Home Organization Advice

5 Coffee Table Ideas for Small Living Rooms

Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at The Ryan, luxury apartment community downtown Phoenix.

The living room is the heart of any home. After all, it’s the room where family and friends gather to relax.

But when your living room is small, you have to decide what’s necessary to have a comfortable atmosphere.

It may be tempting to stick with seating arrangements only. But a coffee table is an important and functional part of this room.

Having a coffee table invites more use of communal space.

You can sit back and enjoy a snack while you binge your Netflix shows. Guests and family game night happens over the coffee table surface. And how much work can you catch up on when you’re relaxed on the couch with an open space in front of you?

Just because your living room is small doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice this essential piece of furniture. Instead, check out these coffee table ideas for small living rooms.

These ideas will help make the most of your limited space while still granting you the perks of having a coffee table.


1. Storage Ottomans

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One cozy alternative to the traditional coffee table is a storage ottoman. It has all of the benefits of a coffee table, with features you need in a tight living space.

Since there are multiple size options, you can easily find an ottoman that doesn’t take up much space. They come in multiple styles, like:

Some of these styles, like the sleeper, tend to run large. But once you narrow down the style you prefer, you can then choose from various shapes and sizes. Round ottomans are popular for small spaces.

With an ottoman, you get the added benefit of not needing a recliner or extra chair. These soft, versatile furnishings double as extra seating for company.

Be sure to pick one that has hidden storage options. That way, you won’t need a bookshelf or other cumbersome items that take up extra room.


2. Matching Side Tables

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When you think of coffee tables, you probably picture a large, rectangular piece of furniture that sits in front of your couch. While this is the most popular arrangement, it’s not the only option.

Does your small living room area keep you from comfortably placing a coffee table in the typical spot? If so, and if you have room on the ends of your sofa, matching end tables may be the solution.

Instead of placing a big table in the middle of your family room, put two cocktail tables on either side of your couch. Even better, get some nesting tables that can be stacked when you need the extra room (we love these nesting tables from Wayfair).

You can still put your drinks, phone, or book down as you’re relaxing, but you’ll have more space in front of the sofa.

The tables don’t have to match, but when they are identical, you can pull them together and slide them to a better spot when you need the flat space. This comes in handy for get-togethers like game nights.


3. Coffee Table With Drawers

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When you go into most living rooms, there are some typical pieces of furniture that you usually see. There is almost always a couch, probably a loveseat or a recliner (or both), a coffee table, and a hutch or bookshelf for storage.

If you can’t fit all of those basic furnishings in your small living room, you have to pick and choose what to use. To do that, it’s crucial to decide which ones are actually necessary for your lifestyle.

If you need extra storage but only have limited space, accumulating clutter becomes a daily part of life. Articles on culling the clutter problem usually recommend getting a bookshelf. Once you have that, you’d use baskets or bins to organize your stuff.

But, this doesn’t help if you can’t squeeze one more thing into the room! So, skip the bookshelf and get a small coffee table with drawers instead.

The flat surface is handier than bookshelves, and the drawers hide clutter. There are lots of narrow tables that don’t take up nearly the area of their bulky counterparts.


4. Collapsible Coffee Tables

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Furniture manufacturers have been on board with the minimalist trend since it hit the scene over a decade ago. As the demand for efficient apartments has increased, so has the need for quality furniture to fit in smaller spaces.

Because of this need, there is a coffee table out there for every budget and small space. You just have to find it!

One example is the collapsible coffee table. If your space is severely limited, this innovative furniture design is exactly what you need.

(Think the TV trays from your childhood, but of much better quality.)

These popular fold-up coffee tables are available in a variety of styles and sizes. When they’re closed up, they can be tucked out of sight behind the couch. But when you need a flat surface area for entertaining or work, they’re right there, waiting to be unfolded.


5. Extendable Coffee Tables

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Extendable coffee tables are often confused with collapsible options. There’s a big difference, though. This type folds out when you need more room, but doesn’t fold up completely.

Lift-top coffee tables don’t take up a lot of space considering the amount of flat surface they provide. Because they’re smartly designed to fold away when not in use, these tables take up the same amount of space as a typical coffee table.

Also called pop-up tables, these pieces of furniture give you hidden storage areas as well as extra surface space.

If you can fit a medium-sized coffee table in your living room but you want more storage space and tabletop area, try an extendable option.


Bonus: Glass Coffee Tables

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Glass furniture is always a good option for small spaces. Because it’s transparent, glass allows the eye to pass through it. This can make a room seem bigger than it actually is.

A solid wood coffee table, on the other hand, acts like a wall and creates a division in the room that makes it feel smaller.

A coffee table with a glass top will make your living room feel bigger. It may be hard to find one with drawers, so you might lack storage space, but you can keep your books and media somewhere else.


Conclusion

The sofa is an essential part of every living room because it invites people to gather and relax. But the coffee table gives you the chance to play games, eat meals, and do other activities when you’re with a group.

Don’t miss out on the benefits a coffee table can bring to your home. Grab one of the many convenient options instead!

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