Sixteen Mile Stand, Ohio
12130 Royal Point Dr
Cincinnati, OH 45249
(513) 247-9100

A Brief History of the Coffee Table May 11, 2020

Sixteen Mile Stand, Symmes
A Brief History of the Coffee Table, Symmes, Ohio

Coffee tables are a fundamental staple of living room furniture, adding style, versatility, and functionality to a space. In fact, they often serve as the centerpiece and focal point of furniture arrangement, and the wide range of colors and styles allows for ample creativity. If you’ve ever wondered how this came to be, here’s a closer look. 

The Origins of Coffee Tables

When the Austrians defeated the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Vienna in 1683, they came to acquire a large array of coffee beans. Shortly after, coffeehouses opened in the Austrian capital, and people flocked to try this delicious, fascinating drink. Since people needed a place to set their coffee while they had conversation or read their newspaper, the first coffee tables came into existence. 

These early models were very tall, up to 27 inches in height. To put that number into perspective, the standard size for a traditional dining room table is between 28 and 30 inches. The first coffee tables were also adorned with doilies and decorated with vases to make the space feel more inviting. 

The Modern Coffee Table 

living room furnitureOver the years, coffee tables underwent a variety of different transformations, including their name. For a brief period of time before the 18th century, they were called cocktail tables, although this all changed when the English architect E.W. Godwin referred to a low-lying table he had designed as a coffee table.

The name stuck, and a new appreciation of coffee tables took off across Europe the United States, moving from the coffeehouse to the private sitting room. As one of the most versatile pieces of living room furniture, coffee tables can be designed with glass, marble, or steel tops in addition to traditional wood planks. Modern variations include live-edge slab tables, structural art pieces topped with a single pane of glass, and tables designed to shift into standing desks. 


If you’re looking for the perfect new coffee table, turn to Bova Contemporary Furniture. For more than 32 years, this trusted furniture store has been providing Dayton and Cincinnati, OH, clients with high-end, modern Danish furniture. With a commitment to great design and excellent customer service, they can help you to find pieces that are ideal for your home. To find out more about their living room furniture inventory and mission, visit their website or give their office a call at (513) 247-9100. Take a virtual tour of the store today.

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