Sofa tables are furniture pieces that date back centuries, and they serve a few purposes. Not to be confused with a coffee or end table, sofa tables typically sit behind a couch and serve as both a decorative piece as well as a functional surface area for a living room. So, how do sofa tables stack up with 2021 and longer-term furniture trends?
One of the furniture trends for 2021 is multipurpose furniture, a category that sofa tables fall into. Console tables (another term for sofa tables) certainly have a place amongst the biggest 2021 furniture and interior design trends and styles. They’re practical, versatile, and here to stay.
Another main aspect of 2021 furniture trends is individuality, and in that sense, sofa tables are also an option. In this article, we look at the various 2021 furniture trends and how you can incorporate sofa tables into a trendy, attractive living space. Read on to learn more about upcoming furniture trends and how sofa tables fit into them.
What is the Purpose of a Sofa Table?
Sofa tables come in all shapes and sizes and can be used for a few different purposes. Meant to sit behind a sofa at about the same height as or slightly lower than the back of the sofa, these tables are used for a few different purposes:
- Surface space to hold lamps, decorations, etc.
- Surface and storage space; some sofa tables have drawers, others have shelves, cabinets, or other compartments for storage.
- Seating for guests or to perform tasks, eat meals, etc.
Other terms for sofa tables include console tables and hall tables, though these have some slight differences.
Console tables are slightly smaller in height than sofa tables, usually standing around 33” tall. They are typically placed against a wall and used for decoration and as surface space for holding other items. Unlike sofa tables, console tables are not limited to placement behind a couch – they are often used to fill open space in entryways or halls.
A hall table is essentially the same as a console table, though these can be placed in various areas of the home: entryways, dining rooms, or, of course, hallways. This is another type of decorative yet functional table that is placed against a wall and used to hold lamps, pictures, plants, books, and other small to midsize items.
Why are Sofa Tables Back in Style?
It is true that sofa tables haven’t been a very talked-about item in recent years, but that is likely to change in 2021 and the years to come. For this year’s style trends, they check several boxes, including the rustic/vintage/antique and multi-purpose styles that designers predict to be big this year.
There are countless sizes, styles, and variations of sofa tables available: from cottage-style wood to modern glass designs and nearly everything in between, you might be surprised at just how much a sofa table can add to a room. Whether you need surface space, storage, or even extra seating, a sofa table can provide it.
What are the Top Furniture Styles and Trends for 2021?
Furniture and interior design, like fashion, have styles and trends that are ever-changing. For 2021, some of the top trends have been influenced by the tumultuous year that was 2020. This year’s trends include multipurpose furniture, rustic/vintage themes, warm colors, and plenty of detail, texture, and layers.
With more people spending the majority of their time at home in 2020, one of the main focuses for 2021 style trends is multipurpose furniture. Flexible, comfortable items that can be used in everyday living as well as for work fit into this category. Bookshelves that also hold storage bins or sofa tables with drawers or seating apply, too.
The point of this trend is to add some character to create a cozy living space. It can be accomplished by utilizing features in your home that already exist – think panels, floorboards, or exposed beams – or by using a mix of old and new furniture and decorative pieces.
To add a welcoming, gentle atmosphere in your living space, you can use warm colors – yellows, oranges, reds, pinks, etc. A switch from the previous, monochromatic color trends of the past, this trend also allows for some creativity on your part. Start small, with a couple of furniture pieces, some bright curtains or wall color, and go from there.
Detail, Texture, and Layers
In 2021, minimalism is out. This year is all about details and individuality, providing plenty of fun options for interior design and style. Expect to see more detailed decorative items, bold colors and patterns, antique and rustic pieces, and anything that adds character and layers to a room.
It is in this trend that sofa tables have some of the most potential – the different colors, designs, purposes, and styles of sofa tables make them a good fit no matter the theme.
