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Table Size Ratio / Proportion Question

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Forum topic by chrisstef posted 05-23-2012 03:17 PM 13263 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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chrisstef

18041 posts in 3637 days


05-23-2012 03:17 PM

I know that ive read it somewhere but my search-fu is failing me. Im planning a coffee table build but its going to need to be small. We are currently using a trunk as a “coffee table” in my man cave. Its 30” x 20”, which is kind of a funky size, but really fits well in the small room. The biggest piece of furniture is a loveseat and an arm chair. My question is, in terms of height , width and length is there some ratio that will make it appealing to the eye and not look weird being so small(ish)?

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.


15 replies so far

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

10055 posts in 2923 days


#1 posted 05-23-2012 03:21 PM

Well, I know from a design standpoint the “golden ratio” is 1.618 and some change, for what is considered “pleasing to the eye”

If you’re designing it for a specific room/area, try using some cardboard and making a few sizes out of it, and see what works for you

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

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chrisstef

18041 posts in 3637 days


#2 posted 05-23-2012 03:25 PM

Mosquito … can you apply the 1.618 ratio to the 20” x 30” table for me .. im not sure if im following how to apply it. Would i multiply the 20” of width x 1.618? That would come out to roughly 32 3/8”. I guess the height is somewhat arbitrary?

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Moron's profile

Moron

5047 posts in 4524 days


#3 posted 05-23-2012 03:38 PM

Sometimes you have to throw out the rules : ))

I like the coffee table height to be the same as the height of the seats near the table as it makes it comfortable to put your feet on. 1.618…………works, so do ratios of 1:1 1:3 2: 3.

Cheers

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Mosquito

10055 posts in 2923 days


#4 posted 05-23-2012 03:39 PM

Yes, you are using it correctly. Either multiply by the width to get the length, or divide the length by it to get the width. Depending on which one you’d want. The 30”x20” comes out to a 1.5 ratio. I’d say that’s not an issue at all. Ultimately the only thing that matters is that you’re happy with the way it looks, regardless of the ratio. It’s one of those “They say…” things, where no one really knows the “they” that say…

For the height, I made my coffee table be about the same height as the top of the cushions on my couch, as it seemed the most natural height for it. That’s around 18” to the table top for me. I believe (with out having it to measure) that I ended up with 35” x 21”

EDIT: I see now that a lot of what I stated here is an echo of what Moron said, and I agree with their comments.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

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chrisstef

18041 posts in 3637 days


#5 posted 05-23-2012 03:53 PM

Much thanks for the help fellas. Rules schmules. The height will mimic wherever if find comfort for my feet in relation to my fat butt on the couch. Im going to have the legs protruding through the top of the table so i dont want the top to look like a square which was my overall concern. I tend not to get too crazy on measurements, i dont really care if its 31 7/8” or 32” long but i do want it pleasing to the eye. That “golden ratio” affirms me that it shouldn’t look stupid which is all i was lookin for really. I think ill stretch it out to 20” x 32” so when my legs poke through the top the inside dimensions at that point will be around 20” x 28”.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

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Mosquito

10055 posts in 2923 days


#6 posted 05-23-2012 03:57 PM

Sounds like you’ve got a plan! Can’t wait to see it :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

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chrisstef

18041 posts in 3637 days


#7 posted 05-23-2012 04:02 PM

the teaser …. top will be ambrosia maple and the legs & apron will be walnut. Thanks again mosquito and moron.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5251 posts in 4591 days


#8 posted 05-23-2012 05:55 PM

Not ambrosia. Nah!! I need that wood. Use somethng else, and send me the maple. :)
Bill

-- [email protected]

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chrisstef

18041 posts in 3637 days


#9 posted 05-23-2012 06:33 PM

Bill – I just came from the lumber dealer and theyve got tons of it up here in CT $3.50 bf s2s.. well maybe not tons but a good amount. I even saw the processing a new shipment of curly ambrosia maple … i almost put everythign back and took that but it was pretty busy for what im goin for.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View 489tad's profile

489tad

3767 posts in 3642 days


#10 posted 05-23-2012 07:54 PM

Your asking us? What did your wife say? I know you said “your man cave” but come on. I’ve been to that rodeo.

If the foot print of 30×20 works (and everyone is happy) then go for it. Mine is 16” high.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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chrisstef

18041 posts in 3637 days


#11 posted 05-23-2012 08:06 PM

Haha i didnt last the full 8 seconds either. She approved the design and the materials for sure. I wanted a leather topped ottoman so i saddled up grabbed that rope and immediately was thrown.

I was looking for that golden raatio that i knew i had read about but the search skills were low today.

I just picked up the lumber and im itching to get home and plane some of that ambrosia maple, its still in the rough.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Phil Rasmussen's profile

Phil Rasmussen

11 posts in 2421 days


#12 posted 01-27-2020 10:00 AM

There are many different thoughts on how to “properly” size a coffee table. In working with clients, my first question is “How long is your sofa where the table will sit in front of?”

Once I know the sofa length, and ask a few more questions concerning how the coffee table will be used, if there are kids around it, etc., I will then take 2/3 of the sofa length and that become the length of the coffee table.

Once the length is determined, then I use one of two approaches based on the purpose and use of the table. I will either apply the golden ratio for the width, or make the width 24”.

As fr the height, again I come back to how the table will be used. Most of the time it is for decoration which places the height to that of the sofa seat plus or minus 1 to 3 inches. If the table is to be used as if it were a normal table (people sitting on the floor around it, then the height is the same ratio as chair to dinning table top.

If you want to apply the golden ratio to the entire project it would be as follows using any online golden ratio free calculator

1. table length – use length of sofa ( still find this too long and does not allow for easy access to the sofa
2. table width – use the calculated table length to determine width.
3. table height – use the calculated table width to determine height.

I rarely use this process.

Another approach based on design aesthetics is using the rule of thirds.
1. table length – 2/3 length of sofa
2. table width – 2/3 of table length
3. table height – flexible -usually sofa seat height

Phil Rasmussen
Mountain Woodworker
Hendersonville NC
mountainwoodworker.com

-- Phil Rasmussen, US Army-retired The Mountain WoodworkerHendersonville, NC

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5637 posts in 2982 days


#13 posted 01-27-2020 02:46 PM

If you take your table length 30”, and divide it by the golden ratio of 1.618 then you get a height of 18.5” , which is pretty close to the height of a lot of chair seats. So that is definitely is in the ball park. I suggest a cardboard mock up, it might be as simple as setting a board on a cardboard box to see what height works in your space.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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chrisstef

18041 posts in 3637 days


#14 posted 01-28-2020 12:37 AM

Thanks for the response guys. 8 years late but hey, im still learnin!

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View pottz's profile

pottz

7907 posts in 1615 days


#15 posted 01-28-2020 08:49 PM

since i do most work for myself i have a real simple formula,i make it the way i wont it !

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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