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The best coffee tables for small living rooms

May 05, 2023

If you're looking for a coffee table for your small living room, make sure it's one of these three shapes

Shop our selections by category:1. Best two-tier coffee tables2. Best nesting coffee tables3. Best side coffee tables

When it comes down to picking the perfect coffee table for a smaller living room, it's all about the shape and how it sits within the room. Selecting the perfect shape coffee table can help a small living room come together, while going for something too large or obtrusive for the space can leave your room feeling all the more cramped.

Think tall, two-tier coffee tables, with extra room for storing those coffee table books, and nesting coffee tables - which are super flexible and perfect for slotting together and storing to the side when not in use. I also love a side table used as a coffee table. While they're not strictly a coffee table, you only need the smallest of space to create your coffee table vignette, and a small side table sat against your sofa can work perfectly as a spot to place a glass of wine. These are the best shapes to go for when looking for living room furniture for smaller spaces.

These are the best coffee table shapes for small living rooms – and where to buy them

I love this modern take on a two-tier coffee table from Urban Outfitters. It's the sculptural and glass-top element that gives it a contemporary feel, with the lower fixed shelf providing extra space for coffee table decor and reads.

A kind of hybrid between nesting tables and a two-tier, this elegant coffee table has plenty of extra space for your small living room and offers two varying heights for your convenience. Mango wood top brings a natural finish and the iron black frame makes gives it a sophisticated feel.

This coffee table isn't just two-tier, but three-tier. Another Urban Outfitters find, it's perfect for a small living room with it's long and narrow, rectangular shape meaning it would fit flush against a wall perfect, and there are plenty of levels for storage.

Nesting coffee tables are another great buy if you're lacking space. They slot neatly under each other, and bring interesting shapes and curves to your living room - a living room trend for 2023 that we can't get enough off. The contrast of wood and marble give this table a cool edge.

Made from oak top and combined with a steel frame, this nesting coffee table is a super sleek buy from Anthropologie. The brass inlay and brass caps give a shimmering finish too.

This shapely design works well for small spaces, slotting perfectly under each other and bringing interest to your living room with boomerang-like shapes.

This side table is the perfect add-on to the side of your sofa, giving you extra precious surface are to rest a cup of coffee or book. It's polished and spacious and fits well into the smallest corners.

This side table is a great surface to place next to a living room sofa, but also works as a showstopping sculpture when not in use. It takes up little space and is constructed from solid wood.

This golden plinth makes a great coffee table for a smaller space, with its gold, ribbed base complemented by a pale satin top - the perfect accent piece for a smaller space in need of a bit of aesthetic attention.

When it comes to coffee table shape, square vs round coffee tables is the common debate. But really, there are so many varying factors that affect which shape is right for you, and which will take up less of your space. Think about the size and shape of the room and mimic this when picking your coffee table.

A long and narrow room might benefit from a long and narrow coffee table that can sit close to flush against the wall. A round coffee table can give the illusion of taking up less space in a square box room. Overall, large square and rectangular shaped coffee tables can give the impression of taking up more space as their sharp edges bring a harshness to the room.

‘Living room and living room furniture are so often squares - think of sofas, carpets, and cabinets - a round coffee table is a way to create balance between the lines of the room,’ says Ophélie Doria of Space Factory. 'You need to be able to circulate around the coffee table.'

When it comes to living room coffee tables, the perfect coffee table is also about how and where you place it. The proximity to the couch is super important. Too close and the space can feel claustrophobic and restricts leg room - especially not great if you've got a sharp-edged coffee table that might cause a couple of leg bruises. Too far and you won't be able to easily reach the surface. A general rule of thumb is to place the coffee table around 14 inches from the sofa.

Another thing to consider when looking at distances and measurements, is the size of your couch or seating area compared to your coffee table. 'A good rule of thumb is to select a coffee table roughly half the length of your couch,' says Alla Yaskovets of O&A London.

Oonagh is a content editor at Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.

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