10 Alternatives to the Traditional Coffee Table

Coffee tables are central pieces in living rooms around the world. They give you a place to put drinks, books and other items and they can also be decorative design elements. But traditional coffee tables are no longer required. There are plenty of other options available to cover both the practical and visual aspects of coffee tables.


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Large ottomans and footstools can do a lot to take up the space of a traditional coffee table, and they can even add a little extra seating to your living room. Just add a tray or two to balance drinks or other items.

Antique Trunk.

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Old trunks can add character to your space, while giving you all the practical elements of a coffee table. It can even give you some extra storage space inside.


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Old milk crates or similar items can also be used in place of a coffee table. You can either use just one large crate or attach a few of them together. Again, it gives you a place to put drinks as well as some added storage underneath.

Books and Tabletop.

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Many home stores sell simple tabletops that don’t include legs. If you pick up one of these tabletops, you can use stacks of books or magazines for support.


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A large basket with a flat top can also serve as a coffee table with some built-in storage underneath. This can be a particularly good option for rooms with a country or traditional style.

Bunched Tables.

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If you don’t want to veer too far away from a traditional coffee table, just having a few tables together, such as a set that fits underneath one another, can be a good and practical option.


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A small and simple bench can serve as both a place to put drinks and extra seating in a pinch.

Tree Trunks.

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Sections of tree trunks can add a natural look to your space. You can either use just a large trunk on its own or a couple of smaller ones with a tabletop over them.

Vintage Suitcases.

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If you want to add some vintage charm to your space, take a few vintage suitcases with flat sides and stack them to make a small side table or use a larger luggage piece or two for a more traditional coffee table.


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Even though there are so many different options, there’s no rule saying you have to include a coffee table at all. If you have a small space or just want to have more of an open feel in your room, don’t feel obligated to include a coffee table or any of the alternatives.

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