Small Coffee Table Ideas

A coffee table seems like a necessary part of any living room. It's the place where you toss your mail, put your feet up after work, or enjoy take-out in front of the TV (no judgements here!). On days off, it's a central gathering spot for kids to draw and share snacks, for your friends to pass around a fine wine--and let's not forget a resting place for popcorn on movie night.

But not everyone has a giant apartment with space for a large coffee table. There are creative ways to work within your living room's dimensions, so that you can still snack with abandon or stack magazines for a rainy day. Get creative with your furniture solutions and discover or invent small coffee table ideas that help anchor your room.

Glass Coffee Tables

One of the simplest ways to squeeze in a coffee table, but still keep your apartment looking breezy and clean is to use a glass coffee table. In particular, one that has a minimalist frame and legs like the Leona Coffee Table keeps the room looking uncluttered. You can still place books and magazines on a lower shelf underneath the main tabletop, so that you don't have to sacrifice functionality--but the clear glass won't look too heavy or bulky. Leave the top of the table free of accessories, like runners or centerpieces. You can definitely get away with a small placemat and a candle, but keep it light for a look that fits with your smaller space.

Side Tables

One of the simplest ways to flex your design imagination is to replace your coffee table with side tables. Select two tables, like the Jamie Bunching Coffee Table, that have minimal design flourishes, although you can get away with a little more embellishment than if you were loading the room with side tables and a coffee table. Then, place the side tables where they suit you best, whether by your front door in an apartment that opens right into the living room or between a couch and chair for easy reaching while lounging.

When you're in the mood for a table in front of you, just bring it around to where you are. You can slide the two side tables together in front of a couch, either flush against each other or slightly spaced for a sophisticated design layout. This trick gives you a flexible furniture set-up if you love to eat from the couch every now and then. It's great for setting a carefree mood when entertaining, too, if a guest needs a place to set a snack plate or beverage.

Storage Tables

Small coffee table ideas work for more than just living rooms. If you're part of the tiny house movement or if you live in a city where space is at a premium, you already know finding smart design solutions for storage is an adventure. You may have relished purging for your smaller space, too, but there are a few things every modern home needs and your personal stuff isn't always so disposable.

Storage tables let you work a coffee table into your home or apartment without stressing the space. Since these pieces of furniture do double-duty with drawers or tiered shelves, you can use them to store table linens, small candleholders and lighters, spare keys, books you love to read over and over, and other stuff that just feels like it's yours, small space or not. Some small-home dwellers are able to find trunks that work as coffee tables and storage space, too. These are great for storing blankets, off-season clothes or family heirlooms like photo albums.


Ottomans can make do as a makeshift coffee table, too. These low pieces of furniture usually coordinate with your couch, chaise or armchairs and feature a square or round silhouette, but no back or legs. If you miss putting your feet up on a big coffee table, an ottoman is a nice solution. They serve as additional seating when you have a crowd over and they often work as storage, too. Many of them come with hinged lids that are subtle to the eye, since the entire piece of furniture is usually covered with one material, but they're spacious inside for throw blankets, extra pillows, or other personal items.

With a little ingenuity, you can come up with small coffee table ideas that are perfect for wherever you call home.

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