5 Unique Coffee Table Designs

Bored with your traditional coffee table? Five top designers show you how to get creative coffee table style in your living room.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionCoffee table sets can be stacked on top of each other for an architectural feel or separated to gain the most use.
With pillows from Venice, an Indonesian armoire and a mirror from her own company, designer Sherri Donghia turned the den of her Tribeca apartment into a comfortable, eclectic spot for working and relaxing. To complete the look and increase the room's flexibility, she stacked three vintage Korean tables in front of the sofa for a look as pretty as it is practical.

Because the tables are light and small, Donghia moves them around frequently, stacking two for books and photo albums and leaving the third on its own to hold a cup of coffee. Or the trio can be spread throughout the room as mood and needs dictate.

"Everything in a room has to be flexible," says the designer and author of Donghia: The Artistry of Luxury and Style. "With small tables like this that are stackable, you can create something that works with the low seating that is becoming more and more popular now — or something higher, to work with a traditional sofa or banquette."
Although these Korean tables can be difficult to find in the United States, the concept could also be adapted to small Chinese or Indian tables, which are more widely available in major cities and online. Whatever the origin of the tables you see, look for shapes and colors that intrigue you, and don't be put off by a little wear and tear.

"The wood of these three tables is starting to crack a little bit over time, but that's fine," says Donghia. "It's all part of the patina."

Photo by Michael Mundy