The first thing you should do is decide which areas in your home need or can benefit from an accent table.
Keep in mind that you do not need to fill every empty space with an accent table. In most cases the tables should fill a need, not a space. Where you put an accent table will have a great impact on its decorative needs and abilities. Read on to learn where to place your accent table in a way that will tie your room together.
Pick the Right Accent Table for Your Space
Accent table is really an umbrella term for tables that are not essential to the initial function of the room. They come in many forms and sizes, but the most common to be discussed in this article will be:
- End tables
- Console tables
- Nesting tables
Because you decorate different table types in different ways we will briefly describe each one and its general use.
End tables are the smaller option for accent tables, and they get their name because they tend to sit on the end of other pieces of furniture. Because of this they do well to provide lighting to an area and hold items as you sit.
End tables come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most will be large enough to fit the basics. Square-shaped end tables are great for providing available surface area, and circular tops can fit in small spaces easier or break up a monotony of edges.
Console tables are a longer, thinner type of accent table, and they also tend to sit higher than end tables.
The word console comes from the latin word “consolar” which means “to alleviate”, though a common misconception is the name is their intended purpose to be a surface for consoles. While that is not true, they do sit well under televisions to serve as a media center.
These function exactly as they sound. Nesting tables are popular for smaller homes or in a space that borders on overcrowded. They give you a second accent table that is smaller to use as needed, but the second table is easily put away to free up floor space.
What these are not good for is holding items of necessity. Unless you are stashing away a few magazines, tables that are nested away cannot hold onto lamps. Other pieces of decor will become a nuisance because you will have to move them around every time you move the table.
Your foyer is the entry to your home, so anything in this area needs to accomplish one of two things.
- Greeting people who enter
- Helping you unload from outside
To accomplish the first task tables in your foyer are a great choice for holding decor or making a statement. If you find a table that is fancy and ornate but does not necessarily match any of your other rooms this would be the place to put it.
In the foyer you can create a station that is welcoming to both you and guests by setting up a console just beyond the door. Centering a large mirror over it will help light up an area that is usually dark, but it will also give you the chance to check yourself over before rushing out the door.
Alternatively, you can set up an end table with one or two chairs to provide some quick seating. This is a great option for households with younger children or ones that keep their shoes by the door.
These entry tables quickly become catch-alls, so make sure you have a tray or basket set up to collect mail and keys.
2) Living Room
The majority of your accent tables will be found in your living room. It is usually the largest room in the house, and it has a lot of functional requirements.
Tables in the living room should be placed close to areas where function can be increased, such as:
- By seats
- Near shelves
- Near windows
Put end tables on either side of couches or loveseats, on one side of a single seat, or between two chairs to center conversation. You will want a place to gather supplies while you utilize the “living” part of the living room.
You can also look into putting a sofa table behind your sofas. This is a better option if you have less space on the sides than you do behind, but you can do both if space permits.
Tables near shelves give you a space to collect books, but they might also be useful for setting down drinks, journals, or laptops.
Tables near windows do not need to be anything sizeable. They are a great way for bringing up houseplants to bask in the sunlight.
If you find yourself needing more table surfaces with little space to accommodate them full-time you should consider replacing any of these tables with nesting options.
Office areas can be treated a lot like living rooms, but they are less centered around entertainment or social interactions. Again, put end tables next to furniture, bookshelves, and windows for the same reasons as you would in your living room.
A well-placed console table can expand your workspace. Put one either behind your seat or perpendicular to your desk so your materials are easy to access. You can even replace the desk outright with a console table.
Nesting tables can be used to hold books or magazines, and they are especially useful if you see people regularly in your office.
You may not always have room to put a table in your hallways. Before you commit to the idea, check to make sure you will still have at least 24 inches for the walkways after the table is in place.
In a hallway you will want to use smaller accent tables to hold decorations or plants. These work best in front of windows or in corners. You can set up the same console/mirror station that might be in your foyer to open up long hallways with little light.
5) Dining Room
Accent tables are not a great decor choice for dining rooms because there is already a larger table commanding attention, but that does not mean you should write them off completely.
If space permits, a thinner console table can work in conjunction with your dining room table by:
- Storing decor like centerpieces or candle holders
- Laying out course options or deserts
- Serving as a bar
Small end tables near windows, in corners, or next to cabinets or hutches can seat greenery to add life to the room.
In a bedroom an accent table can have many jobs.
Put tables at your bedside to hold lamps, alarm clock, remotes, books, chargers, and anything you might need to remember in the morning.
If you have chairs in your bedroom make sure they are accompanied by a table large enough to meet your needs. Usually this means hosting a lamp and leaving a bit of space for books or technology, but take your own needs into consideration.
If you need it, a smaller accent table can provide more surface area next to a vanity or a dresser. They are a great choice if the internal storage works fine but you tend to make a mess when utilizing the space.
Accent tables are not an option for every bathroom, but putting a small table in the bathroom can help you out.
It gives you an appropriate space to set down any items you bought with you that are foreign to the bathroom, like a phone or a book. While you could put these on the counter to the sink, you run the risk of damaging them with water.
The table also provides a small area for you to decorate or leave anything that should stay in the bathroom but has no home, like books or magazines. Ideally you would place the table within arm’s reach of the toilet.