The tables you select for your room can have major impact on the both the design, and the function. When making your selections, here are a few criteria to keep in mind which will ensure the room functions well, and looks great:
1. Accent or functional table:
- An accent table is there for the sake of completing a seating arrangement, and to provide enough surface for setting a beverage during conversation, or perhaps your book or magazine. It is not intended to hold a lamp, and will often have a floor lamp situated behind it. These are generally 22″ or less. A functional table does just that: adds function to the room. It is in easy reach of the main pieces of furniture, will usually support a lamp, and should have enough space for performing whatever activities take place in that space: holding the remotes, drinks, books, food, accessories, etc. It is difficult to accomplish this with a table of less than 24″.
- An end table should neither overwhelm the furniture it sits with, nor be swallowed by it. Is it to be grouped with a main piece of furniture (see “functional table” above), or is it more for show (see “accent table”)? Alongside a sofa, the depth of the table should be relative to the depth of the arm. Most sofas are at least 34″ deep, with many topping 40″. A reasonable end table for this purpose will be around 20×27″ rectangular, or 28″ round. A big, beefy club chair will need a big, beefy table, and your petite antique wing chairs will need something much smaller, with more delicate lines.
- There is no definitive rule of thumb regarding the height of the end table. It does not need to be exactly equal to the height of the arm of your upholstery. Just make sure you don’t feel like you have to REACH up or down to set something on it comfortably.
4. Legs and style
- It really has become acceptable to mix all sorts of styles, but making them work well together requires balance and a certain amount of finesse. If design is not your strong suit, just stick to this one simple guideline: If the lines of your furniture are straight, choose tables with straight legs and little ornamentation. If your furniture is curvy, curved table legs are fine (although not required), and some ornamentation is likely to be a plus.
- Your tables do not all have to match (and the room will look much richer if they don’t). Just make sure you stay in the same color family. For example, if one table is blond maple, don’t choose another in purplish cherry, stay with the lighter yellow and whitish tones. Alternatively, if you’re working in the brown family, don’t bring in a red maple. There is something to be said for a standout statement piece, but it can go horribly awry, so I recommend leaving this to the professionals. When you select a room design from Online Home Decorating, we’ve taken all the guess work out of choosing the right end tables. You can rest easy knowing that they will be the correct scale for the furniture they accompany, and that they will be well-suited to each other, without being “matchy matchy,” which is exactly what you want!