A coffee table is a style of long, low table which is designed to be placed in front of (or next to) a sofa or upholstered chairs to support beverages (hence the name), magazines, books (especially large, illustrated coffee table books), decorative objects, and other small items to be used while sitting, such as beverage coasters. In some situations, such as during a party, plates of food may be placed on the table.
Coffee tables are usually found in the living room or sitting room. They are available in many different variations and prices vary from style to style. Coffee tables may also incorporate cabinets or drawers for storage. The most common construction of coffee tables is out of wood (though faux wood tables are increasingly common); metal, glass, and leather coffee tables are also popular. Typically, stainless steel or aluminum are used for metal coffee tables. The idiom "Gather round the coffee table" is derived from the furniture piece and its proclivity for encouraging conviviality and light conversation. Coffee tables were thought to initially be constructed in Renaissance England.