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Ottoman coffee table...pros & cons?

March 4, 2013

I need some kind of a smallish profile coffee table in our family room off the kitchen. It's a small room. I have found a nice ottoman/bench with good dimensions & I can choose the fabric. It has legs, so gives visual space underneath.

So far, the perfect coffee table has eluded me, but I am going to look at a curvy one today (sort of MCM, but can get it in dark stain). It has a lower shelf which would be kind of nice, but not entirely necessary. It's just DH & me living here now, with family & GDs popping in, but no one is hard on stuff.

If you use an ottoman as a coffee table, do you like it? Can you tell me pros & cons you've experienced? I know, of course, about using trays for food or drinks on it, but any other feedback??

Thanks, guys....

Comments (11)

  • beekeeperswife

    I like ours. I love being able to put my feet up without worrying about the table. I did switch it with the glass/chrome one from another room. I found myself not being as comfortable in the room, always thinking I might shove the glass off the table. Just switched it back about a week ago.

    While I love it, from a design standpoint it seems a bit heavy to me in the room, that's why I tried my glass one in there.

    Another postitive point is that it is also extra seating when you need it.

  • sas95

    I like our leather ottoman/coffee tables. It is nice to be able to put our feet up, and they add some softness to our room, which is already wood-heavy. The downside is that when we entertain, even though we use trays we still don't get the area for food/drink that you'd get with a regular coffee table. And some clueless guest is constantly putting their drink directly down on the leather rather than the tray. Which drives me nuts.

  • Valerie Noronha

    We have one in our family room. Pros for us are:

    1. being able to put up our feet while watching TV
    2. storage for games and puzzles
    3. overflow seating
    4. teenagers use it to pull up closer to TV and sit while playing video games

    Cons are that the shape is not ideal for our space and I plan to swap it out at a later date (probably with a different one in different size/color since we no longer need the storage and this one is getting worn). I also think when deciding coffee table vs. ottoman you need to look at your space as a whole and decide if your room would look better with more wood or upholstered items. I like the look of a glass table as it opens up a room more visually, easy to clean and offers a pretty view of rug below (if you are using one), but not practical for a room where family/friends gather to watch TV and like to be comfortable.

  • cat_mom

    We got one for our FR (goes with our couch, but purchased as a separate piece, they weren't sold as a set). Knew we would want to put our feet up while watching TV. I use the ottoman, while DH prefers to sprawl across the chaise portion of the sectional couch. We usually move the tray to the couch, between us when we are watching TV, and then move it back to the ottoman afterward.

    I think this set-up provides a lot of flexibility and seating/serving options (for drinks, snacks).

    For our LR/sitting area facing the kitchen, we used a glass topped table. Like bee's room, anything more solid would look too heavy, and crowded in our LR, as it is a small space. Plus, the table provides a larger and more stable surface for serving more substantial snacks and hors d'oeuvres in addition to drinks.

  • lolauren

    We have a large leather ottoman (3'x4') currently, but previously had a coffee table.

    We (and our guests) always wanted to put our feet up on the wood coffee table, which wasn't comfortable and hurt the finish. Of course, the ottoman is much more comfortable and has been used as additional seating because of it.

    Other than the need for a tray or other surface for drinks, there really isn't a negative, imo, w/ having an ottoman.

  • blfenton

    We have an ottoman/coffee table as well. Our sitting area, which isn't very big, is just off of the eat-in kitchen and we have a large extended family with great nieces/nephews now on the way. We needed it for extra seating, I wanted something that was soft for new toddlers and I just find that it softens the area visually as well. And i do like to put my feet up on it when I'm reading.

  • Annie Deighnaugh

    We went with 2 small leather ottomans from overstock...they act as storage for afghans and the top flips from a tray to padded leather....we can use it as a coffee table for serving or for a foot rest for watching tv...

  • drybean

    We have one and I don't like it for the following reasons:
    -can't style it. I'm not one to have piles of stuff, but I do like being able to have a plant or tray for remotes on the coffee table.
    -my kids like to sit in LR to do homework, and the ottoman isn't quite right for writing. A harder surface would be better.
    - not steady enough for drinks. It's firm, but not enough to make me comfortable enough for beverages when people are walking about.

    Edited for punctuation. iPad keypads are not my friend.

    This post was edited by drybean on Mon, Mar 4, 13 at 20:15

  • corgimum

    We have a fabric coffee table/ottoman. LOVE IT! I always have my feet up on it when I use the laptop and can't imagine having a wood table again. Never have to dust it either!

  • rosie

    My guess is the upholstered coffee table will be this last decor era's outstanding contribution to interior design.

    Our kids have had one, in the predominant style--large rectangle, "leather" (but good quality) covered, with an openwork wood shelf below--and its function is beyond everything. This is the center of the home, the kitchen island only a close runnerup. :)

    I disagree that they can't be "styled," even if there are limitations. Porcelain shore bird collection problematic, but my DIL always has a large (ubiquitous, useful, but attractive) tray on it done up for the season. A basket on the shelf below holds the remotes and other visual clutter.

    I did have a personal happy moment when I realized that they need not be stiff, stained wood with black leather upholstery. A piece of furniture of the appropriate height in any style can be upholstered and painted, stenciled, gilded, waxed, or whatever. (My own future project here.)

  • Kek10

    I have one and really like it. Very comfortable for resting your feet on while watching tv. It's upholstered and we got a matching throw pillow. The fabric pops in our room, which is one of the reasons we got it.

    We have two great wooden trays on it, they nest when we're not using both.

    Do what works for you, your house, and your design.

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