Coffee table storage trunks - ottomans and more...

Storage hacks – Coffee table storage trunk combos…

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Coffee table/storage trunk solutions and more...When trying to manage small space issues, most people don’t give their coffee table a second thought as a storage solution. But a coffee table can take on many forms. A coffee table can double as a storage trunk or ottoman. But that’s not all. There are also coffee tables with mechanical lift tops that can convert your sofa into a de-facto home office.  The humble coffee table is perhaps one of the most versatile pieces of furniture you can purchase for your living area. So, if space is tight, you should consider choosing a coffee table that can moonlight in several capacities. Here are just a few of the options that you have…

Table of contents:

The coffee table/storage trunk…
The coffee table/storage ottoman…
Coffee tables with a lift-top and storage…
Traditional coffee tables with shelving…
Baskets and canvas bins…
The minimalist coffee table…

The coffee table/storage trunk combo…

A simple way to extend your storage capacity in the living area is to find a great coffee table/storage trunk. The trunk is cocktail table height making it the perfect addition to a sofa, sectional seating area.

Trunks can tuck away a large number of items. Even bulky things like pillows and blankets can be out of sight and out of mind. So, you can have a place to put your cup of coffee or your laptop and remote while having some of your storage needs met at the same time.

The Pyramid Trunk…

This Pyramid Trunk is very roomy and is an attractive feature for your living area. I personally like the shape of it. the angled style makes it seem less bulky which is always a good thing when you are dealing with tight spaces. It still has plenty of space to stash your stuff, with an interior capacity of 34”W x 17”D x 12”H.

Reviews of furnishings from Southern Enterprises have been strongly and consistently positive.  In general, the Pyramid trunk itself also seems to have very positive ratings.

Click here to purchase or to learn more about the pyramid trunk…

A classic farmhouse storage chest…

This is by Kate and Laurel. It shows that the coffee table/storage trunk combination is compatible with many different personal styles. Kate and Laurel are known for their country chic style which is very much reflected in this piece. The interior dimensions are a generous  26.5″ W x by 12.5″ D x 11″ H.

This item has relatively few reviews the Kate and Laurel have generally high ratings when taking a general overview of their reviews.

Another way to go with respect to the coffee table trunk combo is to look for real antique trunks at yard sales and antique shops. If you like antiquing and rummaging for hidden treasure, this can be a way to go. Just realize that you will have to be flexible when you go this route and that you will have to recognize a diamond in the rough.

Click here to purchase or to learn more about the farmhouse storage chest…

The coffee table storage ottoman combo…

The coffee table storage ottoman combo maximizes the storage capacity that you can get from a coffee table while doubling as an ottoman. So, it’s a triple-play with three functions: It’s a coffee table, an ottoman that you can prop up your feet on and a storage unit. In some cases, it can even act as an extra seat if you are entertaining. This kind of multi-functional furniture is very valuable for those living in small spaces.

Large leather coffee table storage ottoman combo…

This coffee table combo is made of bonded leather and has a deep espresso color. It has a great storage capacity, along with the ability to double as an ottoman. You can come home after a long day, grab a throw blanket and pillow from ottoman, and prop up your feet with a glass of wine. That’s really doing triple duty! From the description of buyers, there is some assembly, but it appears to be reasonably easy and allows for savings on shipping charges. The reviews are generally very positive and several reviewers said that the ottoman stood up well to kids and heavy use. Very spacious interior storage capacity (as measured by a reviewer). 26.75″ W x 26.75″ L x 10.5″ H.

The only downside would be that an object of this size and color might tend to dominate a room and make it appear smaller. So, a lot depends on the configuration of your living space and general style. But it’s a great addition for the right space.

Click here to purchase or to learn more about the leather coffee table/ottoman…

Upholstered Storage Ottoman…

This storage ottoman from Home Pop can double as a coffee table or bench. It comes in a variety of colors and fabrics and is a versatile addition to any living space. The fact that this is set higher off the ground, gives a feeling of space and can make the room look larger. It can be used as extra seating as well. Several commenters mentioned that the ottoman was a good height for propping up your feet with a standard while sitting in a standard armchair or sofa. The interior dimensions for storage are 34″ L x 14″ W x 8.5″ H, which is a great deal of space.  Reviewers mentioned that the assembly was extremely easy and that they really loved the fabric. This particular item has excellent reviews and looking across the web, furnishings from Home Pop enjoy generally fine reviews.

Click here to purchase or to learn more about the upholstered storage ottoman…

Coffee tables with storage and a lift-top…

If you prefer the comfort of your sectional or sofa to a desk when working you may want to consider a coffee table with a lift top. This arrangement is also great for those who want to eat a casual meal while binge-watching on Netflix. If you wish your coffee table was sometimes closer to the height of a desk or dinner table,  this is an option to consider.

After reading a lot of descriptions and many reviews, two caveats stand out:
The first is that assembly is a two-person task. At least one person involved in this project should be very mechanically oriented. Assembling the mechanism that lifts the top of this coffee table, is not trivial. This is a common thread runs through almost all the reviews. Reviewers also report that it is worth the effort.  I have not attempted to put one of these together myself, but not being mechanically oriented, I am definitely the wrong person to critique the assembly process. Given what I have read in reviews generally, I would opt for “expert assembly” unless you are very mechanically minded.

The second caveat is that you seem to get what you pay for here. The more expensive coffee tables seem to do better over the course of time. This is particularly true with respect to the stability of the lift-top mechanism.

Cherry lift-top coffee table…

This was the more moderately priced selection. The reviews are excellent with the biggest concentration in the 4-star to a 5-star rating. The low ratings were few and far between. The main complaints were regarding damage at delivery and the difficulty in assembling the lift-top.

