Breaking the Rules: Forgoing The Coffee Table

Breaking the Rules: Forgoing The Coffee Table

Abby Stone
Jul 25, 2011

Do you really need a coffee table? I'm in the middle of redecorating my living room and that's the question that I asked myself when trying to come up with an arrangement that really works for how I live. The previous incarnation of my living room was kind of formal: two couches facing each other with a coffee table in the middle. This time, I decided, I wasn't going to have a coffee table at all!

When I sat down to really think about it and take a really good look at how I use my space everyday (and not just the few times a month that I have people over), I don't need a coffee table. I don't entertain like my parents; people don't come over for cocktails every night around six.

Here's what really happens in my living room: I like to sit by my window in the morning and write while I drink my morning latte. Later in the day, I might take a break from work and lie down on the couch or go back to that same chair by the window and read. If people do come by, they often bring their kids or their dogs who play at our feet as we talk. Occasionally, yes, a coffee table might be a nice thing to have, but that might be once every two months.

What I decided I need is a place to put down a drink (and the remote) next to each place to sit. So, instead of a coffee table, I'm getting a few side tables that can be pushed together if the need for a coffee table arises.

What about you? Do you really need a coffee table? Or is it just a habit?

Image: Jill Slater from Johanna & Dennis' Streamlined Victory House

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