Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tea Height

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All of these coffee tables have one thing in common -- they are all at tea height.  It's really just a fancy way of saying that they are taller than the typical coffee table, which usually sits at or below seat level.  Perhaps we should call them a tea table instead? 





In this photo of my living room (taken ages ago) you can see that our coffee table stands at tea height.  It belonged to my grandmother, and supposedly it once stood as dining table until she had it cut down.  (We'd had it only a matter of weeks before my girls started to ruin the top, so I promptly "upholstered" the top in pleather --which has held up beautifully to all manner of abuses.)

After having lived with both varieties of coffee table, I thought I'd list the pros and cons of the tea height.

Pros
  • easy for entertaining as you don't have to reach far for your drink
  • or plate of food if it's a casual get together -- you can literally eat off the thing
  • perfect for watching videos or shows on a laptop
Cons
  • not comfortable for propping feet on 
  • takes up a lot of visual space in a room
That last part is one I've been meaning to do a post on -- how tall furnishings can hinder (or help) with the feeling of space.  I'm going to have to do bit of scouring to find photos that will help me prove my point, though.  So it may take some time.

I've given thought to chopping my grandmother's tea height coffee table down a bit.  Quite frankly, I'm more into comfort and casual living than formality.   And since my grandmother had no problem chopping the legs down on an antique, I figure I can do the same.

**In my previous post, I said I was going to show you pictures of my new collection, but I'm feeling too lazy to upload and sort through my photos just now. :)








10 comments:

  1. Hey what'd ya know. My coffee is tea hight too. Just thought it was 'too tall'. Now I feel better. :)

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  2. ours is regular height now, because i like the look of the table, but our old tables were tea height and i prefer that height- i think it's much easier to use! :)

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  3. I love the look and feel of them, but they wouldn't work in our home. Great pics!
    xo Heidi

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  4. I remember the first time I ever saw a tea height table...it was in Tricia Foley's home (love her!). I think they look cool but my first thought was you can't put your feet up! haha :) Shows you where my priorities are.

    Really nice photos Camille and yes, you should definitely cut the table down if you want...grandma would approve.

    Have a good night!

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  5. I have a gorgeous Moroccan tea tray table at the beach house - it is still high - but started out even higher and was visually obtrusive. I had one carved pattern width cut off each leg (it upset the carpenter to do it) and I saved the piece so it could be reattached later if I ever wanted to. So go ahead and cut down your table again - there is no purpose to things if they are not usable.

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  6. Such a great post! My family (mom, grandma, etc) doesn't do coffee tables--just tea tables, and they are so much more formal. I remember reading a while ago that there is no such thing as an antique coffee table because they didn't exist until sometime into the 20th century. You could of course always have an antique repurposed into a coffee table. I love the images of the rustic tea tables in your post--such a new twist for me!

    Lane
    www.urbanorchardinteriors.com

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  7. This is interesting and Lane's comment makes sense too that teas were more prevalent back in the day so the coffee table is really more of a modern piece that came about once things drifted to a more casual for the family.

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  8. I prefer a higher rather than lower coffee table....and in everyone of those pictures I love how the higher one looks!

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  9. I think your living room looks nice, but it would look amazing if it was painted a darker color and if the fireplace was painted white.

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I enjoy reading every comment.