Coffee Tables: 5 Reasons I’ll Never Own One

When I grew up it was traditional to own a coffee table. Most people kept their coffee tables right in front of their couch. When I got my first apartment I thought a coffee table was a must. Now I hate coffee tables and I’ll never own one.

Coffee Tables: 5 reasons I'll never own one. Photo of living room with a coffee table.

The photo above is beautifully simple. It even looks a bit minimalist. This isn’t my house. Why? Because I wouldn’t have a coffee table. I think coffee tables are dumb. Here’s why:

1. Coffee Tables Take Up Too Much Floor Space

I like an open floor. When you put a coffee table in front of your sofa, it takes up a crapload of space. In feng shui, a philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment, a key principle is flow. Putting a coffee table in the middle your living room floor interrupts flow. If you want a minimalist home, ditch the coffee table for a simple end table.

2. Coffee Tables Gather Clutter

If you want less clutter, have less surfaces where clutter can gather. Coffee tables can quickly become a catch-all for a variety of stuff. You come in the door and set your keys, wallet, and phone on the coffee table. You read a book or a magazine and leave it on the coffee table. Remotes, coffee cups, glasses, plates, food, and more wind up on the coffee table before you know it. Forget the coffee table and kill the clutter.

3. Coffee Tables Cause Injuries

Face it, coffee tables are dangerous. How many times have you stubbed your toe or bruised your shin on a coffee table? It happens all the time, right? Rowdy kids crack their heads open on the corners of coffee tables. When you walk through the living room in the dark, the coffee table attacks. Just say no to putting a table in the middle of your living room floor.

4. There Are Alternatives To Coffee Tables

I’ve already mentioned end tables. A single end table between two pieces of furniture is enough to keep a few simple items like books, phones, and tablets. It works as a place for your coffee, too. Another alternative is a small table or desk that is kept against a wall. That way you’ll have a greater sense of flow and space in the center of your room.

5. Coffee Tables Are A Waste Of Money

So how much does a nice coffee table cost? You can expect to spend at least $300 on a decent coffee table. For something that takes up space, creates clutter, and causes accidents? No thanks. Just think about the things you could do with that $300. You could pay a bill or add it to your monthly mortgage payment. You could go on a weekend getaway. Spending money on those things sounds a lot better than something that gets in my way.

So What About Lamps?

I’ll save lamps and lighting for another post, but table lamps are another thing that I could generally do without. 

If you want a simple home, you need to make some practical choices. Do away with things that take up space but serve little purpose. Keep things that are used for your primary life activities such as sitting, eating, and sleeping.

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10 Comments

  1. I have a disabled son and coffee table was just in the way!! He needs space to get up n down with his walker and move around too! We ditched the table years ago!!

  2. Love this! I hate them too! We have chaise lounge couches and those tables that hug the couch for a drink and book.

  3. I had coffee tables for many years but in larger houses. Since I’ve downsized my room functions better without one. But side tables AND lamps are a must. I hate using the ceiling light,too glaring and just not cozy enough for me.

    1. I agree. Space is key in this decision. I’ve almost always lived in fairly small spaces. I learned early that coffee tables could get in the way. I do keep one large side table. As for lamps, I like one well-placed floor lamp for reading.

  4. I hate coffee tables too. I would do anything to get rid of mine. Hubby refuses. It was an expensive piece, but I would trade it for openessand flow.

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