A Practical Guide to Coffee Tables

When putting together a living room scheme there is one item of furniture that many of us would not be without, and that’s the Coffee Table. There are a whole raft reasons why this piece is still so popular today after first bring used in Britain back in the late Victorian era, but it would appear that its popularity is not waning. So where did the coffee table originate from?

Well, of course the coffee table has its links way back with the original Coffee Houses which started to appear as far ago the 1650s. The first coffee-house in London opened in 1652 and is popularity soon saw many others popping all up over the city. Some of them were an important step in the City’s history, with the Edward Lloyd coffee-house established in 1688, later becoming Lloyds of London (The Coffee Table History).


Beautiful living room

Generally a coffee table is a long, low table used in a living or sitting room to support beverages, books, magazines and smaller items used to style the room. Of course they are widely available in many different forms, and made of many different materials, so you are bound to find the right one for your taste and style.


practical guide to coffee tables

One of the most popular uses for the coffee table is to provide extra storage in the living room. As you can see above coffee tables are more than just a plain piece of wood on legs and can be functional as well as stylish. Use them in your lounge to add extra space for books, dvd’s, children’s toys, cd’s, and newspapers. More and more we are keen to live in a clutter free, minimal home and require our furniture to be dual purposed giving us the extra storage that we require to achieve this look. Storage type coffee tables with drawers, cupboards and shelves are a must for homes like this.

Style and Decor:

Styled coffee tableAs well as providing something practical a coffee table can also be something of beauty, especially if you take the time and trouble to style it. We’ve written in the past about the best ways to style a coffee table so we won’t go into too much detail here, but suffice to say there are lots of tricks to making the most of your coffee table, aside from the practical. You can see in the example above that grouping items together on a tray can break up the long expanse of a rectangular coffee table, adding extra interest and focus. It’s a great interior design trick to use.

The Focal Point of the Room:

Focal point coffee tableNow the coffee table above may not be to your taste but we’ve used it as an example of how you can create a focal point with this piece of furniture. A focal point in any room is the one piece or feature that stands out, and that the rest of the decor is focused around. Your eye is drawn to the focal point as soon you as walk into the room and using a stunning, striking coffee table is one way to achieve this. Many people believe you need some kind of architectural feature or statement wall colour to create a focal point but this really isn’t the case. Choosing the right kind of coffee table can create this focal point for you.

Coffee Tables as the Central Point:

Coffee table centrepoint

So what do we mean when we say the coffee table can be the centre point of the sitting room? Well, it differs from the focal point in that it’s the central area of the room and serves as the ideal place around which to gather. Obviously you may all gather around it when you serve tea, coffee and snacks, but there are lots of other occasions when groups will huddle around the coffee table. Friends playing cards for example, or children eating their tea, or doing their craft (if you can allow that!). Whatever you choose to do, coffee tables lend themselves to enhancing our social experiences with one another providing that central point of focus.

However you choose to use your coffee table, we are sure you will be spoilt for choice when making your purchases.

Do you have a coffee table in your living room? How do you like to use it? We would love to hear from you.

Jen X