Coffee tables are short, small surfaces designed for the placement of beverages and snacks. They are typically much smaller than dining tables in order to allow them to comfortably fit in the centre of a seating arrangement of some kind, usually including a small sofa and armchairs.
These tables are excellent for creating a hospitable and relaxing environment.
In some homes the coffee table also serves as a foot stool. It is considered perfectly acceptable to lean back in your seat and put your feet up on the table. This varies, and it is usually not the case for a more formal living room.
Some coffee tables have sharp edges or pointed corners. Someone walking through the room in the dark could do some nasty harm to his or her shins; pets could be hurt if they run into the table, and small children have a talent for trying to stand up or falling into furniture. There are edge guards that can be places on the edges and corners of a table. Stone or glass is especially liable to have a sharp edge or corner.