End and side tables not only balance the look of a living room or bedroom set, but they also function as a place to set beverages and hold reading lights. In order to capture both form and function, you want to think about how you’ll use an end table most, as well as what style will complement the room’s overall decor. Do you want it to be an accent piece that stands out, or something that won’t steal the show? Either way, your quest for the perfect end tables should start with the following information to help you navigate your options.
What kind of end table should I get?
Side tables for your living room can serve many functions: holding lamps, resting coffee cups, storing remote controls and so much more. With that in mind, think about what exactly you plan to be using your end table for to help determine the ideal size and shape. If you could use a little extra storage in your living or family room, go for end tables with storage, like drawers or shelves, but keep in mind these styles do tend to look a bit bulkier than others. In terms of style, the selection is wide; so whatever style you’re trying to meet, it’s likely you’ll find it. To complement furnishings with clean, well-defined lines, think contemporary or modern end tables. On the other end of the spectrum, rustic end tables can add an eclectic or farmhouse vibe, while something like a mirrored side table can bring a hint of glamour to a room. It’s often helpful to ask yourself whether you want your new pieces to blend in with their surroundings, or be more of a focal point in the room.
How tall and wide should a side table be?
To get this right, take a good look at the furniture your side table will be complementing. In general, it should be the same height as or several inches lower than the arm of your chair or sofa, and the width should be in direct proportion. Side tables that are too high or too short will be uncomfortable, and anything too wide will weigh down the surrounding furniture. If you plan to place a lamp or other substantial objects on it, make sure that it can support their weight and that their size doesn’t visually overpower the table.
What is the best material for an end table?
If you’re going for top quality, solid wood end tables are strong and durable, and, depending on the construction, can complement most styles. Leather end tables will add a rich complement to your decor and will only get better with age. Metal or glass end tables will add a nice touch to contemporary or eclectic interiors. Be weary of designs constructed from particle board, especially if disguised by a nice veneer: while they’re less expensive, they typically don’t last long. When choosing material, also keep maintenance in mind — any surface that will be home to beverages will inevitably come in contact with water and moisture, which could be damaging to the surface. For this reason, be sure to seal the top of any wooden end tables, and have coasters at hand as a preventative measure.