This trend is meant to invoke nostalgia, add comfort, and involves mixing simple pieces and decor with a more glamorous style to create a truly unique, individual look. Meant to exemplify rural or country life, “Cottagecore” is a fairly new concept that utilizes traditional, antique looks, pieces with character, details, and comfort.
This specific design style is ideal for those who might have to spend a lot of time at home. It is on the minimal side but has plenty of opportunity for unique, individual decor and style options. A key element of industrial style is multi-purpose or functional furniture to provide a place for comfort as well as work or entertainment.
In order to relieve some of that cabin fever many experienced while being cooped up at home throughout much of 2020, a furniture trend for 2021 is utilizing natural elements. By bringing a sense of the outdoors inside, the goal is to add comfort, light, and layers to create a natural yet stylish environment.
What Interior Colors are Trending in 2021?
Every year, Pantone chooses a top color of the year, and for 2021, they chose two: Ultimate Grey and Illuminating, a shade of yellow. The feel of these two colors together is intended to be one of strength and positivity. Let’s look at some of the other top color trends for 2021.
Warm colors are very in style this year, including shades of pink, orange, yellow, and red. They add a sense of comfort with a pop of color, and can especially be used to accomplish a unique, individual style – another furniture and interior design trend for 2021. Combine with shades of blue for a creative, welcoming atmosphere.
Contrasting Colors and Elements
Using contrasting colors, even a combination as simple as a color with plain white is expected to be popular in furniture and interior design trends for 2021. You can use contrast in wall, furniture, and decorative items to create a bold yet attractive style.
Natural colors tie in well to the rustic/vintage/cottage-core furniture and interior design trends of 2021. To add a touch of natural colors to a room, use wooden furniture or more neutral colors – beige, brown, green, and blue tones are great for adding natural colors to a room, as well. Combine natural colors with bold ones for a unique style.
What Do You Put on a Sofa Table?
Sofa tables make for great extra surface space in your living room. They can be placed to look like a sort of extension on a couch or the main piece behind a couch that adds a decorative yet useful touch. You can use a sofa table to hold various objects, including:
- Other decorations and items that are not too large
Sofa tables can also act as another seating space for a room. Larger sofa tables that are placed behind a sofa that is not against a wall can accommodate stools, creating a convenient table for your guests to sit at while you’re entertaining or a place for you to write, eat, or work.
You can also place things in or under a sofa table, depending on the design. Some have drawers or cabinets, while others have an extra shelf or space for decorative (cloth, wicker) storage bins.
Where Should You Place a Sofa Table?
A sofa table can be placed between a sofa and the wall to provide surface space. For a more bold, decorative feel, place a sofa table behind a couch that is not against a wall. This way, you can highlight the sofa table as well as the objects you choose to place on or within it.
If your couch is L-shaped, you have options for sofa tables, as well. With the many varieties of sofa tables available, particularly online, it won’t take long to find the perfect one for your living room, entranceway, sitting room, or office.
A couch in the middle of the room might feel a little awkward, but a sofa table placed behind a couch in the center of a room makes it more inviting, helps to fill open space, and allows for more decoration opportunities.
When Should You Use a Sofa Table?
There are certain situations where a sofa table fits well into the design of a room, and those when it does not. If you already have a coffee table and end tables, a sofa table might be a bit much, though it is a matter of personal preference and furniture placement. Let’s look at a few cases where a sofa table can and should be used.
To Fill Open Space
If your sofa is located in an area where the back is exposed, a sofa table is a perfect way to artfully and practically fill that empty space behind the couch. Sofa tables are also great for adding surface area in place of a coffee or end table.
For Extra Storage
Not only do sofa tables provide additional surface area to a room, but they can also offer extra, discreet storage space. Choose a sofa table with drawers, cabinets, or one with removable storage baskets to hold throw blankets, small pillows, loose objects, or odds and ends in any room.
