While coffee tables can be designed to store all kinds of things, some coffee tables—along with side tables and stools—are designed specifically to hold magazines.
Rform’s Pi collection has both a bench and a stool/side table with space for magazines. This is easy-to-reach storage for those who have trouble bending down toward the floor, where some other tables have their storage space. The one drawback I can see is that magazines might get shoved toward the back where they would be harder to see (and retrieve).
Umbra’s Magino stool, designed by Karim Rashid, has that close-to-the-floor storage space: fine for many people, but not those with trouble bending down that low. Because it’s clear acrylic, the top magazine on each side is visible; that’s nice for those who work best with storage that doesn’t hide things away.
The Collecteur from Christian Lessing, with its two powder coated steel pieces, has an adjustable height, going from 40 to 59 cm. The Collecteur has a removable cushion, so it can serve as a stool or an end table. One downside: As the stack of magazines grows, it might become increasingly hard for end users to pull out the ones they want. And thinner magazines without a spine won’t work very well in this type of piece.
The Woodieful Chair, which also serves as an end table, had a successful Kickstarter that got funded in May. The slots provide for magazine storage when it’s oriented as a table.
The Woodieful can also store magazines when it’s being used as a chair. However, this piece would be a bit cumbersome to use for magazines if it was frequently re-oriented—changing between a chair and a table—as the magazines would need to be removed and replaced.
Tables designed to hold magazines often use slots in the top surface for this purpose. The acrylic Wave Table, a prototype from BEdesign, provides this type of storage. However, the very limited tabletop space would make this impractical for many people.
But the Wave Table has one notable feature: It can be turned on end, and seemingly still provide storage (on what would then be the side, not the top).
The Mag coffee table from Ali Sandifer provides a lot of tabletop space along with nice angled storage for a limited number of magazines. The angled approach helps keep magazines upright even if the storage space isn’t full.
The coffee table from Brigada would work for end users willing to trade some tabletop space for more magazine storage. The slots have varying depths, which would be nice for those whose periodicals aren’t a single size. But for others, the deepest slots may be a bit too deep for comfort.
Lots of freestanding magazine racks use a leather sling; Roderick Vos takes this design approach and incorporates it into a table. This design will annoy some end users because the magazines will not stand up straight and may tend to curl; others won’t mind that at all.
Another design approach involves using a rack that the magazines get placed over, as with the WF Magazine Side Table from Joshua Howe. End users who are in the midst of reading a magazine could keep their places, which some may appreciate. However, this design may be a bit hard on the magazine’s spine—a possible concern for those who intend to keep the magazines after they’ve been read.
The magazine coffee table from Kimba Hills would be good for end users who are very visual and want to readily see the magazines being stored.
The Paper Table from Ligne Roset, designed by Nathan Yong, is marketed as a magazine rack/occasional table, but it doesn’t look like a very practical table. It’s also less space-efficient with its storage than some other approaches, but it is another design that would work well for those who work best when they have everything within easy eyesight.
Levenger’s No-Room-for-a-Table Table uses the accompanying large basket to provide magazine storage that fits into narrow spaces. However, if there’s no space for end users to stand beside the table (so they can only access it from the front), it will be hard for them to see what’s in that basket; they’d have to pull it forward.