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A round coffee table softens the lines of a contemporary sofa. "It doesn't overwhelm like a large rectangular table or a trunk does," says John Loecke, a New York City-based designer.
—"Make sure the coffee table is no lower than the bottom of your sofa frame where the cushions are," says Loecke. Standard height is 16 to 19 inches.
—Materials matter. A wood base mellows a modern setting, and the glass top adds sparkle and lightness. "Pick a carpet with a graphic pattern, especially if the sofa fabric is a solid," Loecke says.
—As a basic rule of thumb, select a table that's no more than half the sofa's width, for easy access.