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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Coffee Table Safety...

 Before children (BC), I always vowed that I would never be one of those women whose decorating style is affected by having children.  I would teach my children not to play with "mommy's pretty things" and they would be well-behaved and never run in the house and would know to avoid any furniture with sharp corners.  Now that reality has set in, I have to laugh at a lot of these promises I made BC.  For example, as soon as my little guy started pulling up on furniture to walk, I had to move my pretty coffee table out of the family room.  The table is gold leaf with a mirrored top and has very sharp edges.  However, since rearranging the family room, it really feels empty without a coffee table. 

As I started thinking about what kind of table to buy, with little children it seems like the only two safe options are either an oversized upholstered ottoman or something curved and made of neither wood nor metal- what about lucite?!  Since I already have an ottoman that goes with my club chairs, I am thinking a simple lucite coffee table might be the answer.  A curved waterfall style is probably my best bet, since it doesn't really have any sharp corners or hard edges. 

CB2 makes a very affordable version of the lucite waterfall table.  The main problem is that it's only 13.75 inches tall.  That seems REALLY low for a coffee table.  But it is affordable and available, which is nice.

I found another on eBay that is several inches taller, and the lucite is thicker than the CB2 version, which I think makes a huge difference.  Do you agree?  The price is about the same. 

Some of my favorite rooms feature lucite coffee tables.  They provide a practical surface without weighing down a room with heavy wood or metal.  And, more importantly for me right now, they seem to be a (relatively) safe table option for little children. 
Janet Gregg's Charleston home in Cottage Living

Elle Decor (this one does have sharp edges, but isn't the brass hardware fabulous?)

House Beautiful (another with sharp edges, but it's so unique).

A lucite trunk in Lonny

House Beautiful

Meg Braff's living room in Coastal Living

Photo courtesy of

Do you agree that lucite is a good choice for mamas of little ones? 


Tonia said...

Yes I agree that lucite is a great stylish option. I wish I had thought of that when my boys were little.

Huddyma said...

I definitely like the ebay one better and I think it works with your aesthetic well too.

As for BC, I have to lol at "not playing with Mommy's pretty things," because the pretty things are the ONLY things my boys want to touch!

CK said...

I agree with you in theory (I love lucite, and that eBay table is fab), but i have a friend with a lucite table and little ones and it is a hot mess of scratches... it also gets cloudy because it can only be cleaned with water, and inevitably someone cleans it with something else (or most likely, spills something on it). Love the lucite, but you may be wasting money getting one with kiddos..

Betsy said...

The room looks amazing, and I think the e-bay version is perfect! Love all the room examples you gave. Hope to see the updated family room in person soon!

Carla@DesignintheWoods said...

You can't help but think of your little ones' safety and actually it's less stress for you! I spent a long night in the emergency room some 20 years ago (my son is now 24) when he was running around my long, narrow, pointy-edged coffee table and slipped and fell. His left temple hit the corner and needed stitches. I'm just so grateful it wasn't his eye. He has a little scar there to remind me of my mistake. We had no coffee table for awhile, then introduced some small round ones that didn't get in the way. Lesson learned the hard way. Kids will be kids and run around the coffee table.

Kerry said...

Oooh! A woman after my own heart. I almost bought 2 lucite table to pair in my family room. I have 2 teenagers and a 2 year old. I went with my zero cost option and used a chunky wood, hand me down, totally unstylish table. It was banged up from the teenagers so I refinished it in a darker, semi-gloss and figured it is a necessary evil for a few years.
Boy am I glad!!! My sweet little girl bangs toys and pencils on it as well as climbing like a monkey.
My advice is to Scotchguard the ottoman and buy some great art for the wall--where they can't get it.

Kerry said...

I should have mentioned that I am not one of those people with a house full of stuff messed up by kids. I just try to have kid-proof nice things in casual rooms and save the nicest for formal rooms that they don't live and play in.

Lindsey Suggs said...

I love the lucite coffee tables you chose! It think the lucite trunk from Lonny is such a clever way to store books and magazine! I would totally go for one of these if I didn't already have an oversized upholstered ottoman...

Dina @ Honey + Fitz said...

We are having the same issue - time to replace the wood table for something less injury inducing but the room already has some really heavy upholstered pieces including a huge sectional so I'm not excited about going the ottoman route. I hadn't considered lucite which I love...but will I be forever annoyed by dirty little handprints all over it?

central bark designs said...

I love the lucite options - but must agree with others that it may not be as child-friendly as you might hope. Fingerprints - scratches, etc.

I think an ottoman might work best.

Splendid Sass said...

I agree with you. While I taught my children not to touch things, I was afraid of the sharp edges.
These images are beautiful. I have finally warmed up to lucite, and I am looking for a chair.

tina / half of what I say said...

BC, and AC that is totally the story of my life. The children always come in to play in my decision making, but I try not to let it compromise too much in terms of style. I'm with one on that lucite and brass coffee table, stunning!

kayce hughes said...

Love lucite. I have the CB 2 one and I love it but i would go for the ebay one if it is thicker and taller.

Eclectic Etcetera said...

Ha! I just posted about the CB2 table last week:
I, too, didn't like how thin and possibly flimsy it looked so thanks for the eBay link. I love the lucite!
And, yes... I just decided I needed to gently train my children to be careful around my antiques and pretties. My house is full of family pieces so they have to learn to live with them. Interestingly, I've had very few casualties... almost none.

Lisa said...

I considered the cb2 table, but I'm afraid it will get scratched. My boys also like to use our ottomans as launching pads and I don't think the cb2 table is strong enough to withstand that.

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