Entertain at Home with Classy Cocktail Tables

Entertaining at home can feel like a drag if you keep to the same look every time someone comes over. While some may move furniture around to freshen the living room up, another option to augment the space with specific pieces just for guests. Cocktail tables were created to do just that. This cousin of the coffee table is always ready to look classy and hold those extra drinks. With unique designs and a smaller surface area, a cocktail table may be just what you need to liven up your living room.

Coffee and Cocktails

While there’s nothing stopping you from having coffee at your cocktail table and vice versa, there is a distinction between the two (by Highbury Homes)

What is the difference between a coffee table and cocktail table? At first glance, it may not be apparent. And in this modern day, most people use the terms interchangeably. But if you want to look savvy in front of your friends and family, here’s what the distinction is: Cocktail tables are a subset of coffee tables popularized in the 1920s for beverages, books, ash trays, and light conversation during aptly-named cocktail parties, though no source I could find said when exactly these tables were invented. They tend to be smaller, daintier, and more intimate; meant for only a couple people to gather around as a reprieve from the rest of the bustling party-goers.

If you can’t find a coffee table that is bold enough for your sitting room, try adding a cocktail table to the decor (by Milieu Home Goods)

Cocktail tables compensate for their smaller stature by being more decorative and experimental in design. From solid carved blocks of wood to twisting spires under a glass top, there are all kinds of unique pieces to bring in for guests or permanently as a supplementary table. Try using interesting cocktail tables to frame your couches or contrast against a more practical coffee table to create a visual balance between two sides of the room. Cocktail tables are meant for living rooms and sitting rooms, but can be used anywhere you need a little more table space.

Round a Corner

You don’t need a table to be round to call it a cocktail table, but sticking with one shape and repeating it throughout can make for a bold room design (by Collins & DuPont Design Group)

Sources debate about whether the shape of the table determines the type it is. There’s also disagreement on which shape should be assigned to each type of table. Nevertheless, you can enjoy cocktail tables in any kind of shape that you prefer (ignore the experts) from round, square, rectangular, triangular, and more. I like round cocktail tables because they’re great for families and clumsy people because it’s harder to catch things on the sides of the table if there are no sharp edges. You also can play with shapes in your living room to create a repeating element through several pieces of furniture.

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Need to take the edge off of your living room? Rounder furniture may be the trick you need (by Ruth Livingston Studio)

Round tables as a design choice feel softer and make for a more inviting living room than their angular counterparts. So if you want to keep the intimate and cozy tone that these tables provided during cocktail parties, round is the natural choice. You don’t have to feel confined to ovals though if those feel plain among your existing furniture. Pieces that look carved but not quite with the sharp corners of a rectangle are a great way to look modern and still get that softer feeling you want.

A Little Goes a Long Way

You can make a small space larger by cutting a few literal corners with a round cocktail table(by Anjali Pollack Design)

On top of their coziness, rounded tables allow for more room in the living room. They’ll make your space seem larger and giving you a little bit more leg room. Combine that with the cocktail table’s smaller overall size, and it will open up the center of your living room significantly more than a standard coffee table. Try placing several accent chairs and love seats (instead of a large, traditional sofa) around your table for a smaller living room to add to that extra space but still seat the whole family.

If you’re looking to change things up in your living or sitting room to entertain guests, consider adding a cocktail table to your decor to keep things both classy and functional.

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