It started with coffee tables. I had been working on a design project for a friend of mine, who was adamant that there would be no coffee table in her living room. Instead, she wanted a low ottoman.
'But where would you put your coffee?' I asked.
'Like I drink coffee at a coffee table anyway,' she said.
She had a point. Whenever I came over her house, we ended up gravitating towards the kitchen, which had a little breakfast nook perfect for sitting and, well, catching up. The living room was more of a glorified pass-through, a place that never saw guests for more than ten minutes. Why clutter it up with a coffee table, when you could have a versatile ottoman, which would be used as seating? (And if she did need it as a surface for that infrequent cup of coffee, she could just top it with a tray.)
A few weeks later, I happened to notice that coffee tables are a rarity in my friends' apartments. Instead, there are small side tables, cocktail tables or trunks that multitasked as storage. This could be more indicative of the compromises one makes when faced with limited square footage. But I've also noticed that many furniture stores have limited options for coffee tables in general -- so maybe we're onto something.
In light of the possible extinction of the coffee table, I've rounded up a few other home items that seem to be on their way out. Whether it's for space reasons (again, coffee table) or for changing habits, they're becoming rarer and rarer these days. So flip through the slideshow and let us know if you agree...or disagree.