, you only need between 18 to 20 inches – you don’t want the table too far away from your furniture because you’re going to have to put your drink down at some point. I also like a lot of surface area. I love my stuff, and I want it close at hand.
S@H: Your take on coffee tables versus ottomans?
TS: I’m not opposed to the ottoman, but I think it belongs in a very specific place, like in a family room or a recreation-type environment rather than in a formal living room. I also don’t believe that the ottoman should completely replace the coffee table. A portion of an ottoman should have space for a generously sized tray so there is a flat surface to place food and beverages on – food and drinks should never go directly on an ottoman, as it’s dangerous and unwise.