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Oriental Coffee Tables

Oriental coffee tables combine traditional shapes and materials, with the practicality and style required for modern living. An oriental coffee table makes an excellent focal point for a living space, providing both a style statement as well as essential functionality.

4 Living sell a range of oriental coffee tables in a variety of styles and shapes, made from black and white lacquered wood. Here we look at the design features of oriental coffee tables and how to go about choosing an oriental coffee table for your living space.

Oriental Coffee Tables – click here to view our Oriental living room furniture

Oriental Coffee Tables – Design Features

Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of oriental coffee tables is that they tend to be low to the ground, which is a feature of to oriental furniture in general. In traditional oriental culture, chairs were seldom used and people preferred to sit on the floor to eat and take tea.

With the rise of TV culture and less formality in everyday family meals, it is not uncommon for coffee tables to be used as informal dining tables. Oriental coffee tables offer a perfect height for this, while allowing room for legs to fit underneath. This contrasts to higher style coffee tables which are too high to be eaten off when sitting, or may be solid or have shelves below, preventing legs from fitting comfortably underneath.

The lines and shapes used in oriental coffee table designs can vary from minimalist to ornate.

Perhaps the most commonly seen design involves a very square design with clean straight lines.

Our 4 drawer oriental coffee table is just such an example, with chunky square legs and square drawer handles creating a very minimalist look which would fit into any contemporary design scheme. Our oriental ottoman chest has similarly clean design features, offset by a simple circular metal fastening detail. Minimalist and chunky is a strong design trend amongst all modern furniture at the moment – so an oriental coffee table offers a way to stay on trend while also being just a little different.

But it is also possible to see more exotic curves included, either in the overall shape, or in specific elements such as legs, feet or other detailing. Our Beijing coffee table includes stunning ball legs below a plain top with bevelled, distressed edges. The overall look is eye-catching, as well as feeling older and more traditional – a perfect accent piece for either a contemporary or traditional decor.

Our final option is the Bejing cube table, which can be used as a side table or lamp table, but will also make a great coffee table for a small living area. In terms of design it offers a mix of traditional and modern in one piece, with traditional lacquer work base and legs, and an inset glass top. The open cube shape combined with stressed edging and brass detailing in the base adds to the contrast.

Oriental coffee tables are also distinguished by their materials and, especially, the finishes and detailing used. Our tables are all made using American Ash and Pine, but other woods such as

Teak and Mahogany are also used. The wood is typically lacquered with multiple layers of varnish which produces a high gloss, durable finish which is easy to keep clean. Using coloured varnish produces the typical colours seen in oriental furniture. The 4 Living furniture range is available in black or white lacquered wood which is lacquered seven times and offers fashionable high gloss looks.

Choosing an Oriental Coffee Table

Here are a few key things to consider when choosing an oriental coffee table for your living space.

Size

Three main factors determine the ideal size of a coffee table. The first is the size of your living area and the space required by other furniture such as sofas and chairs. You need to ensure sufficient clearance around the table so that it is easy to walk around and to sit next to, if that is one of your planned uses. It’s best to measure up rather than guess.

The second factor is the amount of surface space you need your coffee table to provide. If you want to be able to have a meal at the table, you may need a bigger surface area than if it just needs to accommodate the occasional cup of tea and a remote control.

The third factor relates to the overall size of the room. Pick a size which feels in proportion to the overall space and the other furniture.

Storage

Think about whether you want your coffee table to include an element of storage, and whether you want open or closed storage.

Our 4 drawer oriental coffee table allows a multitude of objects to be hidden away, such as TV remotes, table mats, magazines and so on. Being able to clear your coffee table of regularly used objects can really enhance the minimalist effect of the room.

Our oriental cube table offers a large base shelf which can accommodate magazines and books, for example, to display decorative objects, or can be kept clear to show off the features of the furniture.

Our Beijing coffee table with ball legs has no internal storage. But if large amounts of storage are required, you might consider our oriental ottoman which makes an ideal solid coffee table for smaller living areas.

Colour

4 Living lacquered furniture is available in either black or off-white. Both colours can suit just about any colour scheme – either coordinating with a neutral scheme, or providing a change of pace within a stronger colour scheme.

black lacquer coffee table works well as part of a bold or very masculine scheme, especially with other items of black furniture. It can help to create a sense of solidity and substance. But a black lacquer table can also sit well in a lighter scheme, where it will be a strong visual focal point, helping to pull together surrounding elements.

white lacquer coffee table will work well in smaller spaces, where you might want to minimise visual clutter. They may also work better where your intended focal point is elsewhere in the room, such as a fireplace or picture. And of course they help to lighten the colour scheme in any room. Dark rooms which don't get much natural light will benefit both from the light colour and the highly reflective surface, especially if additional lighting can be arranged close by.