History of the Coffee Table

Derived from older style tea tables, coffee tables originated in the Victorian era.

As sofas metamorphosed from high backed settles to lower backed sofas, tables likewise dropped from the high-end tables and tea tables to lower tables that could be reached by those reclining in comfort.

The tables were designed to hold the coffee or tea of those sitting on the sofa, allowing them easy access to their hot drinks. These early ancestors of this table became popular in the early twentieth century, as casual visits replaced formal entertaining.

Coffee and cocktails replaced high tea and fancy food spreads, and the coffee table of the living room replaced the elevated tea table of the formal sitting room.

Modern Coffee Tables – Materials

Coffee tables are available in five primary materials: wood, metal, plastic, glass, and fabric. The best one for you depends both on your taste and your family life.


Wood tables can be quite modern, especially when combined with other materials like glass and metal. A modern wood table will often be stained in a dark color or painted. The legs tend to be straight. The top may either be glass or wood. A newer style features a glass top floating over a wood base, or a square wood base with an inset glass top.


or many people, metals like chrome are synonymous with the modern design aesthetic. However, iron is making an entrance into the modern design as well. While most iron tables are ornate, some newer coffee tables feature straight black legs that combine both the artistry of iron with the sleek lines of modern tastes. Like wooden designs, most chrome or iron coffee tables feature glass tops.


Although most people think plastic furniture is of poor quality and suitable only for dorm rooms. Some of the latest designs feature sturdy molded plastic with a high gloss. Plastic tables are usually topped with glass or acrylic. In addition to being very sturdy, plastic is lightweight. They’re also harder to break, which is important for parents with young children.


Glass tables are on the opposite spectrum from plastic tables. Although it’s unusual to find a table made completely from glass, it is possible. Think carefully before buying an all-glass table however, if you have pets or children.


Fabric tables are the newest entry in coffee table design. They’re frequently firm, over-sized ottomans placed in the center of the seating area. However, some new designs are wood covered in tight fabric with having a glass top. Popular fabrics are leather and vinyl.

Types and Kinds of coffee tables

Because of their functionality, there are several different types and kinds of coffee tables. There are a variety of different shapes of the table to fit each space, from rectangular to square to round.

Some companies make coffee tables under which stools or ottomans may be stored, serving both as visual interest and practical space-saving technique.

Still, other coffee tables may serve as storage units with tops that can be lifted to reveal hidden trunk space or drawers that can store odds and ends.

Soon, there may even be smart tables to introduce a technological element to a living space.

Microsoft has developed tables with touch screen interfaces that may be available for homes and offices in a matter of years.

Acrylic coffee waterfall tables are also becoming popular.

Design: Coffee Tables as Art Pieces

For the stylish homeowner, the coffee table can surpass the level of functionality and move into the realm of pure aesthetics.

Because of their central place in the most used room in the house, these tables can serve as conversation pieces themselves as architectural design and art permeate the furniture design business.

Several companies such as Velocity Art and design and the foundry, as well as individual designers, market unique furniture for the original individual. crate coffee table

These tables can be large aquariums with clear glass tops or solid redwood trunks, lacquered to a shine. A coffee table can be made to reflect its owners’ personalities or interests and leave a personal touch on home decorating.

Coffee Table Art

Even if the coffee table is not itself an art piece, it can be a great showcase for displaying art. In fact, there is an entire realm of literature devoted to displaying on the table.

Coffee table books are books filled with photographs and illustrations of things such as art, architecture, flowers, animals, and even food.

These books are designed to be displayed at the social center of the house, to spark conversation among guests or distract bored visitors.

These books are often superficial in nature, designed more to be looked at rather than read. Yet, thousands of coffee table books are sold each year with the explicit purpose of being set on a coffee table and being thumbed through casually while people visit.

There are so many different kinds and designs of coffee tables that it is possible for everyone to find one that suits their decor, their lifestyles, and their unique personalities.

It is important to do a fair amount of research to discover just what sort of coffee table best fits into each person’s life.

Whether a coffee table with legs that look like tree limbs or a practical mahogany table with drawers for the remote, a coffee table can pull a room together and make it a true living space.

About Wooden Tables

Wooden tables are available in a wealth of styles, designs, and colors and finding one that meets your taste for beauty and specific needs perfectly really is not a problem.

You can choose between the traditional rectangular wooden tables with four legs and ultramodern designs which give a contemporary furnished living room the final touch.

