A low table in front of the sofa is a fixture in nearly all homes, and often becomes a hub for the family to gather around and watch the telly or do a variety of other things.
While at one time it was merely a surface on which to place a cup of tea or coffee, nowadays this piece of furniture is much more versatile and less formal.
Where is the coffee table from?
The story, almost a legend, of the coffee table appears to have begun in the early 1900s with F. Stuart Foote, the chairman of the Imperial Furniture Company, who, in order to meet his wife’s requests, decided to chop the legs off a table.
This story, which seems more of a tall tale, also appears in an article in AD (architecturaldigest.in) where the fanciful origins of the story are highlighted.
The spuriousness of the story is easy to see after a quick search on Wikipedia where we learn that coffee tables were already present in Europe in the Victorian era, and so from the mid-1800s.
In the US, the birth of this furnishing element seems to date further back, and the AD article itself reads that Sarah Fayen, assistant curator, Chipstone Foundation, and adjunct assistant curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum, offers proof, “Tea tables have existed since the 1720s…Americans used tea tables and coffee tables for countless activities other than imbibing their namesake beverages. The monikers were never intended to prescribe the function of the tables but rather to evoke up-to-date stylish entertaining”.
Would you cut the legs off a designer table today?
The question alone made your eyes open wide, and made you think that it’s crazy to ruin a beautiful designer table to get a low coffee table… and you would be right.
On the market, there are coffee tables for all budgets, from the cheapest made of less refined materials, to very expensive ones made with fine wood, crystal, marble.
Everyone can choose the right one for their budget and their needs, because, as we have already said in the introduction, we do many things on this short-legged table.
What are the main things we do every day on a coffee table?
In some parts of the world, there are still kings, queens, dukes and duchesses who rest their dainty teacups on a coffee table every day at five o’clock, as English tradition demands.
For those without a crown or noble title, the living room table becomes a multi-purpose area, where we do our homework, place magazines on, line up remote controls, put our feet on when watching a film, arrange aperitifs and snacks, play with the kids, and, sometimes, eat dinner.
We even find them in fashionable locations
Have you ever been at a lounge café or pub and seen an actual living room? We’re sure your answer is “yes”.
To convey a sense of warmth, many pub owners recreate cosy home environments by adding a corner with sofas, armchairs and, of course, a coffee table on which to place a drink.
Entrepreneurs in the Ho.Re.Ca sector (Hotellerie-Restaurant-Café) pay a lot of attention to trends and know how to ensure their customers are comfortable, and so often rely on the Italian furniture style made by large companies like Albaplus.
Naturally, the coffee table is an essential element for furnishing classy hotels. Hotel suites always have a corner for relaxing with comfy sofas and a coffee table, but even lobbies often have beautiful and comfortable sofas with their trusty companions – once again... the coffee table.