Why I’m Going To Spill My Drink On Your Floor
I have this thing about coffee tables. I can’t tell you how many houses I am in where the coffee table is so far away from the sofa that you actually have to get up to put your drink down. Why is this? Has everyone forgotten what the COFFEE table is for? While I’m much more forgiving of the lack of side tables (also a place where you are supposed to be able to put a drink down), I just can’t forgive that the coffee table has gone from extremely functional to the place to put highfalutin’ books and objects of curiosity intended to make you look cool. People, it needs to be both!
For the record, the distance from the sofa to the coffee table should be between 14 -18″ or whatever makes it easy for guests to move around while still being able to put down a drink or hors d’oeuvre. This is especially critical if you have a deep sofa. Your guests shouldn’t need really long arms or a crane to extract themselves whenever they need to put their glass down. I, personally, like things closer because it creates an intimate space and no one has to shout to be heard. I also tend to serve antipasto on my coffee table so being able to get roasted peppers into your mouth without falling on my velvet sofa is a BIG plus. I also believe in the liberal use of smaller end tables so that there’s always somewhere to put a glass. People greatly underestimate the importance of this whole concept and I’m convinced that it’s one of the reasons my friends like coming to my house. As a guest, they are ushered into a comfortable seat and guess what, they don’t have to move again unless they have to go to the bathroom. In my opinion, food, drink, fire, great music, and an absence of young children are all you need for a successful evening.
And while I’m at it, let me rant a bit about coasters, the bastard step-child of the coffee table. I LOVE coasters. In fact, I can’t adequately express my love for them. I think it’s because I’ve had the thankless and painful job of refinishing wood furniture only to have some careless person put a glass down and leave me with a lovely water stain. Yes, I worship a good coaster. And let me tell you that all coasters are NOT created equal. There are the cheap laminated ones that just pool the water until you lift your drink up and get it halfway to your mouth and then they deposit their nasty river into your lap. There are the cork ones that at least absorb some of the water, but they have to be pretty thick since the bottom is not waterproof and left over time these can leave a nasty mark, and they break easily. There are the leather ones that are a bit better since the bottom is usually padded and the leather does absorb some of the water. And then there’s Thirstystone, which are heavy and don’t always have the greatest designs, but they really do work. All I can say is, every child should be taught about coasters from an early age and I think they should have them in all schools starting with kindergarten. Can you just see all the littles with their milk cartons on coasters – warms the cockles of my heart.
So. Before I come to your house, you had better be sure that your coffee table is appropriately spaced because I WILL have a tape measure. Just plop me in my seat, throw on a good beat and I promise not to move, or spill my drink on your floor. If you don’t make me reach for a friggin’ coaster.