on spacing and placement of furniture

Tere: Is there a rule on how far away a coffee table should be from a sofa or chair?

Elisabeth, Coco Blanca: Spacing and placement can make a room feel just right. When spacing is off, even the most fabulous collection of furnishings can appear a bit chaotic. The trick is finding a solution that addresses both esthetics and function. Consider the coffee table as a decorative accent in front of the sofa as well as a functional platform where you can set drinks or magazines. The goal is to provide ample leg room for sitting on the sofa without being squeezed, while being close enough to reach for a magazine without straining.

We like the advice of designer Alexa Hampton, who we met a few months ago at her book signing event for Decorating in Detail. Keep a minimum of 15″ between coffee tables and sofas. Providing 15 to 18 inches around all sides of the table creates a comfortable environment for guests while defining an ideal design composition. One additional tip: Coffee table heights vary greatly, but a good rule is to keep the table height and seat height within 4 inches of each other.


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With a career in graphic design, photography, and marketing—creating an “it” brand comes naturally.

Using the soothing color palette of a coconut by the sea—whites, neutrals and splashes of turquoise—Coco Blanca has created a trademark look. Her lifestyle boutique offers expert solutions for home design and women’s fashion—blending a clean, fresh, sophisticated, feel-good style.


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