Sometimes, furnishing a small space can feel like one giant game of Tetris: Each piece must fit perfectly into place. Otherwise, you run the risk of some major pileups. Small-space living often dictates that you can't choose furniture simply because you prefer its color or style, rather, you must first defer to a room's square footage to determine whether a piece will work.
Few retailers understand this frustration better than IKEA, and its collection of eight different nesting tables reminds us why the Swedish brand will always be our go-to for affordable small-space decorating. The utility and versatility of its stylish nesting tables cannot be understated: Sure, they're small, but they pack quite a mighty design punch—and the best ones even augment your storage options. Overlap one of these eight sets to form one large coffee table, split one up to flank a sofa, create an unexpected configuration, or pair them with other tables you already own; these babies are meant to be moved around.
The larger table is just 19 inches in diameter—so tiny. Both have acrylic tops and solid beech legs and come in a pleasing shade of steely blue-green. And adjustable plastic feet protect your floors from damage no matter how much you move them around. Bonus: If you have the room, complete the look by copping the larger coffee table in the same series.
This set of three powder-coated steel nesting tables—in three monochromatic colors—offers three times the surface area without hogging valuable floor space. "Use the tables as three separate side tables, or as one long coffee table," an IKEA release suggests. "They have a surface that's durable and easy to clean and the smallest table even has a higher edge giving the possibility to store away any clutter or small items, even the remote control." Smart, right?
These leaf-shaped walnut tables have been lacquered to fortify their durability—they're rich, warm options whether used together or separately.
IKEA's Lack series is perhaps its most beloved—and hacked. These tables are ridiculously easy to assemble, retrofit, and move around. Vary their height, and consider hairpin or tapered legs for an expensive-looking midcentury upgrade.
Tempered glass tabletops are stain-resistant and easy to clean; powder-coated steel frames provide a sturdy framework. These would look so interesting at the foot of a bed, displaying decorative items, and stowing stacks of books or magazines underneath. One clever IKEA hacker even spray-painted the base gold and turned the larger table into a chic, tufted ottoman, using the glass top as a lower shelf. We imagine the smaller table serves its intended purpose.
Clearly modeled after the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto's iconic Stool 60, these birch-veneer numbers would work perfectly as nightstands, end tables, outdoor drinks tables (in a pinch), and, yes, stools.
These tables are clean and simple—and offer extra storage underneath. Plus, their different hues invite experimentation: Mix and match tabletops and bases for a deeper graphic contrast. Or just swap out the particleboard tops in favor of marble or natural stone, as one hacker did, for an impressive, high-end update.
Move these solid pine tables around—they're perfect for shouldering table lamps, hosting game nights, and serving hors d'oeuvres.