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Coffee Table Thoughts

One of the best things to do is sit around the coffee table and talk for hours with a friend or friends, sipping a cup of tea or coffee accompanied with some snacks. The coffee table appeared in the late 18th century, after the low sofa was accepted as a less formal way to entertain guests. It gradually became the center of the entertainment space–the living room–where friends and guests could relax informally on the low sofas and have a place to rest the beverages and snacks that are part of entertaining. As the centerpiece of social interaction, the coffee table can add spice and be a reflection of personal interest and style, as all beautiful furnishings can. Since it is so central, it can be only functional, or a piece of craft or art in its own right. Hand made wood tables sell for many thousands of dollars, and glass, marble, metal, and stone, are all used to create a style and furnishing to add beauty and art to your living space. Wood is the most common of the materials used for the coffee table, and ash, oak, maple, cherry, birch, and teak are all used, and the finish and design are what creates the special look. It may match the other pieces of furniture, or be a part of the “art” that you enjoy living with, and sharing with your friends. The coffee table is also our place to “collect” our “active interests.” These are the books, magazines, newspapers, sculptures, flowers, pictures, etc. that live with us as part of our relaxed existence, when others are not around. So, the coffee table is one of the center pieces of our daily and entertainment lives. In my opinion, however, its most important function is to hold and display the “coffee table book”, the true piece of art that you need to live with and opens your world a little wider for your friends. More on this later. P. Miller www.humanlandscapes.com

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