The One Living Room Staple You Should Toss Now

published Dec 18, 2018
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(Image credit: Morgan Schemel)

As far as we’re concerned, a house is not a home without a living room. It’s the one room dedicated to unwinding with a glass of wine after a long day, curling up with a juicy book on a lazy Sunday, or binge-watching whatever’s on Netflix.

But while a living room is a timeless staple in any home, we think it’s long overdue for an upgrade. Take your coffee table, for example. Sure, it successfully anchors the rest of the room, but the coffee table, couch, and television combo feels, well, basic. Do we really need a coffee table? According to some design pros, not necessarily.

“There is no end-all answer in my opinion when it comes to coffee tables,” explains Stephanie Hauptli, a product and interior designer at Hauptli Haus. “Well-done interiors should not be done by a rulebook, but rather be a response to each project, room, or client. I do more often than not feel strongly about ditching the coffee table in a small space.”

So how do you do it? How do you ditch the coffee table without having your living room feel off-kiltered? Let the seven rooms below serve as some serious design inspiration.

1. Make Your Mark

Just because you ditched your coffee table doesn’t mean you should leave the center of the room empty. Take things up a notch with a statement rug like Cécile Gariépy did in her Montreal space.

2. Layer Up

Speaking of rugs, you can also take a page out of A Beautiful Mess’ book and layer multiple rugs. It’s a subtle way of bringing your eye toward the center of the room.

3. Steal the Spotlight

Of course, the focal point of your living room doesn’t have to be smack dab in the middle. All eyes are on that nifty hanging chair in Ashley Petrone’s Spanish-style bungalow.

4. Take A Seat

Pro tip: Invest in some extra floor pillows and poufs. Not only will they be useful when you have guests over, but they can also double as a coffee table when necessary. Let this snap from Ines Larsson’s feed show you how it’s done.

5. Wall to Wall

Instead of relying on a coffee table to determine your room’s layout, place your furniture up against the wall. In Amelie Mancini’s New York home, this trick puts the attention on the seating area.

6. More is More

Calling all maximalists: Now’s your chance to level up on your love of prints and color. Who even notices that lack of a coffee table in Claire Swindale’s bold living room?

7. Scale Down

Not ready to say goodbye to your coffee table? This setup found on Kismet House’s Instagram is a good compromise. The small side table and ottoman provide some flat surfaces, but aren’t as bulky as a coffee table.