As far as storage goes, there is a bottom shelf and set of drawers.  Using baskets or containers on the bottom shelf is a perfect solution for clutter control. The shelf can also be used for books and decorative items. This table doesn’t have the storage capacity that the traditional trunks do. You aren’t stuffing a comforter and pillows into it, but it can help you control more general clutter in an attractive and convenient way.

Bottom line: It’s a solid and classic design, that mixes well with most living area decor. Although not inexpensive, it isn’t going to break the bank for most people.  Assembly is a pain in the neck, but worth the effort.  Most reviewers are very pleased with the end result.

Click here to purchase or to learn more about the cherry lift-top coffee table…

Woodboro lift-top coffee table with drawers…

This lift-top coffee table with drawers had high satisfaction ratings combined with a (relatively easy) assembly. It is a classic piece of furniture that would blend with most decors. The look is traditional which is always in style. It is at the upper end of the offerings on this blog post. However, it delivers on several levels. The design will stand the test of time while the lift-top mechanism appears to be able to do the same.

The drawer space is ample, with plenty of places to organize and to stash your stuff. Once again, this is not a traditional trunk for very bulky items, but with some organization, the drawers can offer significant storage that is always in short supply in small spaces. All in all, this is a very handsome piece of furniture that is multifunctional with lots of storage.

This is a situation where working with a higher-end product may be the wise thing to do. The truly low-priced tables in this category tend to have major assembly and longevity issues. In many cases, the mechanism that lifts the table tends to develop “issues” over time. Having said that, price isn’t everything. There were some higher-end tables that had bad reviews about the stability of the lift-top. Reading the reviews of the table you are interested in is a real must in this case due to the mechanism involved in the lift-top.

Click here to purchase or to learn more about the Woodboro lift-top coffee table…

Traditional coffee tables with shelving…

These coffee tables are bit more traditional in style. They contain a bottom shelf that can provide stylish storage for books and magazines. You can also add baskets or canvas storage bins that can add style while keeping clutter under control.

Vintage top coffee table…

This modern coffee table by Songmics mixes metal and a vintage look wood veneer. The look is chic with an industrial edge to it. It also has a faux marble top as an alternative. It is relatively inexpensive and light (under 31 lbs). Yet, it is also sturdy and the bottom shelf offers ample storage given its generous dimensions (41.8” x 23.7”). With the distance between the shelf and the table top being a bit north of 14″, there are plenty of basket/storage options that will work with this table.

Songmics is known for its storage and organizing products and that mindset appears to be at work here. The reason I like this table is that it combines style and simplicity with flexible storage options.

Click here to purchase or to learn more about the vintage top coffee table…

Mestler coffee table…

This is a more traditional look with a rustic edge. This coffee table from Ashley home furnishings is a more timeless option. The rustic vibe includes some color interest, which adds versatility.

The coffee table measures (42″ W x 28″ D x 18″ H).  For storage purposes, the shelf space is (39.25″ W x 25.25″ D x 10.50″ H). So baskets and other containers have a realistic height limit of 10″. But that is still plenty of space to relieve clutter issue in a stylish, traditional way.

This coffee table is also part of a collection.  It can be also be purchased as part of a set that includes two end tables. There is also a narrow sofa table (or parson’s table). This too can be utilized for storage or for purely decorative items. This type of table often helps define spaces in rooms with an open configuration. Traditionally it is placed against the back of a sectional to create a transition from, say, a living area to a dining area.

Click here to purchase or to learn more about the Mestler coffee table…

Baskets and canvas bins…

Throughout this article, the theme of storing some of your smaller items in canvas bins or baskets keeps coming back. I may actually write a separate blog post on these items. I link to some of these items in a previous post on color and storage issues.  To get you started in the right direction, here is another link for storage baskets.

The canvas baskets pictured here are short enough in height to fit with any of the coffee tables described here. They are also collapsible for easy storage when not in use. This is a feature to really seek out when dealing with bins. You don’t want your storage items to become a storage issue when you don’t need them! Some baskets also have this feature. I described a collapsible basket set in a previous post. The collapsible option is a bit harder to come by for baskets. As statements, a beautiful basket is worth the space that it takes up – just as long as it’s not sitting unused in a closet.

The links in the previous two paragraphs provide a starting point to anyone interested in this type of storage solution. The topic is just too broad in scope for this post.

Going in the opposite direction…

For some people, the above looks are just not for them. If you want a clean and uncomplicated coffee table, that’s great too. For small spaces, an alternate coffee table strategy is that you keep your coffee table as clean and as “transparent” as possible. By this, we mean that it stands up on legs so it doesn’t hide your flooring or carpeting. This gives a feeling of “space”. Also, having a glass top lends itself to making the living space feel open.

Here is an extreme example of going in the opposite direction. This is an all-glass coffee table from Tangkula. It’s a great sleek look, with perhaps a bit of an industrial or commercial feel. It is NOT for people who are clumsy and tend to bang into things. I would also be cautious of this particular style if you have small children.

Click here to purchase or to learn more about the Tangula glass coffee table…

That morning cup of coffee...
Your coffee table will still be there for your morning cup of Joe…

In the end, your coffee table can be used for a lot more than your Saturday morning cup of Joe. This post was designed to help show that there are many ways to stretch the functions of the humble coffee table. When space is limited, furnishings that do double-duty are a must. There are a lot of options out there. In the end, your furnishings need to do two things: They need to fit your lifestyle and your personal style. If a coffee table can fill those two requirements and serve multiple functions, you’ve got a valuable piece of furniture. And yes, it will also work for that morning cup of coffee…

Further reading…

10 Kitchen hacks – Organization ideas for small spaces…

Accent color – How to decorate a small living room & kitchen combo…

 

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