Since most of us have some kind of table in front of our sofa I was wondering how the name “coffee table” came about since I would have thought that historically there were far more tea drinkers than coffee drinkers.

Wikipedia explains that the first coffee tables were thought to have been made in Britain during the late Victoria era.  No surprises there, except that, again, I would have thought “tea table” would have been the name chosen.

“Prior to the 18th century, the tables used in Europe in conjunction with a settle (high backed sofa) included occasional tables, end tables, centre tables and tea tables…”  So basically, we needed somewhere to put our coffee and/or tea.

So for those of you who are in need of a new coffee table or just want to see some pretty tables come along…

White!  With this view I’m not sure I’d even notice the coffee table.

A formal room with a simple glass-top coffee table in front of a settee. (Again, a beautiful room dressed in neutrals)

image via nest eggLove the simplicity of this room and the coffee table.

Image via Nest Egg

John Stefanidis

I like this relatively new trend of using a grouping of overstuffed chairs instead of a sofa.

Restoration Hardware

This coffee table (although it’s hard to see the detail) compliments the white club chairs and sofa.

I have a little Ikea wicker chest (a little larger than this) in my reading room as a coffee table.  I love that it holds stuff as well as serving as a place to put your coffee, tea, glass of wine…

Carol Glasser via Cote de Texas

I’ve always liked this room.  the wicker furniture looks so comfortable, especially for a family room.

Country Living

Isn’t this trunk great as a coffee table.  It looks like it has leather detailing, very pretty.

This table is small but it works for this space, don’t you think?

Erin Page Potts

I love the large square coffee table.

What kind of coffee table do you use?  What do you accessorize it with, or do you keep it uncluttered of any decorative nick knacks?