To Add Character and Individuality
A big furniture trend for 2021 is a sense of character and individuality. Adding a sofa table to a living room, entranceway, or other space can add that touch of character you need to pull together a room. Choose a natural-finish wood sofa table for a rustic feel, or a solid color sofa table with drawers for multi-use.
For Extra Seating
Multi-purpose furniture is also a 2021 furniture trend, and aside from adding space for decorations, sofa tables can provide additional seating in a room. Some sofa tables can accommodate stools or small chairs, making for extra seating when you have guests or providing a table for eating, working, writing, or whatever you might need to do.
How Much Do Sofa Tables Cost?
Sofa tables can range in price from affordable to rather expensive, depending on which one you buy, what material it is made of, and where you buy it from. On the low end, you can purchase a sofa table for less than $100. The most expensive sofa tables can cost over $1,000, depending on the manufacturer and materials used.
Because sofa tables are a relatively simple concept, they can also make a great do-it-yourself project. All you need is some wood, screws, a drill, and a small saw if the wood needs to be cut. A quick Google search will help you find easy, step-by-step instructions, and by making your own sofa table, you can save a lot of money.
What is the Average Size of a Sofa Table?
There is no one specific or standard size for all sofa tables, but there are some guidelines to remember when choosing one to match well with your sofa. As far as height, a sofa table should not be taller than the back of your couch – either match the height of the back of the sofa with your sofa table or find one that is slightly shorter.
Length-wise, a sofa table should be between half-length to the full length of your sofa, leaving some space on each end of the table. When it comes to width, sofa tables are usually narrow – not wider than 15 inches, though this is not a hard and fast rule. Depending on what your sofa table is used for, you might need a wider or narrower one.
How to Choose the Best Sofa Table
When choosing a sofa table, there are several factors to consider. What kind of material will best match the room? What is the size and shape of your couch? Where in the room is it placed? What do you want to place on the sofa table? Do you need a simple surface area, or are you looking for extra storage and seating, as well?
Size and Shape
The first step in choosing a sofa table is figuring out the dimensions of your couch in order to select the right size of sofa table. Measure the height of the back of your couch, and choose a sofa table that is the same height or slightly shorter. Keep in mind the shape of your couch, too: most sofa tables are rectangular, but not all.
Sofa tables are meant to be placed behind a couch, though the placement of the couch in a room will help you decide which sofa table to choose. If you are placing a sofa table between a couch and a wall, a simpler style will be best, as you are not likely to see much of the table itself other than the top and a little bit of the sides.
If your couch is not against a wall, you have a few more options for sofa tables. A more decorative sofa table can be placed behind a couch in the center of a room, or one with storage and seating.
When choosing a sofa table, keep in mind what you plan to use it for or what you might need to use it for. If you need somewhere to place lamps or decorations, a simple sofa table with a surface area will work. If you are looking for storage or seating, there are several options to choose from, as well.
Of course, you are going to want to take the appearance of the sofa table into consideration before choosing the best one for you. If you are going for a rustic or vintage theme, choose a natural wood or even stone sofa table. For a more modern look, a glass sofa table can add a sleek, classy element to a room.
Sofa Tables vs Console Tables: What’s the Difference?
The terms “sofa table” and “console table” are often used interchangeably, and while they are very similar, they also have some considerable differences. Namely, sofa tables sit directly behind a sofa, whereas console tables are often placed against a wall by themselves.
Sofa tables are usually used in living rooms, as that is where couches can most often be found. Console tables, on the other hand, can be placed in living rooms, but are more often found in hallways or entryways and are placed against a wall. The two often can be used interchangeably, but each has its own properties, too.
What Furniture Trends are Out of Style in 2021?
Now that we’ve covered the furniture trends of 2021, let’s look at older trends that will likely be out of style this year. These include things like shiplap, all-grey or white rooms, barn doors or “modern country” styles, single-purpose items, open floor plans, neutral colors, and matching furniture sets.
