The Ideal Alternative To A Coffee Table That'll Take Up Less Space In A Small Room

The couch and the coffee table are the two main staples of most living rooms. Many see a coffee table as integral to their space, whether it's serving as a resting place for our cups of coffee, a storage space for all our remotes, or a portable library. But, what if your living room is compact and too tiny to fit a regular coffee table?  This design hack offers an ingenious space-saving alternative — instead of using a coffee table, you might be better off with a bench.

Benches are typically narrower than your average coffee table. This can free up space in your living room that, if occupied, would make your room seem stuffy and claustrophobic. Benches come in a variety of sizes, so you can take advantage of unused horizontal space and have a better chance of finding something that will fit. Due to its smaller size, you may even spend less money on a bench as opposed to a coffee table. 

Why you should use a bench as a coffee table

Since benches are so diverse in size and style, there are a lot of different ways you can incorporate one into your tiny sitting room. Some have a detachable cushion, creating the perfect surface to hold items as a coffee table would. That way, you can create extra seating in your small living room when you need it rather than adding another chair that takes up precious space. 

Upholstered benches can double as a wonderful footrest and be transformed into a coffee table with an ottoman tray. This alleviates the need for two pieces of space-eating furniture. Upholstered benches are also more child-friendly with their soft tops compared to a coffee table with pointy corners or glass tops. That fabric is also a great way to bring some texture into your living room space. 

If you're upcycling a bench to use as a coffee table, you might want to sand it down and give it a protective coating that can withstand heat and spills. You can convert just about any bench into a coffee table by styling it correctly. Just pop a small tray on it with enough space for a mug or two. You can even add a candle, stack some books on top of each other, toss your remote in the middle, and you're done!