18 Coffee Tables for Small Living Rooms

And Coffee Table Alternatives

Small living room with wall to ceiling windows, two chairs and a coffee table with white fur covering

The Spruce / Sophia Reay

A lot of people will tell you that a coffee table is a necessary piece of furniture for a living room. You need a place to put up your feet, put down drinks, and most importantly, to anchor the room. As homes get smaller, designers get more creative, and decorating enthusiasts get more adventurous, some interesting alternatives to traditional coffee tables have been making their way onto the scene. If you’re looking to try something a little different consider these coffee table alternatives.

  • 01 of 18

    Matching Side Tables

    matching gold circular side tables

    Alvin Wayne

    A pair of matching side tables are a terrific alternative to a traditional coffee table. They can be arranged to give the illusion of a single table but can also be pulled apart and used separately when necessary. This is a great option for small spaces that need versatile pieces of furniture.

  • 02 of 18

    Vintage Trunk

    vintage style trunk used as living room table

    Tyler Karu Design

    A vintage trunk offers character in a way that a new or modern piece just can’t. Plus, there’s the added bonus of storage. Just remember that while they can be great for putting your feet up, vintage trunks sometimes have curved lids, so you can’t always place things down on them. If you opt for one of these pieces, make sure you also have side tables nearby.

  • 03 of 18

    Group of Stools

    small collection of stools

    Michelle Boudreau Design

    Stools aren't just for bars or kitchen islands anymore. If you have a group of two or three backless and armless stools with flat tops, transform them into coffee tables. Stools come in all heights, but shorter 16-inch to 18-inch high stackable-style stools may work best for coffee table use. Just like other grouped coffee table alternatives, you can rearrange them to your liking or put them into work as seats. Add small round trays to make each stool a safe space for drinks.

  • 04 of 18

    Tray Table

    tan coffee tray table in neutral color living room

    Gray Space Interior Design

    While still a table that can anchor a space, a tray table offers something that a traditional coffee table can’t. If you entertain on a regular basis, a tray table can be a wise purchase. Just make sure it’s not so heavy that you can’t easily lift it and carry it around the room. Tray tables come with some beautiful colors and patterns, so they provide a unique decorating opportunity.

    Continue to 5 of 18 below.
  • 05 of 18

    Nesting Tables

    nesting coffee tables

    Cathie Hong Interiors

    Like matching side tables, nesting tables are a good option for small spaces. Since they’ll likely be viewed from all sides, make sure that the tables are finished all the way around. In a case like this, acrylic waterfall tables would be ideal. When they're not in use as coffee tables, tuck them away to the side. The beauty of nesting tables is that they can easily be moved around. And if you have kids, they can have their own little coffee table for playing or drawing while you get to put your feet up on your own table.

  • 06 of 18

    Sleek Stone Tables

    circular stone tables

    Afro Bohemian Living

    If you're going for a bold impression, then look no further. Stone tables not only look stunning but can stand the test of time. The smooth flat surface alone is its own decorative statement yet also makes a great place to set your books and other decorative items.

  • 07 of 18

    Abstract Shaped Wooden Table

    uniquely shaped wooden table with hairpin legs

    Arbor & Co.

    The tree trunk trend is a favorite for those who love a natural aesthetic. However, if you want a slightly modern version, there are options available. Going for a version with a wooden surface with hairpin legs attached adds midcentury modern charm that will impress anyone. Plus, the abstract shape will certainly capture other's attention without taking up too much room.

  • 08 of 18

    Minimalist Design

    thin top coffee table with wire legs

    Erin Williamson Design

    Bulky table options can take up more room than anticipated, so it makes sense to go for something slimmer. Try using a table designed with the minimalist in mind—sleek wire legs and a thin surface. The result is a table that looks chic and artistic yet will be a perfect fit in a smaller space.

    Continue to 9 of 18 below.
  • 09 of 18

    Two-Tier Table

    black circular two tier living room table

    Arbor & Co.

    Small living rooms often provide less than ideal space for storage, so incorporating furniture that makes the most of it is important. Rather than multiple tables or elongated versions, try using a two-tier table that not only has a top surface but another shelf below. You'll take up the same amount of room as a standard coffee table but will add more much-needed space.

