Coffee Tables vs. Cocktail Tables

Do you know the difference between a coffee table and a cocktail table? I didn’t either, don’t worry. I figured a coffee table was well, a coffee table and a cocktail table was essentially a bar table. But then I started seeing low tables in living rooms being referred to as cocktail tables and I had to do some investigation as to what the difference is between a coffee table and a cocktail table. And guess what? There’s no difference at all! They’re exactly the same thing.

I know you’re not supposed to fully trust Wikipedia, but I often do, especially when it sounds legit. Here’s what they have to say about the coffee table vs. cocktail table debate: “A coffee table, also called a cocktail table, is a style of long, low table which is designed to be placed in front of a sofa, to support beverages (hence the name), magazines, books (especially coffee table books), and other small items to be used while sitting, such as beverage coasters. ”

Makes sense, right? Both coffee and cocktails refer to beverages and depending on what time of the day you’re sitting at the sofa, it’s like that you’re sipping a coffee or a cocktail. (Or both!)

After reading Wikipedia, I headed over to Cymax and went through some of their coffee tables and cocktail tables and found the images above. As you can see, one has glasses for cocktails and another has a cup for coffee (or tea). So, the styling on these tables reiterates the fact that cocktail tables and coffee tables are essentially one in the same!

Well, after all that rambling, I’m glad I settled that! From now on, I’ll use the terms interchangeably depending on the time of day or what type of beverage I’m craving! How about you – what do you call these tables – coffee tables or cocktail tables?

[All images via Cymax]


March 26th, 2012 by Christina

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