The sofa plus coffee table combo is such an automatic mental association when it comes to living room decoration, that many of us don’t even stop to consider the possible alternatives. But there are reasons to at least entertain other ideas, whether you’re motivated by the idea of leaving more of the floor area free, smuggling in extra storage, or maximizing the comfort factor. Here are some alternatives to the traditional rectangular coffee table you might want to replicate within your own house. Think outside of the box, and make the best decision for your tastes and needs.
On the aside
If your living room is not very large, a coffee table can be tricky to fit in: it will either make you sit uncomfortably on your sofa, so you can’t stretch your legs, or make it hard to move through the room. For a smaller living room, the alternative could be to place a tiny table on the side of the sofa: it will provide a place for a lamp and even a few coffee table books – without the namesake piece of furniture. It would probably be better to pick a minimalist style for this piece: if we are choosing this option for the small size of the room, it is advisable to avoid types of design that will make it look busier than necessary.
Extra storage space
Coffee tables can add storage space, as well as a handy top surface, but when it’s a sizeable stash space that’s needed, storage ottomans like the ones in the picture will accommodate much more. In addition, unlike an open coffee table shelf, it won’t leave the kids’ games, books, remotes and spare cushions on show for everyone to see. This is a solution for rooms of a decent size, as you’ll also need an additional perch for a glass or mug.
Do you like the idea to use an ottoman as a storage? Here’s an article you will find very interesting too: you will find out all the other ways you can sneakily pack extra storage space into your apartment.
Fabric… why not?
An upholstered piece can help to make a living room look more welcoming than a hard surface of equivalent dimensions: that’s why you should consider substituting the traditional coffee table with a fabric pouf or an ottoman. Not only the upholstery piece will boost comfort levels, but it will also make the room look more warm and inviting. In a curtain-free room, more fabric is a useful sound absorber, too. The ottoman doesn’t have to be matching with the sofa: on the contrary, if they have different finishes, the environment will be more dynamic and interesting. Another tip: consider an attractive tray to sit on top of it if you need a hard surface for drinks.
Three is better than one
if you are not too into the classic rectangular coffee table, but you still think you can’t provide for its function with something else, maybe you should consider this other option. By using a nest of tables, you will be able to create small composition, which will look much more original than a classic model. Moreover, rearrangement is easy if the tables are needed alongside the seating, while a stepped pair creates more interesting lines than a one-level rectangle. This is a great solution for small living rooms too, since three small tables are also easy to move around, in case more space is needed for unexpected guests.
Have some fun
Who says coffee tables have to be boring? Interior design should express your personality, it should tell something about who you are: if you have a playful nature, and are always ready to have some fun, you shouldn’t hold back from doing so even with your furniture. Let the Peter Pan who lives within you choose your coffee table, even you end up getting one just like in this picture. Your kids will love it, and your friends will appreciate it for its bizarreness. Moreover, it will your living room truly one of a kind, just like you are.
A small wet bar
There are other option to ditch the traditional idea of a coffee table: it can also become a mini wet bar, and accommodate bottles of liquor or even keep fresh the beers about to be offered to your guests. Look at this eccentric coffee table: did you ever think a Vespa could turn into a bottle holder? This piece of design is truly one a kind, and will serve splendidly as a coffee table and as a tiny wet bar for your living room.
The drastic solution
If none of the options so far fully convinced you, it means that you have to go for the drastic solution: no coffee table at all. By opting to go without a coffee table, you can celebrate large living room dimensions, with a classy sofa or large size. The area in front of the sofas and armchairs can be left open, and the central area can be, for example, simply occupied by an elegant carpet, that will emphasize the size of the space.
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