Shiplap, Barn Doors, and “Modern Country”
The problem with these design styles is that they often look odd or out of place in many settings. If you live in an apartment or an urban setting, country-style designs don’t really make sense. Instead of going all-out on the country theme, try incorporating a few rustic pieces that match your decor.
All-Grey Kitchens and All-White Interiors
The monochromatic styles of all-grey kitchens and all-white interiors may have been trending throughout the 2010s, but they are not on the interior design trends’ radar for 2021. In fact, more vibrant colors, textures, details, and layers are expected to replace the minimal looks that were previously all the rage.
Single-Purpose Items and Rooms
This goes not only for furniture, but for rooms, too: with more people working from home, the need for practical and multi-functional items and spaces has increased, and furniture and design trends for 2021 reflect that. And, with more families spending the majority of time in the same house, private spaces are also essential.
Open Floor Plans
On the flip side of multi-purpose rooms, open floor plans are seen as more impractical when having to share living space for extended periods of time. Combination kitchens and living rooms, for example, are out – spaces for one person to escape to for the sake of privacy, quiet, and peace are in.
Neutral colors, like minimalist styles, are not included in the top furniture and interior design trends of 2021. Warm, bright colors that make a room more comfortable and inviting and bold, contrasting elements that add character and express individuality are expected to be big, instead.
Matching Furniture Sets
Matching furniture sets go against one of the biggest 2021 furniture and interior design trends: individuality. This doesn’t mean you have to have completely mismatched furniture, but avoid sets that use a lot of the same colors or materials. The uniform look doesn’t allow for a lot of character or individualization, and it’s not very inviting.
Furniture and Interior Design Trends Beyond 2021
Looking to the future, some of the furniture and interior design trends will track with those we are seeing for 2021, while some might throw you for a loop. Expected trends for 2022 include the 70s and 90s style, “smart” furniture, retro prints, sustainable and organic materials, and “new” minimalism.
The 70s and 90s Style
The retro look of the 70s and the urban, street art style of the 90s are expected to make a comeback next year. Additionally, one of the biggest colors of the 90s – mauve – is also expected to come back in style. This ties into the nostalgia trend that is big this year and is expected to continue throughout the decade.
Items that are electronic and fully automatic or voice-controlled will be a staple in 2022 and beyond. With the continuous advancements of technology, the options for stylish yet functional smart furniture are likely to expand, as well.
Bright, bold retro prints, like polka dots and geometric patterns, are likely to make a comeback in terms of furniture and interior design trends for 2022. Used sparingly, these can add color and character to a room without looking gaudy or tacky.
Glass decor and furniture are expected to be on trend for 2022, along with organic materials like natural wood and even cork walls or hemp items such as curtains.
This seems a little strange considering minimalism is one of the main trends that is out of style this year, but designers and experts are predicting “new minimalism” to be a trend in 2022 and beyond. The idea behind minimalism is to have fewer items that serve a purpose.
Will Sofa Tables Be in Style Beyond 2021?
As far as furniture and interior design trends go, sofa tables can have a place in nearly any era and suit any trend. There is a reason they have been around for so long, and while some overlook or write off sofa tables when thinking of interior design and furniture trends, they are a furniture piece that can and should be considered.
Furniture and home decor/design trends change with time – what was in style last year might not be this year, and what was popular fifty years ago might make a comeback. There are some staples that are timeless, and it’s safe to say sofa tables fall into that category.
Whether you love them, hate them, or haven’t heard of them, sofa tables are a versatile and practical piece of furniture that has been around for hundreds of years. They can add surface space, storage, and even seating to a room and help fill awkward empty spaces behind couches, especially those that are not against a wall.
Despite the fact that furniture and design trends change, sofa tables are one item that can change with those trends. With the variety of shapes, styles, sizes and materials of sofa tables, and the added benefit of online shopping, finding the perfect sofa table to complement your living room is easier than ever.