where did the name coffee table come from

The Origins of the Coffee Table

The coffee table, that small piece of furniture in the middle of your living room, has a surprisingly potted history. It has been around for centuries and has gone by different names over the years.

Early Origins

The coffee table has been a piece of furniture used since as far back as the Victorian era. It began as a low table with a single tier, similar to a tea table, but without the accessibility of drawers or shelves. Some even included a top shelf which was used to store small items.

Modern Revival

The modern coffee table was popularized in the 1950’s when manufacturers began producing more affordable and stylish furniture. The pieces were generally smaller and more comfortable than those of the Victorian era. This style is what is still seen today and became the default choice for living room furniture.

The Name

It is believed that the name for the coffee table comes from the practice of having coffee or tea served at the table. In the early days of its history, it was often placed next to the sofa or armchair for convenience. The tea or coffee would be served on a tray or dish placed on top of the table. As the practice grew, the furniture became casually associated with the beverage.

In the modern era, the coffee table is used for many other activities besides the serving of beverages. People use it to store books and magazines, to display artwork, and even as a makeshift workspace.

Regardless of its purpose, the coffee table will continue to be a popular staple of the living room.

Uses Today

Today, we use the coffee table for a variety of activities:

  • Storage: Coffee tables can be well-suited for storage, such as books, magazines, remote controls, and more.
  • Displays: Many items look great when displayed on a coffee table, such as photographs, artworks, and collections.
  • Entertainment: Coffee tables are the perfect spot to set up a laptop or tablet for a movie night.

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