Multitasking Coffee Tables – Adding Functionality To Your Living Room

As someone who’s spent most of her life living in smallish spaces, I’ve really learned the value of making the most of the space you have. That can mean anything from hanging an extra shelf in your bedroom to choosing just the right coffee table. Even small changes can make your home feel less cluttered, while some innovative furniture can even make your space easier to live in. These multitasking coffee tables are a great way to add both style and functionality to your living room or family room.

Choose A Multitasker

Dumas Storage Coffee Table From Nuevo
Dumas Storage Coffee Table From Nuevo

Full disclosure: I LOVE multitaskers, and will always choose something that can do more than one thing if I can. My sofa has enough built-in storage to house almost all my linens and can also fold flat into a full sized bed, and I sometimes make cakes in my crock pot. There are some pieces of furniture that are really made for just one purpose (like a bookshelf, or a dinner table), of course, but I think people assume that coffee tables are one of them when they definitely don’t have to be. Take this Dumas Table from Nuevo, for example – it looks like just a simple, plain table, right? Wrong – two of the four sides pull out, turning the entire size of the table into completely hidden storage, easily doubling the utility of your space. THAT is the kind of thing I like.

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Supplemental Storage

Selma Stackable Side Table With Storage From EuroStyles
Selma Stackable Side Table With Storage From EuroStyle

Adding extra storage is one of the easiest ways a coffee table can be a multitasker. After all, while you might think of “table” as meaning four legs and a flat surface, coffee tables tend to be low to the ground, and one built as a solid piece can offer a whole lot of extra storage space without making your living room look crowded the way a closed-in dinner table would. The same goes for side tables, where you’ll miss the white space of a leggier table even less. I especially like this Selma Table from EuroStyle which can work as either (depending on the size of your living room). Not only does it come with a drawer that closes almost seamlessly and makes the most of the interior space, it also stacks with itself, depending on how tall a table you need.

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Emergency Seating

Botero Coffee Table Set From Zuo Modern
Botero Coffee Table Set From Zuo Modern

Entertaining in a smaller space is never easy, and even if you do have space to spare, you might not always have chairs for all the company you want to keep. That’s why I love love love this Botero Coffee Table Set from Zuo Modern. Taking a page from similar styles popular in outdoor furniture, this simple, sleek glass table has a posh modern look and a size that’s just right for a living room, but unpacks into spare seating for four when you need it. Now, it’s not quite the same as having a recliner for each one of your guests, but if you want to have some friends over and your sofa and loveseat aren’t cutting it, opting for a coffee table with stow-away seating is a simple but elegant and effective solution.

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Account For Appetizers

Chardonnay Wine Table From Bailey Street
Chardonnay Wine Table From Bailey Street

While not technically a coffee table, I really love this stylish, innovative Chardonnay wine table from Bailey Street. With the pretty scalloped edges and slightly distressed finish, it makes a picture perfect accent piece, but what makes it really great are the thin radial grooves on the bottom that allow you to store up to four wine glasses underneath. I both like the look and the convenience of this – the table is the perfect size to present an assortment of cheese and crackers and saves you having to transport the stemware when you’re entertaining.

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Multi-Piece Modern Styles

Pardis Two Piece Coffee Table From Bellini Modern Living
Pardis Two Piece Coffee Table From Bellini Modern Living

One trend that I find particularly interesting are coffee tables (and occasionally TV stands) that are built in multiple pieces. This might might not seem particularly significant at a first blush, but the result is actually pretty interesting. Take this Pardis Coffee Table from Bellini Modern. Built in two pieces, it can be converted into two separate tables, pulled slightly apart to give you more surface area when you need it, or simply pushed as close together as possible, which creates a little bit of cubby style storage and a cool, contrasting, asymmetrical style that’s perfect for a modern living room. The best part? You don’t have to stick with one configuration, but can shift the layout of the pieces as you need to.

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Slightly More Sophisticated TV Trays

Aurora Coffee Table And TV Tray From EuroStyles
Aurora Coffee Table And TV Tray From EuroStyle

Finally, my very absolute favorite type of multitasking coffee table is the coffee table/TV tray. There are several different permutations of this design, but this Aurora Table is a really good example. Folded away, it looks just like any other coffee table, but pull on the edge of the table top, and it raises and extends out over your sofa, locking in place and forming a perfect dining or work station. Better still, the whole inside of the table is hollow, allowing you to store spare glasses or plates, napkins, work materials, or whatever you might need for your makeshift desk/TV table.

The best thing about multitaskers is that you aren’t sacrificing anything in upgrading to one. All these coffee tables and accent tables are stylish and sophisticated, and many come with added functionality so subtle you’d never know it at a glance. If you could make your coffee table do one extra thing, what would it be?

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