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Coffee Table Facts, Figures, and Inspo!

Jun 14, 2021 | Painted Furniture

I can’t imagine life without coffee . . . or coffee tables! Let’s face it, since Americans drink about 400 million cups of coffee every day (146 billion cups of coffee every year!), we need a specific place to put this precious potion. What better spot than on a low table in front of a sofa?

E.W. Godwin created the first coffee table in Britain in 1868. The small, tall table designed to help serve drinks in a lounge, however, bore little resemblance to today’s coffee tables. But due to Anglo-Japanese style influences (i.e. low tables) popular during the Victorian era and coffee replacing tea as the U.S beverage of choice, the coffee table has evolved into a staple of American interior design.

Coffee tables now come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but there are some general guidelines.

  • Coffee Tables are typically 18″ – 19″ inches from the floor. They should be the same height as or 1-2 inches lower than the height of the sofa cushions.
  • Coffee tables are typically placed 16-18 inches from the sofa. This distance allows for sufficient space to move between the table and the sofa and to reach the table from the sofa.
  • Coffee tables should be ½ – ⅔ the length of the sofa.

Below are some favorite coffee table images I snagged from Pinterest’s endless supply, so grab your favorite cup o’ joe, put your feet up, and be inspired!


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