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24 Coffee Table Ideas for Small Living Room

Your living room is cramped, and you've hit your knee or stubbed your toe on your coffee table any number of times. Maybe you don't have a coffee table yet, but you need to find a way to squeeze a table into a small space without making the area too tight. Check out these Coffee Table Ideas for Small Living Room and see if one fits your needs and your room.


1) Lift-Top

You'll need a small coffee table to fit in your space, but if you like to use table space for food or to get work done from the comfort of your couch, the limited room probably gets frustrating. Try getting a lift-top coffee table like this one from Amazon so that you can have food and work within arms reach and use the extra storage space underneath when you need to. The cubbies and the hidden storage under the lift-up top will let you make the most of your room while you're at it.

2) Ottoman

Ottomans are excellent for optimizing space in a small room. You can use an ottoman like this one from Amazon as a coffee table, or open the top and store things inside so that you're not wasting any space. The lid to this ottoman is split so that you don't have to open the entire thing. This makes it so that you don't have to move drinks and other things out of the way each time you open it, and since the lid swings either direction, you can open it from the couch or from the opposite side.

3) DIY Hammered Copper

A hammered copper coffee table probably sounds neat if you like the look of copper, whether you prefer shiny reddish copper or oxidized greenish blues. Unfortunately, copper is heavy, and a large copper coffee table would be expensive. Luckily for you, you don't need a large coffee table. You can check out this video by Eamon Walsh DIY to learn how to make a hammered copper coffee table and make one yourself using a similar method; however, you might need to find copper from another source if you don't have an old heating cylinder like the one he used.

4) Nesting Tables

Part of why coffee tables take up so much space is the need for space around the coffee table so that people can walk around it and sit down on the furniture. This means that you have a lot of open walking space that you can't use, but if you get or make nesting coffee tables like these, you can use that space. The nesting tables are usually compact, but after you sit down, you can slide the lower table out from under the taller table to give you extra space to write on or sit food and drinks on.

5) DIY Crates

Crates are an easy and potentially cheap DIY material, because you can often get them free when they're used as packaging for large orders or cheap from other sources. Since they're typically sturdy, wood crates are an excellent choice of material for a coffee table. You can use this instructable by Mike0924 to build a coffee table from crates that doesn't waste an inch of space. By setting the boxes sideways, you create shelves underneath the table that allow for storage, unlike most coffee tables.

6) DIY Single Crate

Crates are useful for DIY projects, because they’re sturdy, and you can get them free or cheap, but a coffee table made from multiple whole crates could be too big for a small room. Instead, you can use this tutorial by Jen with City Farmhouse to turn a single crate of any size into a coffee table with storage. The crate will make a small table, but you can store things inside it since it's sturdy and hollow. The compartment is bigger than most coffee table compartments and can even hold big stuff like blankets and throw pillows.

7) Rack Underneath

If you want a more typical coffee table but need to conserve space to fit it in your small living room, you can still get a small one with extra storage built underneath. Instead of converting items into a coffee table or finding one in a unique shape, get a simple coffee table like this with a storage rack underneath. The clean, industrial-style lines will look good in a traditional living room, and the square shape and full rack mean that you won't lose any possible storage or table space.

8) Resin

Resin weighs a lot, and while it can look attractive for a large project, it'll make a table a lot heavier than you probably want it. Many project tutorials include tricks for using less resin to get a lighter product, but since you have a small room, you've got the perfect opportunity to make a resin table. BUild a small resin table using the instructions in this video by DIY Huntress, or create one with a top made almost entirely from resin. Since you don't want a large table, you don't have to worry as much about the weight.

9) Minimalist

Ornate tables and decorations don't fit in well in small rooms. They make the room feel cluttered and take up more space than they need to, so you have less usable space. To get the most out of your room, go small and simple with a minimalist table like this one. It's roughly rectangular, so you don't lose usable surface area with decorative curls and swirls, and the clean lines and open bottom will help make the room feel more open.

10) Coffee Table Pet Bed

If you have a cat or small pet, this idea is for you. Cats and dogs take up a lot of room, and pet beds and toys are probably making your living room feel cramped and causing you to trip while navigating the space. Try making a bed for your pet by tying a hammock underneath your coffee table. You'll need to pick a coffee table with an open bottom and places to tie off the hammock or build the coffee table from scratch so that the bed will fit.

11) Storage and Lift-Top Combo

Lift-top coffee tables are great for small spaces, because you can use the top and the space underneath at the same time, and you can bring whatever you're eating or working on right up to your level. If you don't want to lift the entire table every time, get a coffee table like this one from Amazon with a lift-top on one side and a regular storage container on the other. This way, you can lift a smaller section of the table and only open up the part you need.

