Finding the Perfect End Table

An end table completes the look of a room while adding some character to the decor. When you’re picking out new furniture for your living room, keep these tips in mind to add some flair.

There’s more to a living-room than just a sofa, a couple of tables, and a lamp. An end table is more than just a convenient spot to set your glass of wine or lay down a trashy novel while you run to answer the doorbell. Nor is it merely a place to set a couple of framed pictures. An end table anchors the sofa or bed, grounds a favorite chair, and offers style and whimsy to the room.

Our parents probably went to their favorite furniture store and bought a couple of matching, wooden, four legged end tables, and a matching coffee table. Not us… we like to mix things up a little.

No Matchy, Matchy Please

With more spunk and creative verve than generations before us, our coffee tables are whimsical, functional and definitely NOT matchy, matchy. Personally, if everything in the room is matched perfectly, it will look decorated, but there are no surprises, no wows. Lots of unexpected twists and turns-lots of "wow power" can transform a room.

Are you on a budget? Flea markets and second hand stores often have old bedroom sets for sale- buy one of the night stands, remove all the hardware (toss it) and put a coat of fresh paint on the stand – black for contemporary, white for a shabby chic look. Add new, modern hardware (the pulls) and voila, the $10 end table!


Today’s end tables are not only lovely to look at but they can be extremely functional.

  • If you lack storage space in a room, opt for end tables that have drawers or tip out bins. These bins are great for holding magazines, kid’s toys, or even an extra blanket for those chilly fall afternoons.
  • If you are always losing the television remote, choose an end table with a drawer to hold remotes.
  • Before committing to an end table or two, consider any required storage options for the room.

Tell a Tale

A brilliant room always tells its visitors a story. It tells a tale of love, passion and travel, a tale of dreams and ambitions. Even an end table can help spin the story:


  • A stack of vintage luggage (you can also buy new tables that are made to look as if they are simply a stack of vintage luggage) makes a great end table.
  • Manufactures are now making end tables that serve double duty as wine bottle storage, bookcases and game boards.
  • We are blessed with a great amount of selection and finishes: wood, glass, metal, stone, and rattan.
  • I have also brought back metal trunks, wooden or rattan boxes and tables from many of my travels- these, too, make great tables.

Go ahead, mix it up. After years of perfectly matched tables you may have to overcome some internal issues in order to take the plunge into the unmatched room. Be brave, go slow. Try buying the same table but just a different shape. If you find a table set on the floor of a furniture store ask the sales rep for the catalogue. In the catalogue the manufacture will list all different variations of the same table.

Start replacing your matching tables slowly, one at a time, as you find great treasures in your travels around the globe or at your local furniture stores.


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