“To Coffee Table, or Not to Coffee Table, That Is the Question:”

Sometimes, I get a little antsy with our home so I end up moving crap around just to get a feeling of fresh design without spending any money.  I’ll take one chair and switch it with one in another room; I’ll move plants around to different spots;  or I’ll just spray paint random shit gold for a quick design high.

But I’ve been feeling stuck on making a decision about our living room – I’m just not sure which way to go this time.  I usually make design decisions in less than a day, especially when I give myself 3 options.  But this constant debate has been rambling around my cavernous brain for quite some time now:  coffee table – yay or nay?

UPDATE:  Well, it took me 2 years to finally figure it out and you can get all the gory details by reading this post from February 2022.


I’m pretty sure Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” can’t help me solve my perplexing design dilemma, but I’m hoping you can.

We’ve had the coffee table (shown in the photo above) for at least 7 years now. We had a large Arhaus slipcovered sectional in our previous home (a precious little beach cottage), and we needed an equally massive coffee table at a non-massive price, so I turned to the magical design source that is Etsy.

That sectional was way too big to fit in our current living room so off to consignment it went.  But I kept the table because it’s so unique and charming and it pairs up perfectly with our IKEA sofa and armchair and they all look so cute together.

So why the hell am I even debating this issue, you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you. I find myself constantly propping my feet up on the coffee table whenever I’m watching TV or reading a book and it’s so fricking uncomfortable.

That annoying feeling is the main reason I’ve been contemplating selling the coffee table and either buying or making a large cocktail ottoman instead.  Yet, I have been very slow to pull the trigger, even though I frequently dream of propping my feet up on something soft.

But then Reality makes an appearance and to Reality’s credit, there are some valid points to be made in favor of the cocktail ottoman:

  • “But, Reality, wherever will we be able to set our dinner plates on the nights we decide to plop ourselves in front of the TV to eat?” Reality’s answer: Your dining room, duh. It wouldn’t kill you guys to eat like civilized human beings once in a while.
  • “But, Reality, wherever will I be able to keep my piping hot mug of tea while reading a book?” Reality’s answer: Um – the side table juuust a few inches to the right. Are you really that lazy??
  • “But, Reality, wherever will I be able to keep the stuff I don’t really need to display, which also happens to attract tons of dust and pet hair in a matter of days?”  Reality’s answer: Seriously? Do I even need to answer that? I’m out.

I hate to admit it, but Reality may be right.  But my brain needs some visual valid points as well, so off we go for some inspiration!

Now I know you can’t see much of the cocktail ottoman in the first photo, but you get the idea.

And I have a similar white tray so I guess I could still use that to hold my dust-and-pet-fur-covered tchotchkes and mug of hot tea, so YAY! Suck it, Reality.

Image Source:  Studio McGee

How much fun are the next two??

Leave it up to Anthropologie to come up with something so funky and unique!

Image source:  Anthropologie


Image source: Anthropologie (no longer available)

And just a few more inspo pics to help make the case in favor of getting rid of our current coffee table.

Image source:  Serena & Lily


Image source:  House of Jade Interiors | Photography: Becky Kimball

Ok, so this is where you come in …

Let me know if you’ve ever used an ottoman instead of a coffee table and what your experience (positive, negative, or both!) was like living with it.  Hopefully, Reality was nudging me in the right direction and not just messing with my confused little pea brain.

Thank you so much for following my blog and for letting me help you create your own lived-in, loved-in spaces!