12) DIY Rectangles

Sometimes, when you're trying to work in a tiny space, the best thing you can do is keep it simple. The more curves and decorations your coffee table has, the more space you waste. Instead, use these directions from Love Grows Wild to build a simple square coffee table like the one they describe in the article. This table’s design leaves room underneath, and because it's rectangular, you can easily place boxes and other things underneath for storage.

13) Convertible Ottoman and Coffee Table

While ottomans are a great way to have both a coffee table and storage space in one, they do have the basic drawback of figuring out how to access the storage when you have things sitting on the coffee table. This ottoman from Amazon is nice because you can remove the top to access storage and because the top is designed to flip over. This gives you a tray-like surface to use instead of the softer, uneven cushions that some ottomans have. You can then flip it back when you want a soft place to rest your feet or sit.

14) Drawers

If you're not trying to create a fancy coffee table that will impress people and create tons of extra storage space, you can try getting a simple coffee table with a couple drawers. While there are many fancy options, when it comes down to it, you need a small and functional table. Drawers give you a little extra storage space without going overboard, and you'll have a flat surface to set drinks, food, and other things.

15) TV Trays

If you're struggling to find a small coffee table, but everything you look at is too big, then a coffee table may not be right for your space. Try getting TV tables like these ones from Amazon instead. These will give you a place to sit drinks and food or put your TV remote or game controller, but they don't take up much space, and you can even fold them up between uses if you want to.

16) End Tables

While an end table isn't a type of coffee table, you might find that none of the coffee tables you've looked at will work in your living room. Instead of trying to force furniture that doesn't belong into an area, look for alternatives like these end tables from Amazon. These still provide places to sit drinks, food, and anything else you need, but they'll fit in smaller spaces than most coffee tables, and you can rearrange them to fit your space more efficiently.

17) White/Marble

Light colors reflect light and help make an area feel more open, and a light-colored coffee table can help reflect light and make a room feel more open. Marble is great for this because shiny marble will reflect light well, but any white coffee table will help brighten the room. Make sure to get a coffee table like the one in this photo, with straight lines rather than ornate decorations, because this will also make the room feel more open and less cluttered.

18) Basket Storage

You'll need to get a small coffee table to ensure that it fits into the area you have, but you can also make the most of the coffee table you pick by getting one with storage underneath. That said, you don't have to get an ugly, boxy coffee table. Think about buying a coffee table like this with decorative baskets on a rack underneath. The baskets function as both extra space and decoration, and you can easily add baskets to an existing coffee table if you don't like the look or the cost of this particular one.

19) DIY Mirrored

Mirrors are great for small rooms because they reflect light, and a sunnier place will feel more open. Mirrors also make a room feel bigger since you can see reflections of parts of the room in them, though a coffee table won't have the same effect that a full wall of mirrors does. You can buy mirrored coffee tables, but they're likely to be expensive. Instead, use this guide from Homedit to learn how you can add mirrors to your coffee table and use the mirrored coffee table effectively.

20) Shelf Underneath

While the first step to outfitting a small space with a coffee table is to find a small table, you'll also want to have extra storage space underneath. This way, you won't have to use up as much space in the rest of the room for storage. This coffee table from Walmart has a rack underneath for storage, unlike some tables with racks or drawers. The shelf is open so that you can add baskets or other containers, but the bottom is solid so that you can store small items if you want.

21) Decorations

If you're getting a blank coffee table because it's more efficient, you'll need to do something to make the area look nice. Try getting practical decorations like the decorative paperweight in this photo. Decorations like this are useful because they keep book pages from fluttering in the breeze from the window, and they don't take up space the books weren't already using. If you can find crystal or glass ones like these, they'll make the room feel brighter and more open, too.

22) Cubbies

Cubbies are a more organized way to store things than shelves, and the partitions between cubbies provide some support for a table that will hold heavy objects like coffee table books. Get a coffee table like this one from Walmart that has cubbies and a lift-top with a compartment to get as much storage space as possible. You can also repurpose some IKEA or other cheap cubbies or bookcases by turning them on their side and making them into a coffee table.

23) Rolling Coffee Table

When it comes to coffee tables, the table itself isn't what takes up the most room. You have to position the table so that there's space to walk around it and sit down, which often uses more space than the coffee table itself. You can make a rolling coffee table using these instructions from Shanty 2 Chic and decrease the amount of space your coffee table takes up since you can position it right next to the couch when you're not using it, then roll it out when you are.

24) Glass

When designing a small living room, part of the goal is to create a more open atmosphere since small rooms always have the potential to feel stifling. One way to do this is to have plenty of transparent and reflective surfaces. Glass is amazing because you can see through it, so it doesn't block your view and make the room feel more cramped. It also reflects a little bit of light from windows or lightbulbs, giving it an attractive shine that makes a glass coffee table a useful decorative piece.


Is your living room long and narrow, small and square, or just tight in every way? Did some of these ideas help you, or are you still on the hunt for the perfect table? Let us know in the comments below.


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