The Super-Low Coffee Table Is In—Again

Sometimes decorating trends can have a domino effect. As we know by now, low-slung, 1970s-inspired seating—we’re calling them blob sofas—are having a serious comeback. And as sofa seats go low, coffee tables are going even lower. Enter the how-low-can-you-go coffee table trend. 

The pros? It’s a perfect place to prop your feet. The cons? Your dog gains easy access to the crudités. Oh, and your back might not thank you later. All the more reason to take a seat at whatever low-lying lounge is undoubtedly nearby. Either way, the entire living room is inching closer to the floor, and designers are embracing the idea.

“Coffee tables that are too high can throw off the entire proportion of a room,” says New York–based AD100 interior designer Monique Gibson, who, even with 17-foot ceilings of her own, just sent an otherwise stylish coffee table off to the woodworker with instructions to shorten the legs. “The coffee table should always relate to the sofa height,” she adds. “And sofas are getting lower with the renewed love of a Vladimir Kagan curve.”

In this Sydney-area live-work space, design studio Alexander & Co paired a low sofa with a vintage Roche Bobois free-form coffee table that hovers just above the floor. Scored at local Sydney dealer The Vault, the table has a pink tone and kidney shape that fit organically within the house. 

Martinelli Luce Metafora 1979 Table by Lella and Massimo Vignelli

In the Santa Barbara bedroom of Calvin Klein cofounder Barry Schwartz and his wife, Sheryl, Clements Design employed a kidney-shaped Axel Vervoordt cocktail table that hovers just above the carpet. 

A fraction of the short pieces we’ve been seeing are just as Gibson describes: your typical coffee table with truncated legs. A few years back, Axel Vervoordt popularized a rustic wood version—a plinth set on several-inch-tall feet—that you can spot in Michael Bay’s L.A. home. But many cropping up recently have ditched the legs altogether, opting instead for a slick platform that nods to the glam, 1970s-era designs of Maria Pergay or Willy Rizzo (see Ashley Stark Kenner’s New York City library for a great example of the latter). 

Along these lines, we’re especially digging the vintage Roche Bobois free-form coffee table Australian design studio Alexander & Co used in a Sydney-area live-work space and the sexy, Vincenzo de Cotiis piece Gibson recently placed in a Tribeca penthouse. “I can’t imagine it being one inch taller,” she declares.

In the library of Ashley Stark Kenner’s Manhattan townhouse, a vintage Willy Rizzo cocktail table is enveloped by a custom sofa. 

Large Two-Part Italian Mid-Century Modern Coffee Table by Willy Rizzo for Cidue

The low coffee table in Giancarlo Valle’s Brooklyn loft measures about 10 inches. 

New York–based Giancarlo Valle is on the same page: “I think there is something so pleasing about low furniture,” says the AD100 designer, whose own coffee table in his Brooklyn loft hovers around 10 inches tall. “It’s more casual and approachable, but still very sophisticated. I think it’s here to stay.”

Shop the Look

Dock Small Table by Piero Lissoni

Proctor Low Round Wood Coffee Table

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