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Available in many styles and prices, the coffee table has long since had pride of place in our home. From storing magazines, hosting game nights to those wonderful wine and cheese parties - the coffee table is there for it all. As a subtle but much relied upon part of everyday life, finding the right coffee table of vital importance. The right table ages with you and blends seamlessly into your home. It matches your style and more importantly, your needs.
WHY IS IT EVEN CALLED A COFFEE TABLE?Depending on who you are and what your lifestyle entails, your coffee table can at any given time hold various objects from books and remote controls to coasters and candles, so why have we exclusively and collectively deemed it ‘the coffee table’?
Arguably with so many surfaces in one household, it was named to differentiate itself from the dining room table, kitchen table and any side tables or sideboards your living room may already have. The ‘coffee’ part was likely added because the living room is seen as a place to socialise with friends and family between meal times.
Historically, the first coffee house in the UK opened in Oxford around 1650. The hype and popularity of the establishment was due to its exclusivity. Like a modern day pop-up shop, the concept of just chatting and drinking coffee at midday was new, exciting and very European. The second UK coffee shop, Penny Universities, opened two years later in London. The entry fee guaranteed you a coffee for just one penny! It was named so because a visit there was said to be an education in itself, with customers coming from all backgrounds and means.
However, these coffee shops are not quite the birth of the coffee table. These first establishments resembled modern bars and taverns. The popularity of coffee drinking is said to have spread to the rest of Europe from the late 1800s due to Ottoman Empire and their taste for tea and tea tables. The blueprint for the modern day coffee table can also be linked to the Anglo Japanese movement in the UK in which we embraced the low, Japanese style of table.