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Unique and Vibrant Coffee & Cocktail Tables

Historically, a coffee table is round or oval, and somewhat sturdy in build. Some sources cite late Victorian era Europe as the origin of these living room mainstays. Once used primarily for entertaining, these tables are now convenient for daily life offering a spot to place snacks and drinks, books and magazines. Browse Room Tonic's curated collection of these furniture pieces.

Finding the Right Fit in Coffee Tables and Cocktail Tables

With the lack of distinction between the coffee and cocktail table, when you are searching online be sure to browse both terms. These tables come in such a wide range of styles, shapes, finishes and materials that you are bound to find many that complete your design vision. But when choosing the right table, be sure to have a good idea on your dimensions. Allow for a foot and a half between seating and table and possibly more if the seats recline. You want your living space to be navigable and not overly crowded. Choose a coffee table with a height that is within a few inches of the height of your sofa seat, and the length should be between ½ - ¾ the width of your sofa. This enables easy movement around your sofa while providing a balanced look.


Why is it called a cocktail table?

Before the 19th century, those low-lying tables in living spaces were called cocktail tables. Their main purpose? To be a place to put your drink and a book. They were especially popular during the roaring 20s.


What to consider when buying a coffee table?

The most important factor to consider when picking a coffee table is utility, how will it be used? Utility is the optimal starting point here.


What are cocktail tables called?

Today the terms coffee table and cocktail table are used interchangeably by virtually everyone, including furniture industry professionals.


What’s the difference between a coffee table and a cocktail table?

You’ve heard us talking about how a sofa is not a couch and a couch is not a sofa. Please forgive our OCD, but we still stand by those rules. However, when it comes to cocktail tables and coffee tables, we use those terms interchangeably. These days the terms are used to describe all low tables placed in front of a sofa. But if you want to seem “in the know” there is a difference to the hardcore furniture enthusiasts, and it’s very simple to remember

The Cocktail Table which became popular in the roaring 20’s is a low rectangular or square table used to serve cocktails, hold books, accessories and ash trays (back in the day).

The Coffee Table originally used in Victorian times is round or oval and probably started off being higher but over time became lower to sit in front of 20th century sofas.