Then, there are coffee tables that are made with functionality in mind and may feature drawers, shelves for magazines, wheels to be able to move it around with ease, etc. in order to allow you to optimize the space available and achieve a perfect blend of functionality and style.

In addition to having the ability to choose between literally countless styles, designs, and colors, you can also choose between different types of wood.

Just about every wooden coffee table is a good choice and you cannot go wrong if you choose pine or walnut, however, there are a few important differences between different types of wood other than their aesthetic appeal.

Wood can roughly be divided into two categories – softwood and hardwood. The first category refers to timber which is obtained from gymnosperms such as conifers for instance, while the term hardwood encompasses wood from angiosperm trees most of which are deciduous.

Why is this important?

Because hardwoods have a more complex structure than softwoods and as their name suggests, they are also harder and stronger in comparison to softwoods. But they are also more resistant to scratches and wear and tear, and are generally also more durable.

Lastly, hardwoods are rarer and coffee tables which are made from hardwood, therefore, give the living room a unique aesthetic appeal and a sense of prestige.

A house becomes a home only after it is lovingly decorated with beautiful pieces of furniture. This furniture includes chairs, beds, dining tables, patio furniture, coffee tables, Dining tables, sofas and couches, and storage cabinets.

Common Coffee Table Terms

Apron – The apron on your coffee table is the rail around the table, directly under the top.

Cabriole – cabriole is a leg shape that is common on Queen Anne and Chippendale style coffee tables. The leg is formed into an S-shape, bending outward at the top and then tapering and bending inward to a decorative foot.

Casual– casual style tables are characterized by simple design and soft details.

Chippendale – these tables are typically wood, with flowing lines and rococo ornamentation.

Coffee Table – a low table that sits in front of the sofa in the living or sitting room. They are typically a resting place for drinks, magazines, and the occasional knickknack.

Cocktail Table – smaller, curvier coffee tables.

Mid-century coffee table – These are antique coffee tables.

Colonial – this style was developed during Europe’s colonial period.

Contemporary – a style that is between traditional and casual, with straight clean lines and very few carvings or embellishments.

Country – a no-frills casual style that includes some traditional designs and is typically made with light or warm-colored woods. Also called “rustic.”

End Table – These tables accent the style of the coffee table and the rest of the living room. Usually set on either end of the couch.

Reclaimed wood coffee table – This is a table made from pieces of old wood.

Mission/Shaker – an extremely simple style. Yields furniture that is both useful and durable.

Modern – these are artistic coffee tables with clean lines, industrial elements, and bold color choices. Usually very simple, with a heavy emphasis on practicality.

Molding – decorative embellishments that protrude outward from the surface of the apron or the tabletop.

Nesting Tables – a set of tables that can be stored one under the other.

Novelty – a style that complements a theme or makes a statement.

Ottoman – a low, wide, upholstered stool that can serve as a coffee table.

Overlay – a decorative layer on a tabletop made from different colored wood or other materials.

… And a bunch of others!

Paint Finish – a painted finish on a table. This can include finishes that are only one color or multicolored designs or scenes.

Patina – the coating that develops on any metal surface through age and use.

Polyurethane – the clear plastic overlay applied to some coffee tables.

Queen Anne – the 18th-century style with simple designs and soft shapes.

Sheraton – a style characterized by straight lines.

Stain – applied to lighter woods to color them and highlight the grain.

Tapered Leg – a table leg that is wider at the top and gradually narrows toward the bottom.

Tempered Glass – Glass that has been manufactured to be stronger than regular glass. It will shatter into small fragments with minimally sharp edges, as opposed to large shards.

Traditional Style – an ornate, ordered, bold style full of contrast. Usually accented with curved details, brass and iron pull, and hand-painted wood.

Varnish – a finish to protect and darken the wood.

Veneer – a thin panel of wood applied on top of a coffee table made of cheaper wood.

Victorian – a subset of the traditional furniture style.

Wax – a finish to enhance the natural appearance of the wood and to protect it.

Wood coffee tables do come in various colors. Black-brown and white coffee tables are the most popular.


With us, you can compare coffee tables by different brands that include 4D Concepts, Acme, Baxton, Poundex, Walker Edison, Winsome Wood, Coaster, Cross and 2k Designs.

You find a wide range of tables by these brands in different designs, sizes, and looks. Make sure that you keep utility in mind when selecting a table. You can also find tables with built-in drawers for storage.

We all agree that coffee table decor is important.

The other option is to have a DIY coffee table. I recommend using a coffee table plan which includes all the instructions and precise dimensions of the table. These include coffee table legs and height required