home design

Five Alternatives for the Traditional Coffee Table

A clumsy toddler will make you rethink a traditional coffee table really quickly…with it’s breakable glass, collection of sticky finger prints, or sharp corners waiting to bruise-up your Frankenstein-walking child. That’s why they are called “toddlers,” right? Because they…toddle?

Other reasons I encourage you to explore alternatives for the traditional coffee table include design interest, size/scale, and storage! Consider these unique ideas when choosing the right centerpiece for your living or family room:

  1. Trunks: This alternative to the traditional coffee table is great for so many reasons. Number 1 reason in my book…storage! Extra pillows, throw blankets, board game and toys can all be tucked out of sight. Bring that inherited old trunk out of the attic or garage, and give it a new life as a coffee table. Add a little height, if needed, with a few casters from the hardware store.

    White-vintage-trunk-coffeet-table-from-Target
    Source: Target
  2. Garden Stools: This idea is great for small spaces because they can also be used for extra seating while entertaining.  These stools come in a variety of finishes, such as ceramic, copper or wood (to name a few).
  3. Side Tables: Who says a side table has to stay on the sideline? Grouping a few small side tables can be a great alternative for a traditional coffee table. These tables are very easy to move around the room, thus are great for entertaining. This option is very versatile and a great investment; if you decide to bring back the traditional coffee table later, use these as side tables or even nightstands in a bedroom!

    tanner-nesting-side-tables-bronze-finish-c
    Source: Pottery Barn
  4. Ottomans: This alternative to the traditional coffee table has been very popular for several years for many reasons. Ottomans are ideal for perfect feet propping after a long day. Upholstered ottomans are perfect for protecting children from stiches during the clumsy and/or rough-housing phases. Many ottomans have hidden storage for an added bonus!  Leather is likely the most durable option; however, an ottoman presents a great opportunity for introducing colors or patterns to the room’s décor.
  5. Repurposed Industrial Items: Wine crates, cable spools, railroad carts, and wooden pallets are all fine foundations for a unique showpiece for the living or family room. This alternative to the traditional coffee table presents the perfect opportunity to let creativity shine. For more information on the cable spool table with book storage, check out 3 Tips for Kid-friendly Homes with Undisturbed Adult Appeal.

Sitting Pretty Redesign would love to help you select the perfect centerpiece for your living room. Check out our services for designing to dwell to learn how. Not a Houstonian? No problem! E-decorating is perfect for you!

Which alternative coffee table idea is your favorite? Can you think of other items that would make a great coffee table alternative? Let’s hear ’em!

5 thoughts on “Five Alternatives for the Traditional Coffee Table

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