Who Says Every Living Room Needs a Coffee Table? Clever Substitutes in Small Living Rooms

published Apr 30, 2017
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(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

In truly tiny apartments, it’s not uncommon for renters to forego the traditional coffee table simply to squeeze in a little more seating. An extra chair or two means more room for friends, but once everyone’s there, where do you set down your drinks or serve the popcorn in a coffee-table-less room? To solve your insufficient surface area woes, DIY one of these ledges, c-tables or shelves that tuck into areas you didn’t even know your living room had.

(Image credit: Sugar & Cloth)

A little drinks or snacks table may be just the thing your room needs. Follow Sugar & Cloth‘s tutorial to craft the sleek cement-and-metal one above.

(Image credit: Sinnen Rausch)

If you haven’t already heard about the space-saving magic that is the c-table (find the full refresher here), this slender surface — designed just for cramped living rooms — is about to give you the eating nook and work surface you’ve been dreaming of. In the version above, this lightweight wooden frame wraps around the arm of a sofa. Translate the instructions on Sinnen Rausch, but adjust the measurements to fit the height of your couch.

(Image credit: Francois et Moi)

If you just need a spot to set down a cup of coffee, make this striped wooden ledge dreamed up by Francois et Moi. Depending upon the size and style of your sofa, you can elongate this ledge so it can hold a laptop, or build two smaller ones so you can sip coffee on either side of the sofa.

(Image credit: The House of Wood)

If your coffee table isn’t cutting it as your work station, try this folding lap desk that Jen from The House of Wood built from a single 8-foot piece of wood.

(Image credit: Dnilva)

Nesting tables that tuck into each other is a smart way to hide an extra surface in plain sight. Anna Maria of the blog Dnilva turned to the ever-popular pairing of gold spray paint and marble contact paper to elevate a plain VITTSJO table set.

(Image credit: Made from Scratch)

If your sofa happens to be beside a windowsill, build a tiny drink ledge that runs along the bottom of the window frame. Visit Made from Scratch to tour the rest of this adorable home filled with DIY ideas.

(Image credit: School of Decorating)

Even the tiniest living room won’t miss the few inches of space this behind-the-couch ledge requires. Jackie from School of Decorating even built a small shelf into the ledge’s design, providing a hiding spot for TV remotes or magazines.

Re-edited from a post originally published on 4.30.17 – AL