  • 10 of 18

    Wooden Crate Style

    wooden crate used as a small living room table

    Arbor & Co.

    We highly admire a rustic theme, and wooden-style crates used as a coffee table fit right into the motif. The sturdiness and vintage appeal make it a prime candidate to place your drinks, books, remotes, or decorative items. Plus, it never hurts to upcycle and reuse items for a brand new purpose. Whether you choose to go a full DIY or purchase it from someone else, it adds a certain charm that's hard it ignore.

  • 11 of 18

    Backless Bench

    living room using a bench as a coffee table

    Laquita Tate Styling and Design

    A slender, low wooden entryway bench, piano bench, or even a smaller picnic table-style bench can make the perfect place to put down a drink or two in a small or narrow living room. If there's a slim bottom piece of wood bracing the legs, it may provide just enough shelf space for a small basket or two for decorative storage. As with many other coffee table alternatives, a backless bench offers extra seating when necessary.

  • 12 of 18

    Ottoman With Storage

    blush pink ottoman that doubles as storage

    Lucky Plot 13

    Ottomans have long been considered great alternatives to coffee tables. When you put a large tray on them, it creates a solid surface so you can still place decorative or practical items, but when you remove the tray, they can be used as extra seating. They also add a soft touch where normally there would be something hard and severe. As a bonus, ensuring you have an ottoman equipped with extra storage can ensure any blankets or additional items can stay out of sight while still being within reach if needed.

    Continue to 13 of 18 below.
  • 13 of 18

    Wicker Style Storage Basket

    wicker style storage basket used as living room table

    House Nine Interior Design

    Like ottomans, storage baskets can be used as table surfaces or extra seating (but be sure to check the item's weight capacity). The biggest advantage of these pieces is that they have lots of hidden storage inside so that you can hide a multitude of clutter. Use either one long piece or a couple of smaller matching pieces side by side or in a configuration that suits your space. Look for versions with hinged or fully removable tops.

  • 14 of 18

    Large Pouf

    large leather cushion/pouf used as living room table

    Ashley Montgomery Design

    Multi-purpose furniture is always a bonus, and it never hurts to take a look at what items you have to see how else they can be used. While a collection of small poufs can make for great tables, large poufs are also an ideal option. You can add a tray to the top of the surface if it's too textured or bumpy, and voilà, problem solved!

  • 15 of 18

    Bunches of Poufs

    Living room poufs

    Esther Schmidt

    Poufs, generally smaller and more pillowy than ottomans, also make ideal candidates for alternative coffee tables. Though most poufs sit low on the ground, some are made with small legs to slightly elevate them off the ground. With a tray on top of each, they make ideal surfaces for drinks; without a tray, they're ready for extra guests who need a seat or footrest. Poufs come in all sorts of shapes, from round to cubes, fabrics, weaves, designs, and patterns, making them extra colorful and textured accessories to add into neutral spaces.

  • 16 of 18

    Cushioned Footrest

    Cushion footrest and coffee table

    Nile Johnson Interior Design

    Footrests are often thought of when purchasing a chair, but do they also make great table options? We think so! You can choose to place a tray or even a wide bowl on top to hold necessary items and remove them if you want to kick your feet up. The added cushion can add a soft touch to something typically viewed as hard and sturdy.

    Continue to 17 of 18 below.
  • 17 of 18

    Clear Acrylic Style

    Living room with acrylic coffee table

    Mid Century Interiors

    There are plenty of tricks to help make a small room feel more spacious—and using clear furniture is no exception. While some may opt not to have a table to keep things minimalist, adding a C-shape acrylic table allows the area to be in full view and uncluttered without giving up a coffee table presence.

  • 18 of 18

    Coffee Table With Built In Drawers

    Coffee table with storage

    The House on Hillside Lane

    If you're a fan of additional storage space but don't want to remove your items off the table to have access, try finding a table with built-in drawers. While they may have as much area space as an ottoman or storage basket, they make it easy to store away remotes, books, and other items that make your table seem cluttered. With the drawers, however, you can simply open them to retrieve your items rather than clearing off the entire top surface