Table Talk: Coffee Tables

Let’s talk about the significance of the coffee table.  A focal point in your living room which serves a purpose.  It can either enhance or detract from the surrounding area.

briers home décor . Photo: d. king

How many people have coffee tables in their living rooms?  Almost everyone we know.  After all, you need something to set your cocktail glass or hot beverage down between sips. Because when was the last time you had an actual cup of coffee sitting on it? Right…didn’t think so.  And if for nothing else, it’s a perfect place to showcase that gorgeous coffee table book. Or maybe a reason to buy a coffee table book.

Perfect side table – briers home décor . Photo: d. king

Recently I wanted to change my living room coffee table from using a matching ottoman to my sofa (with cut glass to fit over top) for something different and smaller.  That’s because I decided to use the ottoman for something else..what it was originally intended for – an area to put your feet up and get comfy.  I also just had my carpet cleaned and the large ottoman covered up a lot of the carpet.  So I went on a hunt and found something that I felt worked for the smaller area and opened up the space and did not cover up the carpet.  A carpet I bought in Cairo and felt did not deserve to be hidden.  This clear tempered glass is perfect for a see-through look.

Photo: d. king
Originally there were 3 tempered glass tables which fit into one another. For time being I’m using the smallest one for folded towels in my bathroom.
3-piece tempered glass: briers home décor . $380.00
One of the tables. The nice thing is that they’re easily moveable. Photo: d. king

After having searched countless places online, I walked into briers home décor in Vancouver and there it was…the perfect fit.  It was that easy.  Cherie, the owner, suggested I do a blog post on ways to open up smaller spaces.  So this was her idea.  I’ll move along to other furniture options at a later date.

For now, this set of clear nesting tables takes up little visual space, can be stacked together when you might need just a teeny more room and moves around your sofa with ease.  I really like it.

The nice thing about coffee tables is that if you get tired of them it’s pretty easy to change them.  Certainly a lot easier and much less expensive than buying a new mattress or sofa.

briers home décor. Photo: d. king

We’ll look at a few options below.  But first…

A little history:

It began in 1652 when the first coffee house opened in London. It was so popular that more coffee houses soon opened all over Europe. The cost to enter was a penny and included a cup of coffee.  Wow how times have changed since then!  I just paid $5.50 for a coffee the other day.  That’s why I don’t want to get into the everyday going out for coffee habit and prefer to make mine at home.  I’m digressing…

These tables, called tea tables at first, were tall at 27″ high, compared to today’s coffee tables at 18″-19″ high.

There are no documents from the 17th and 18th century mentioning coffee tables although there are hundreds of references about coffee houses during the time period. It is speculated that the name tea table was changed to coffee table because coffee became more popular than tea.

Today, coffee tables (also called cocktail tables) still share the same location in the living room in front of the sofa. Yet, the shape, size, and functionality have changed vastly.  A few options:

The ottoman as coffee table – a popular choice. Image credit: Mackenzie Schieck

The ottoman as coffee table – a popular choice because it serves two purposes.  You can put a simple tray or have a piece of glass cut to size over top, or put your feet up when you want to.

Who needs a coffee table when you can have an arm rest tray, instead? It requires no additional space in your living room, but offers all of the same benefits as an actual table.

Awesome Arm Rest Wrap Coffee Table – Etsy

Posh but petite, this sophisticated cocktail table from West Elm will fit just about anywhere in your living space. Buy one for setting down drinks instead of a clunky coffee table, or two or three if you need the extra surface area.

Martini Side Table – West Elm $159

This 5-piece coffee table-slash-stool set may be the coolest. Not only does this multi-tasking table offer up plenty of surface space, it seamlessly holds four faux leather stools inside; for all the extra living room seating you’ll ever need.

5 piece Coffee Table and Stool Set – Wayfair $375

Lastly; you can always use something you might already have around the house – something like this vintage chest:

photo: d.king
 This chest doubles to store excess towels in TV room.

So many choices.  

Do you have a favorite?

briers in Vancouver:

http://www.briers.ca

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