It can be easy to think of end tables as an afterthought. That is, until you try to set down your drink, turn on your lamp or reach for your book. So, when choosing a style, it’s important to consider what function it will serve.
The right height is key.
To make the best use of your end table, make sure it’s within easy reach. The height should be within two inches of the arm of your chair or sofa. So, say your sofa arm is 22 inches — your end table could range between 22 and 24 inches.
Assess your existing décor, then think about ways you can achieve an interesting contrast.
For instance, if you have lots of traditional upholstery, you could balance the soft edges with a clean, simple design. Or, if you have modern furnishings, you could complement them with something a little more ornate.
Next, ask yourself how you’ll use your end table. What do you reach for most often? Do you want extra storage for TV remotes or magazines?
Here are a few styles to consider based on your particular needs:
End table with open shelves or drawers. Use it to store small items or books.
Nesting end tables. Unstack them for extra table space or neatly stack them when not in use.
C-shaped end table. Like a snack table, it fits snugly over the arm of your sofa or chair.
Chair-side end table. Narrow, and small, it helps anchor a standalone chair.
Keep in mind, end tables don’t have to match. With the right combinations, you can create your own unique look.