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4 Unconventional Coffee Table Ideas

4 Unconventional Coffee Table Ideas

The coffee table is often the centerpiece of your living room, so how do you go about selecting the perfect one? We at Pottery Barn are here to make your coffee table shopping easy with four non-traditional options.

Interesting Shapes

Traditionally, coffee tables have been rectangular and placed lengthwise in front of a sofa. Circular tables have also been popular anchor points for traditionally styled rooms as of late. If you want to start breaking the rules with the basics, why not try an oversized square table instead, or an elegantly elongated oval? These days, coffee tables come in all shapes and sizes from triangular to hexagonal to the more abstract.

When you’re choosing the shape of your coffee table, take cues from the layout of your room and the shape of your sofa and chairs. If your furniture layout is boxy, a square table makes sense. If your space is longer and your furniture layout follows suit, a longer oval or uniquely shaped table might be a better fit.         

Multiple Tables

When shopping for a coffee table, it’s natural to do exactly that: choose one coffee table. But why limit yourself to just one large one when you can use several small tables for the same effect?  This doesn’t mean you should throw a few random tables around the room. Instead, follow a few simple guidelines to achieve an attractive, cohesive look.

If you choose two or more small square side tables that are the same size, try putting them together in place of a single coffee table. This will give you the look of a standard table with more versatility and visual interest. When you’re entertaining, split the tables up and put them exactly where they’re needed. This also provides more space in the center of the room if needed.

If your tables don’t match, that’s all right!  Just make sure they’re somewhat similar in shape and style. Three circular tables of different heights arranged in the center of the room gives you plenty of table space, and takes on a more sculptural look.

Modern Materials

Wood has been the coffee table material of choice for years, however there are so many other material options to choose from. Unsurprisingly, upholstered coffee tables have been rising in popularity because the options are virtually endless. Whether tufted or flat, square or round, vinyl or leather, patterned or solid, upholstered coffee tables are a perfect way to add personality to your space. If you like the idea of multiple coffee tables, try three upholstered poufs or ottomans that can double as extra seating.

Upholstery aside, you can also find coffee tables made from glass, metal and stone, just to mention a few. A coffee table covered in mirrors can help a small living room look bigger, and a glass coffee table looks stunning on top of a brilliantly patterned rug. Because some modern man-made materials are easily molded into any shape, designers are creating more coffee tables with non-traditional forms. A stone coffee table (or one made to look like stone) adds a natural element to the space.

You can also try your hand at a DIY coffee table made from wood pallets, crates or reclaimed lumber.

Coffee Tables That Aren’t Tables

Finally, if you want to find the most unconventional coffee table possible, look at things that aren’t coffee tables at all. There are plenty of other functional pieces of furniture that can be used in place of a coffee table.

If your living room has global style or elements of boho chic, try using a flat topped vintage trunk as your coffee table. For a more traditional space, try an antique chest. Either of these options would make great coffee tables and provide considerable storage.

Keep an eye out for unique pieces, and you may just find the perfect non-traditional coffee table hiding right under your nose.