Tables have been used since ancient times. Various shapes and sizes of table were made and used by the early Egyptians and Chinese. The history of coffee tables dates back to the late 19th century, during the Victorian era in Britian. Before this period, coffee tables didn’t exist. Rather, tall, round tables called tea tables were used. As their name implies, they held cups of tea during tea time. As tea time became more popular, so did the production of tea tables. During the early twentieth century, coffee tables replaced tea tables. The low height of today’s coffee tables was probably influenced by floor-level Japanese tables found in tea gardens. As a result of the Industrial Revolution, wooden furniture production became widespread. Further advances in industrial technology created new design possibilities utilizing different materials to make coffee tables. Many of the contemporary designs of today’s coffee tables that use glass, chrome plating, stainless steel, formica, acrylic and aluminum have their roots in the 19th century.

Flame Coffee Table

This flame coffee table will bring warmth into any room. It is hand-crafted and made from some of the finest materials. The top is made from reconstructed limestone with granite chips. It can be finished in different shades to match your room décor.  The base is made from lattice wood slates. Turning off the ethanol-based fire is as simple as placing a top over it. The flame is smoke-free, odor-free and non-toxic. $3,500 from

Renzo Glass Coffee Table

This table is made in Italy by Tonin Casa. It’s sold for under $2,000. The unusual shaped top on this coffee table resembles a flowing drop of liquid. The base is lacquered and is available in white or black. The glass top is available in clear, black or extra-white. $1,640 from

Ungle Coffee Tables

This table is very expensive. If you are looking for an exotic and distinctive coffee table, and budget isn’t an issue, select this table. These Greek coffee tables are handmade using alluring geometric designs. It’s finished in a high-gloss polyester paint. $5,000 from

Goccio Bent Glass Table

Designed by M. Bardini, this contemporary table is available in black or frosted glass. It has a built-in magazine rack, which allows you to leave your papers within reach without looking disorganized. £705-867 from

Aquarium Coffee Table

This coffee table is a great conversation piece. The base is a fully functional aquarium, with an opening on the surface for easy access feeding.  Everything you need to get started (except the fish) is included with the table: florescent light (built into the table base), water pump, water filter, blue gravel and plants. $500 from

Ultra Contemporary Sphere Table

For about $6,000 you can be the owner of this extraordinary coffee table. The table is handmade with 99 pieces of 4”x3” solid wood. According to Opulent Items, the exterior is lacquered and the sphere is finished with shellac, which is a natural polymer harvested from tree bark. $6,500 from

Square Combination Table

This coffee table combines high-sheen aluminum with color; choose from black, orange, red, white or yellow. The legs are metal and available in three heights: low (8 inches), middle (12 inches) or high (16 inches). $191.00 from

Crosby Coffee Table

The Crosby Coffee Table is made in the USA by Modloft. According to, the sections rotate to create additional space when you’re entertaining guests. The table has five layers; the bottom layer is fixed while the top layers can be rotated 360 degrees to suit your changing needs and mood. It’s available in two color combinations: wenge/red and walnut/black. $910 from

Globe Light Table

This energy efficient coffee table uses a halogen light bulb to brighten up your living room. You can alter the color of the light by placing a color filter over the halogen bulb. $850 from

Trix Stylish Coffee Table

Made in Italy by Sambometal, this curvy coffee table is a sophisticated addition to any living room. Just make sure to place our cup of coffee away from the edge – unless you have a curvy-bottomed mug, that is. The base is made of durable steel, and the total weight of the table is 64 lbs. The glass is available in white, black or red. $1,150 from

Havana Coffee Tables

These tables are handmade in Australia. They are made from rattan wood and crystal glass. Even though it’s called a “coffee” table, the beachy-looking furniture will hold a fruity cocktail too. $750 from

Swivel Coffee Table

There are some hints of 1980s style in this coffee table. Nonetheless, this table, designed by Arter and Citton, is sleek and contemporary with a functionally convenient design. The swivel glass top is 12mm thick, and the solid wood base is finished in silver metal paint with glazed chrome details. £665 from

Modern Nik Coffee Table

Traditional meets contemporary with the Nik coffee table. This modernized wood and glass coffee table is handmade in Brazil using high-grade, multi-laminated eucalyptus. $3,500 from

Borneo Multi Dot Coffee Table

This ultra lightweight coffee table (only 5.88 lbs.) is made in the USA by Sitcom furniture. It can add a bit of playfulness to your design scheme with its multicolor spots. $300 from

Fiocco Coffee Table

This coffee table is great for readers. The curved sides of the base are perfect for magazine storage. Pus, the transparent glass means it will match any color scheme. £701 from

Spiral Coffee Table

This table is an eye-catcher. The base is made from metal and is available in silver-laquered or chromed finish. The glass top is available in black, brown, frosted or red. If you get dizzy easily, this might not be the best table for you. £953-1038 from

Viviana Modern Coffee Table

Made in Italy by Tonin Casa, this modern coffee table has chromed metal as its base and bent glass for the top. It’s understated but still a focal point. The glass top is available in black, clear with flowers or extra-white. $1,888 from

Domino Coffee Table

SIDD Fine Woodworking in Canada makes this unique hand-crafted walnut coffee table. You can choose the type of wood and the size. A craftsman will build it by hand over a period of six weeks and the piece will be signed and numbered by the artisan who built it. $1,500 from

Top-Drawer Coffee Table

This combination table/storage unit has two concealed drawers on the top of the table. It allows for the modern equivalent to sweeping things under the rug when you need to tidy up in a hurry. The base is made with oak veneer. Available in chocolate oak veneer or polished white/barley. $319 from

Atlas Coffee Table

This Italian-designed table by Cattelan Italia has a varnished steel base that is available in 4 colors: anthracite, silver, white or black. Watch your shins on the corners. $933.00 from

Written by Marcy Tate who is a home improvement blogger at Networx.