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Coffee tables are arguably the unsung heroes of the living room. Beyond simply serving as a spot to rest the morning’s cappuccino or show off your favorite design books, this underrated furnishing can completely change how a room functions. Especially when you’re short on square footage, it’s important that this surface work overtime. 

There are a few key questions to ask yourself when you’re shopping for a coffee table for a small space. Can it be easily moved out of the way when guests arrive? Will there still be room for all your living room lounging essentials? How well does it disguise clutter? We scoured the Internet for pieces that do just that (and more). Take a look.


If you could use the extra storage…

Tiered coffee tables are a great option for those who need additional space. The bottom shelf acts as a catchall for everything from magazines to mail to remotes, while the top can display the cute stuff, like a sculptural vase or an artful candle

If you want to conceal the clutter…

A table that features a secret compartment to stow away items is a small-space dweller’s dream. Corral your not-so-pretty essentials in one place with no one the wiser. 

If you want to lighten things up…

When your space is cramped, visual clutter is just as noticeable as an actual mess. Enter acrylic. An ideal alternative to heavy wood, the transparent material promises clear sight lines. Even a large table will never appear bulky. 

If you need room to spread out…

Nesting tables are all about versatility. Keep them together for movie night, then spread them out when friends come over for cocktails.


If you’re just here to make a statement…

If multifunctionality isn’t a priority (lucky you!), consider the coffee table a new form of art: there to make a statement—and that’s it. 

This story was originally published on March 22, 2019. It has been updated. 

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