19 creative alternatives to coffee tables that designers love



This “sofa plus chair plus coffee table” configuration has been the default formula for living rooms for so long, but what if the best coffee table for your space isn’t even a coffee table at all? Maybe your living room doesn’t have the right layout or size to accommodate a traditional coffee table and would be flattered by something a little less expected, or maybe a large table isn’t in. the budget at the moment. Whether you’re looking for alternative surface ideas for a living room, family room, or living room, these creative coffee table ideas from designer spaces will inspire you to think outside the box. In fact, they will make you forget that you always wanted to stick to tradition.

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Group of stools

Group a few stools in different sizes for some interesting dimension and character. They also give you some flexibility if you need additional seating when not in use as tables or to be brought to another room. The brilliant glow and layers of fabric of this living room designed by Kristin Hein and Philip Cozzi immediately draws us in.


Bar cart and bench

This lounge situation designed by Beata heuman offers two alternative coffee table ideas: a bench and a bar cart. A low, long bench with a padded seat can be perfect for lower seating while a bar cart can double as a side table (and is obviously a great place to rest your drink).


Stacks of books

This tip is about to be a serious game-changer for anyone with a huge collection of coffee table books and magazines, but limited storage space and no budget for a new table – just stack your books high enough to become a surface. makeshift to hold the living room decor and drinks. Just be sure to use coasters so you don’t spoil your treasures.


Skirted table

If you don’t like your coffee table but haven’t yet decided what to replace it with, cover it with a tablecloth, then hem the edges so that it looks polished and deliberate. This floral in a living room by Reath Designs softens some of the other elements, like exposed brick.


Two small tables

Place two small tables side by side instead of using a single long, narrow coffee table if you want to be able to play around with different setups. The glass surfaces on the tables in this living room designed by Balsamo Antiques and Interior Design have minimal visual impact so the moody colors and decor can stand out.


Vintage trunk

The carefully collected but relaxed atmosphere in Elizabeth georgantasThe Nantucket lounge is perfect for an alternative coffee table. In this case, it is a recycled trunk, a pattern enhanced by another trunk that points in the corner. It’s a good alternative to baskets if you prefer something with a lid.


Side table

In this case, the empty space between the armchairs is too narrow for a coffee table. Not to mention that it would block the heat of the fire. Instead, the designer Shon Parker place a small side table next to the chair to hold drinks, snacks, or flowers.


Low dining table

If you are transforming a stair landing, small spare room, or empty nook in a larger open space into a seating area, it might not be a good idea to add a center coffee table. Whether it’s blocking traffic or visual flow, a small tulip table on the side is a great alternative. It can also serve as a breakfast nook this way. Design company Etc repeated the circle pattern with the speckled round mat and silver applique to make the table placement anything but random.



An upholstered ottoman will play the role of a coffee table and a footrest depending on your needs. It’s also a great option for anyone with small children or pets, as the edges are soft and it allows for an additional pattern play opportunity if you choose a fun fabric. The bold triangle print adds a little touch to the floral pattern that springs up in this living room in The Ensembliers.


Geometric cubes

These geometric stools in a family room designed by Ray Booth can be arranged in different ways. They also add a bit of style and aesthetic intrigue to the otherwise neutral space.


Slim console table

In a large living room with two different seating areas, a thin console located between sofas of the same length will create both separation and fluidity. Apart from the gaze, it also provides an additional surface for candle holders and flowers, as evidenced by this living room designed by Darryl Carter.


Storage basket with lid

A wicker storage basket is a good way to store blankets and board games or other extras that you can keep in your lounging areas. Designate Liliane hart added a tray on top of it for a more stable and solid surface for objects like vases and drinks.


Chess board

Make a playroom into a living room with a central ottoman, then place a board or a chessboard there depending on the activity. We like the contrast between the round pouf and the square chessboard in this space designed by Véronique Soloman.


Cashier and Tables

In a bohemian space, just about anything can be repurposed in a coffee table and look both intentional and elevated – a crate, an old drum, what do you want. In that case, Municipality design added an eclectic range of side tables for a large surface space for glasses and books etc. near the seats then kept the floor space clear for cushions and rugs.



This show designed by Danielle Fennoy completely skipped the coffee table. Because the large modular takes up the majority of the space, there is simply no need. Keep a tray handy to use as a surface if needed.


Small pedestal

If a traditional coffee table seems too bulky for your space, go for a low-profile, sculptural side table. Raji RM added one to complete this reading nook so that there is a house for books and tea. It’s like a living room, but with fewer smaller rooms. If your furniture is taller, opt for a pedestal.


Tree stumps

Tree stumps can make great coffee tables, especially in eclectic and organic spaces like the one designed by Leanne Ford Interiors. They’re painted white for a softer, cohesive, and personalized look here.


Reused item

The dramatic proportions call for a dramatic setting. Kingston Lafferty Design further exaggerated the proportions of the high ceilings by playing with scale. The super low floor table is both naughty and elegant. You can recreate a similar aesthetic by reusing a found object.


Industrial work cart

Reuse a worktable for an industrial look that also happens to be mobile. These are especially great on outdoor decks as they can withstand the elements and age only adds to their personality. The green patina of this multimedia room by Brett and Kara Philips proves our point of view.

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