11 Practical Living Rooms With No Coffee Table

When you’re decorating your living room, there’s a certain “list” of standard furniture. The goal is to find the perfect layout. Typically, that means enough room for your couch, armchair, tv, and coffee table. But do you have to have a coffee table?

In the modern home, coffee tables are becoming less prevalent. Sometimes a coffee table is inconvenient.  Likewise, it may be too bulky for your space. If that’s the case, good news. While coffee tables aren’t exactly out of style, they are far from necessary.

We’ve found some great living rooms that skip the coffee table altogether. There are functional alternatives, after all. For example, consider ottomans, cocktail tables, and end tables. Keep reading for some creative ways to cut out the coffee table. Instead, you’ll be able to update your living room with a fresh, modern look.

Luxury modern living room, 11 Practical Living Rooms With No Coffee Table

We may include affiliate links and curated AI content to highlight top design styles.

1. Use An End Table

If you have a really gorgeous couch, show it off.  Don’t let a boring coffee table cover it up. Let the couch be the center of attention. Need a surface for drinks? Just place a classy end table beside the couch instead.

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Modern living room with a small reading nook area, gray patterned fabric carpet, and a white mockup picture frame

2. Balance The Couch With Plants

Mock up interior for minimal living room design, beige sofa and green plant

For a simple style, get rid of the coffee table altogether. Instead, add plants on either side of the couch. It keeps the room open but adds just a hint of color. Whether your plants are faux or real, they will instantly spruce up your room.  

3. Center The Room Around An Area Rug

Elegant and comfortable living room

Whether or not it’s necessary, many people rely on a coffee table. It’s seen as the center of the living room. Furniture is then arranged around the coffee table. This can be an easy and convenient way to visualize the layout.

In an open floor plan where the rooms tend to run together, it can be helpful to establish the boundaries of each space. Instead of a coffee table, use an area rug to establish and define the living room area. The oversized ottoman could even serve as a coffee table in a pinch. 

4. Use A Rectangular Ottoman

Modern living room

A rectangular ottoman (or two) can be pushed off to the side. This is handy when you need it out of the way.

But, it can also be pulled out right in the center where a coffee table would be. It’s more modern, but with a similar shape. This can give your room the classic “coffee table” layout, without a table.

For some more ideas on using an ottoman in your decor, see this post: Should You Have An Ottoman Or Coffee Table With A Sectional?

5. …Or Try A Round Ottoman

Modern interior of living room with grey sofa, ottoman and floor lamp

A round ottoman can do more than one job. It’s an extra seating area or a place to put your feet up. And in a squeeze, it can also double as a coffee table. Want more information on making an ottoman into a table? Then read this post: Can An Ottoman Be Used As A Table?

6. Use A Sideboard 

Modern interior design of Scandinavian apartment

A well-placed sideboard can be a place for decorations and knick-knacks. Try using a sideboard to dress up the room. You can make it into an interesting focal point. Especially from a seat on the couch, this gives you something to look at. But, unlike a coffee table, this one won’t be in the way or underfoot.

You may also want to check out this post: Console Table Vs Coffee Table: Which Do You Need?

7. Focus On The Wall

Retro style in beautiful living room interior with grey empty wall

You can eliminate the coffee table altogether. Instead, make up for it with lots of interesting pieces on the sides of the room. Here, there is big artwork, a bold couch, and bright throw pillows. This makes the space by the wall fun and colorful. Who cares what’s in the center of the room when there’s all that to look at already?

8. Group Several Small Ottomans Together

Luxury modern living room

Using a few separate ottomans adds a bit more flexibility to the room. The ottomans can be put together, separated, and rearranged. It’s easy to alter the look from one day to the next.  Whether you’re home alone or entertaining a large group, you can find the right layout for each situation.

To replicate this look, this velvet ottoman is available in 12 different colors:

Click here to see this ottoman on Amazon.

9. Use A Round Table

Stylish composition of creative and cozy living room interior with grey sofa, coffee table and rattan armchair


A few smallcocktail tables can be the best of both worlds. It updates your living room with a less traditional look. But, you still have a conventional table surface when you need it.

For a similar look, these tables come in 13 colors:

Click here to see this table on Amazon.

10. Repurpose A Cabinet Or Storage Piece

Beige living room interior with white sofa

If you have a small storage piece, then let it do two jobs. It can still function for storage, but also make a convenient table. Add it to your living room set. This cuts out clutter since you won’t need two pieces of furniture.

11. Mix And Match

Modern living room design with sofa and wooden lamp

For a very contemporary look, then mix and match pieces. For example, here, several storage cubes and an ottoman are used. These separate items replace the traditional coffee table. As a result, this creates a flexible space that can be arranged and rearranged as needed.

These pieces can be seats or tables. And, they can be used interchangeably if you’re entertaining or short on space. Plus, if you need some extra room, no problem. They’d be easy to push into a closet or out of the way against the wall. 

To get this look, pick up a few storage cubes like these:

Click here to see this storage piece on Amazon.

In Closing

Interior of a luxurious modern contemporary living room with bright orange colored walls, drapes, and throw pillows, 11 Practical Living Rooms With No Coffee Table

Coffee tables are not completely out of style. But there are lots of contemporary designs that don’t rely on them. Modern living rooms often make use of other furniture.  Try using end tables or, similarly, sideboards instead. An ottoman can also be practical; it can be a seat and also a table.

If you don’t need a table at all, then consider some alternatives. Use plants next to the couch for color. Try an area rug to arrange furniture around. Likewise, create a fun focal point with art, decorations, or bright throw pillows instead. No one will miss the coffee table at all!

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