Ours were the same exact way. I hated putting them up and taking them down. I didn't like how you had to scoot all the way around them to sit on the couch, and how they were in the way if you tried to lay down to watch tv. I ended up talking the hubby into removing them completely. Today I bought a lift top coffee table from Walmart for $79 bucks. The older kids are currently using it to eat popcorn and play on their laptops, and my two year old has already stashed his toy cars in the base. The plan is to save all the pieces to the original tables and construct some sort of counter/table that we can throw outside near the outdoor kitchen with possibly some low saddle type barstools for the kids to eat at.