7 Coffee Table Alternatives for Small Living Rooms

Add Some Personality to Your Space with These Fabulous Focal Points

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. But 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...MORE alternatives.

  • 01 of 07

    Matching Side Tables

    Durham Bunching Tables. Ballard Designs

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

  • 02 of 07

    Tufted Ottoman

    Jessica Charles Round Tufted Ottoman. Polyvore

    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. (Ottomans instead of coffee tables don’t have to be tufted, but they sure are pretty!)

  • 03 of 07

    Vintage Style Trunk

    Zimmer Trunk. Pottery Barn

    A vintage (or vintage style) 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.

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    Garden Stools

    Garden stools, room designed by Smantha Pynn. Style at Home

    Garden stools are cute and trendy and a lot of people have been using them instead of coffee tables for the last few years. They don’t offer quite the same impact as a coffee table, but the advantage is their versatility as they can be used outdoors as well as in. If you decide to use garden stools as a coffee table alternative make sure to use two, as one will likely be too small to fill the space and it will look a bit lost.

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  • 05 of 07

    Tray Table

    Chinoiserie Parrot Tray Table. An Angel at My Table

    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. Also, tray tables come with some beautiful colors and patterns so they provide a really unique decorating opportunity.

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    Storage Bench

    Amelia Storage Bench. Ballard Designs

    Like ottomans, storage benches can be used as table surfaces or extra seating, but the advantage of these pieces is that they have hidden storage inside. Feel free to use either one long piece or a couple of smaller matching pieces. The key is to make sure you maximize the amount of storage you get. Once again, this option is a no-brainer for small, cluttered spaces as you can hide away a multitude of sins..

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    Nesting Tables

    Peekaboo Nesting Tables. CB2

    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.