Here’s a good article on coffee table use by Katie Bandurski for Better Homes & Gardens.
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Turn your coffee table into a storage powerhouse with these simple organizing tricks. We have ideas for repurposing furniture, buying a storage-friendly design, and updating an existing piece to store more in your living room.
A large coffee table wrapped in burgundy faux leather makes quite the statement in this colorful living space. The table opens up on top, creating ample storage space for extra blankets, media supplies, and more. Nailhead trim adds a decorative edge, while a collection of trays corral small plants and other knick-knacks.
Put a vintage trunk that’s been collecting dust in your attic to work by using it as a coffee table. Because trunks are already designed to hold as much as possible, it’s the ideal living room storage solution. Make sure you break up the interior space with smaller containers and baskets so your wares stay organized. If you don’t already have one, look for trunks at vintage shops and antique stores.
Neat and Tidy
If you have a lot of same-size items to store—think magazines, books, or blankets—consider open storage. When arranged in neat stacks, the effect can be quite visually pleasing, plus it’s easy to maintain. Opt for lidded storage boxes to keep any odd-shaped items in line.
For subtle living room storage, try a basket that blends in with the rest of the space. This two-tier coffee table features a giant wicker catch-all on the lower shelf that holds remotes, cords, and magazines. Its brown hue matches the wood grain of the table, while its ample size frees up the tabletop for fun accent pieces.
Many ottomans can double as the perfect coffee table. This upholstered edition opens up to a shallow storage space that holds board games and other family room essentials. When shopping for a storage ottoman, make sure you have a plan for its use; knowing what you need to store will help you pick the right size and storage capacity.
If you lack seating in a small living space, look no further than pretty poufs. These cute seats can be stashed underneath the coffee table then pulled out when company comes. For optimal storage, look for hollow stools or seats that open up. This way you can keep extra items out of sight but still have them within reach.
Bank On Baskets
If you have a coffee table in a play room or family room, look to baskets to keep your child’s toys in line. Labels assign a basket to each kid, while small plastic containers organize the collections. Make a rule that only toys that fit in the basket can be kept in the family room. Any extras need to be stored elsewhere. This trick will keep the baskets from routinely overflowing and looking too cluttered.
If you’ve only got a few items to store, consider a tray. Sizes vary so you can tailor your design to perfectly fit your coffee table dimensions and storage needs. Corralling frequently used items into one area makes it easy to grab what you’re looking for in a cinch. Plus, a decorated tray can add extra style to the space. This wicker tray, for example, furthers the rustic style of this outdoor living room.
Sliding drawers embedded within a coffee table make storage a snap. Just load the piece with all of your goods, then slide them out of sight. You can find coffee tables specially designed to include this feature. Or opt for repurposing a piece of existing furniture, such as an elongated nightstand, shallow dresser, or console table, to serve as a coffee table.