modern farmhouse living room navy blue sofa couch rectangle coffee table armchair ikea board and batten round mirror

Sometimes, I get a little antsy with our home (even though we’ve only lived in it just over a year) and 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 junkie fix.

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:


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

We’ve had the coffee table (shown in photo above) for at least 6 years now. We had a massive 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 built like a brick shithouse.  The table actually pairs up perfectly with our IKEA sofa and armchair and they all look so cute together – awwwwww

So why the hell am I even debating this issue, you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you. Over the last year, 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.  It feels like a ‘someone is stabbing my feet and legs with hundreds of tiny salad forks’ kind of 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 design trigger, even though I frequently dream of propping my feet up on what I can only imagine feels like clouds sent straight to me from Heaven above.  And then Reality decides to make a timely appearance and pee all over my stupid fear of making the wrong decision in this case.  How rude.

However, 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 juuuuust 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.  It might be time to let someone else love the cute coffee table for the next 6 years and move on to an ottoman.  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
Image Source:

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

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

Image source:  Serena & Lily
Image source:  House of Jade Interiors

Ok, guys.  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 letting me help make your home a little more beautiful and joyful! XOXO ❤︎

P.S. – If you want to know about the design sources for my living room, make sure to visit my Shop My Farmhouse pages.

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  • Reply
    Kinsey aka Peaches from @bellanest7
    05/30/2019 at 2:46 am

    I actually just switched from an ottoman to a coffee table because my son now gets the choice of eating in kitchen or living room for lunch ha so now it’s easier to enable him to eat in there…to watch TV 🤣😁& if I left the cozy ottoman it would look like burnt toast. I was going to pick an ottoman with an oversized tray for you before I even read the rest of your dilemma 😄 It’s versatile yet soft & stylish-I bet you will love it! Great post!!

    • Reply
      05/30/2019 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks so much, Peaches! As much as I love our coffee table, I really just want to be comfortable when I throw my feet up. Glad to know someone who had a positive experience with an ottoman instead of a coffee table. I totally get it why you switched to a coffee table for your son. You’re right – that ottoman would look like toast! Haha! Thanks for taking the time to read my post and leave me your lovely message!

  • Reply
    07/12/2020 at 8:21 am

    I ditched my coffee table a few years ago and have never looked back. For us, it simply was a dust magnet and place to drop our trivial junkie items. We still eat in the LR at times without issue. Rarely do we pop out a TV tray but it’s an option. Not having a coffee table keeps our home less cluttered, and gives us more space to easily move around. No more bumped knees. No more moving it to vacuum. Appropriate end tables and small, lightweight ottoman or pouf makes life easier and very comfortable. Adding a large ottoman may be more comfortable than a coffee table but both are space busters.

    • Reply
      07/12/2020 at 12:22 pm

      Hi Vickie!

      Thank you so much for telling me about your experience without a coffee table – I really appreciate you taking the time to do that!

      Those are definitely all the issues I’ve been running into – a place to toss decorating magazines and random dog toys. And it’s a pain in the butt to move to vacuum too!

      I’m so torn though because my coffee table was custom made by an Etsy seller about 5 years ago and it’s really quite beautiful and unique.

      I just told The Hubs yesterday I’m thinking of taking the top part off and replacing it with plywood and high-density foam and then covering it with fabric that can take a beating. Of course, he said it’s fine just the way it is (little does he know I’m not going to listen to him … ha!).

      But I also really love the funky, minimalistic look and feel of the Anthropologie cocktail ottomans too! Maybe I’ll start with converting ours into one and if it’s still too bulky, I’ll build one like one of those. 😁

      Stay tuned!

    • Reply
      07/23/2020 at 10:30 am

      By now you have made your decision (2019!), but I have never seen the need for a coffee table. They limit the floor space and make the living room feel cluttered – I prefer walking space rather than walking around space. 🙂 I don’t find ottomans very comfortable either – so for me, I have end tables for the sofa for things and putting my feet up on the sofa (just socks on) while watching TV or reading a book. So very comfy!

      • Reply
        07/23/2020 at 12:31 pm


        Believe it or not, I STILL haven’t made my decision but I think I’m getting *THIS* much closer to figuring it out.

        My dilemma is the coffee table is just so dang pretty (an Etsy seller made it for me about 6 years ago) and it’s really quite unique. I don’t have anywhere to store it (I live in southwest Florida and it’s way too hot to store anything in the attic) and I don’t want to get rid of it.

        But I agree that coffee tables take up a bunch of space and can make a room feel cluttered (and I despise clutter!).

        I appreciate you taking the time to tell me about your experience and it sounds like you have the perfect setup in your space! ❤️

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