Different Kinds of Wooden Coffee Tables

Written by amelia allonsy
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Different Kinds of Wooden Coffee Tables
This wooden coffee table is a traditional square table. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

A coffee table is a common piece of living room furniture. It can be host to many conversations while people enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, but may also be a conversation piece in itself. Coffee tables can be made of materials like wood, glass, metal or plastic, but wooden coffee tables are the most traditional. If you are considering a wooden coffee table, there are several kinds available.

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A traditional wooden coffee table simply has four legs and a smooth tabletop. The table can be square, round, oval or even octagon-shaped. Oak, mahogany, and pine are among the most common types of wood used. The wood can be given a natural finish for a rustic decor, which usually consists of sanding the finish and sealing it with a protective lacquer. You can also choose a traditional coffee table that has ornate designs, such as flowers carved into the piece that supports the table top, or claws carved into the feet. This ornamentation is on Victorian-style tables. Craftsmen might also use a lathe to make spirals or bubble details on the legs.

Shelves or Cabinets

Wooden coffee tables with a shelf or cabinet underneath provide extra storage space. Some coffee tables might have both, with two cabinets on either end joined by a low shelf in between. The cabinets can make excellent storage for items like books or children's art supplies. You can stack a few interesting magazines or coffee-table books on the shelf for guests to enjoy. The shelf gives homeowners a place for storage so that the tabletop can be clean when not in use. These storage-unit coffee tables can be made from hardwoods like oak, softwoods like pine, or even from compressed wood materials. You might find them with sleek shelves, ladder-style shelving, or cabinet doors that have designs burnt or etched into the wood.


Lift-top coffee tables offer versatile storage capacity. The entire top of these tables can be raised up and then slid back down so that the top remains flat at all times. At first glance, the table might look like a traditional wooden coffee table, but with the addition of a few pieces of hardware under the tabletop, the table top can be lifted to reveal a storage area underneath that is completely out of sight when closed. This makes a convenient surface to use for eating or performing work on a laptop computer. Some people might even keep items like napkins and snacks for tea or coffee service in a lift-top table.


Modern coffee tables encompass a wide variety of table signs that make a statement as much as serve a function. They might be made in an odd shape with rounded features, or painted with bold colours. A modern table may include various heights with several different table tops to serve different needs, such as for serving coffee or a workstation, or they might incorporate other building materials, such as a glass insert or bold tiles on the tabletop, into the design. Some tables have game boards like draughts or backgammon designed on the tabletop. These are ideal for families who like to have a weekly game night.

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