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How to Convert an Ottoman Into a Table

A variety of furniture manufacturers offer specialized coffee table ottomans, but these are often expensive, and styles are limited. If you're hooked on the idea of making your furniture multitask, you can temporarily convert an ottoman into a coffee table without a single tool. Not only will your living room reflect a stylish design trend, it will also function a bit more efficiently.

A large ottoman or upholstered bench works well as a coffee table.
  1. Top your ottoman with a serving tray. Placing a serving tray on top of an ottoman is a trendy way to transform your ottoman or cushioned bench into a surface suitable for setting drinks, reading materials or even a pretty vase full of flowers. Serving trays come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, styles and materials, so it's easy to find an attractive option that enhances any decorating scheme.

  2. Create a custom surface for your ottoman. You might have something around the house you could set on top of the ottoman as a coffee table alternative, but it's also possible to create a surface that is the perfect size, shape and color for your purposes. Home improvement stores have a variety of stock wood boards and glass panels to choose from; ask to have either cut to your specified size and the edges finished for both aesthetics and safety. You might even paint or stain a wooden board to get the look you want.

  3. Purchase one or more "C" side tables. This type of table is shaped like a squared-off letter "C" when viewed from the side. The unique shape allows the bottom and top surfaces to slide above and below the ottoman or sofa and sandwich it, creating a hard surface on top of the cushion. One benefit of this option is versatility, as these tables can be repositioned throughout the room when not in use at the ottoman. On the flip side, they are a more costly option and may not coordinate with your decor.

  4. Utilize your ottoman as a coffee table to hold snacks while you watch a movie or provide a work surface when you pay bills. Use it as a spot for a scented candle and a few trinkets. If the surface you've chosen is smaller and extremely stable, you may be able to prop your feet on the edge of the ottoman at the same time.

  5. Stash the surface when you aren't using it as a coffee table. Move a "C" side table to the side of the room, or set a serving tray on top of a table. If you're using a custom board or panel of glass, you might be able to slide it under the sofa until you want to use it again.

Warnings

  • Don't use glass with sharp edges as a surface to top your ottoman; it may cut either you or your furniture.
  • Ensure that your ottoman table is stable to avoid spills and other accidents.
  • A board or tray might leave a dent in the cushion or crush the upholstery fabric if left on an ottoman for long periods of time.